We miss our driving, shopping, normal life: PM wife and daughters (Lead)

April 21st, 2009 - 6:24 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh New Delhi, April 21 (IANS) The world may look at them with envy, but adjusting to life in a bubble as the prime minister’s wife and daughters is not easy. Just ask Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s family who Tuesday spoke out for the first time on the travails of being the first family and missing out on small pleasures like driving and neigbourhood shopping.
In what is perhaps the first media interview of the often reticent prime minister’s family, his wife Gursharan Kaur, flanked by their daughters, told a television channel that being the country’s first lady “certainly” entailed compromising on smaller pleasures.

“I certainly miss my driving, trips to Mother Dairy or to other fruits and vegetables markets,” Gursharan Kaur told CNN-IBN in an interview, with her daughters Daman and Upender on either side.

Describing her husband’s commitment to his work, she added: “For my husband, work is his religion. He hasn’t had a single holiday in last five years and the most he missed out was spending time with the family”.

Replying to a question of family staying away from politics, Daman said: “We were never interested in politics (as a family) and I think he (Manmohan Singh) will be a little nervous (about the rest of the family joining politics) as he once told I don’t want to offend you but it is better you have an independent career and not mix your career with mine”.

While Upender is a lecturer in history, Daman, whose husband is a joint director in the Intelligence Bureau, has just penned her debut novel “Nine by Nine”. A third sister Amrit is in the US working for the American Civil Liberties Union.

Daman, the prime minister’s second daughter, said she too had found it difficult to adjust to being the prime minister’s daughter.

“In the first two years for me were very difficult and I was very angry and very bitter in the first year, especially. But the second year was easier. Somewhere towards the end of the second year I was able to rationalise as to why I was behaving this way and why I was blaming my father for this when it wasn’t really his fault.

“I think I have managed to quite get over with that and I have now become comfortable with the idea that yes, this is what it involves,” Daman said smiling.

Upender, whose husband Vijay Tankha is also a professor at Delhi University, recalled that the last time the family went on a holiday was to Nainital way back in the 70s.

On Manmohan Singh facing criticism from leaders in the opposition of being a “weak prime minister”, Gurcharan Kaur said: “People will go on talking. It’s a part of their lives to make such talk. So let them speak what they want to”.

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