Panchayat Season 2 has managed to make us laugh and cry – all at the same time. And there’s no denying that we’re already waiting for the next season. 

The show has a number of reasons to fall in love with and Neena Gupta’s Manju Devi is one of them. She not only runs the house, but also makes sure to be heard in village matters, concerning the panchayat. As a woman who’s opinionated and has strong beliefs, she also knows how to present them.

Among the many things that we love about her, the savage comebacks and all the sass, top the list. Neena Gupta’s character is just the right amount of real and sassy – making her dialogues and appearance on-screen, a memorable aspect of the season. 

And, these scenes are proof:

1. When Manju Devi was unapologetic about negotiating a better deal, and not altering her stand to satisfy a man’s ego.

In the first episode of the season, Abhishek suggests having Manju Devi negotiate a deal. He does so, thinking that Parmehswar wouldn’t negotiate or fight back on the price she asks.. But, in turn he leaves offended because Manju Devi didn’t cave in and stood by her quote. As a result, Pradhan Ji blames her and mentions that she should have been more polite – to which she has the perfect comeback, in her classic tone. She was asked to negotiate a deal and that included being firm, for which she wasn’t apologetic – as it should be.

2. When she was the perfect competitor. 

Bhushan and his wife pick up a fight over something as small as an exchange of chappal at the temple. Understandably, Manju Devi doesn’t sit quietly and fights back – literally. While the families get into a war of words, it also becomes about politics and the next elections. Bhushan and his wife comment about winning the next election and how that will affect the family. And like a feisty competitor, Manju Devi Manju Devi gives back as good as she gets. She’s not only her real self but also knows how to tackle politics without being fake about it.

3. When she was funny without even knowing it.

In an episode, Abhishek’s friend visits him at Phulera and like any ‘New York return’, he gets excited about exploring the farms and taking pictures. When he asks Abhishek to take his picture with a bull at Pradhan Ji’s place, Manju Devi observes him from a distance and comments on the typical behaviour. Her one-liner is not only a comment on every other person from the city who romanticizes village life, but also brings in the light humour that we expect from TVF. 

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4. When she had the right advice for Pradhan ji and delivered it like a pro.

Manju Devi asks Pradhan ji to invite the MLA to the akhand kirtan at Phulera – knowing that it’s important in order to get funds for repairing the road. While she does that, she also asks him to not let him walk all over him. Manju Devi knows how the MLA treats people and doesn’t suggest that her husband be a pushover in order to take part in politics. She understands the importance of MLA’s participation, but also stands by the need to respect oneself. 

5. When she got too real about Rinky’s marriage. 

Manju Devi is an opinionated woman, but she also understands parenting from a different perspective – where parents take it as a duty to marry off their children, specifically their daughters. In an episode, she asks her husband to arrange the meeting between the families to talk about Rinky’s marriage – to which he suggests that they take more time to talk and understand each other. And, Manju Devi disagrees, which she lets him know without any filter – while being her firm self.

6. When she didn’t want to participate in telling people about defecation in the village.

In an episode, the panchayat finds out about a surprise inspection in order to check for the ODF status of the village. The panchayat office proceeds to ask people to refrain from defecating openly, for at least the day of the DM visit. To this, Manju Devi has the kind of response we’d expect from her – she mentions that it’s times like these when she likes staying away from the official work. This moment is funny while also being as real as it gets.

7. When she shuts Pradhan ji with her savage comebacks.

While Rinky talks to a potential match for her marriage, her father gets annoyed with the long conversation and asks Manju Devi to get them to stop talking. He also mentions that it only took a few minutes of talking before they had decided on getting married, at the time. To this, Manju Devi not only supports her daughter and the need to talk to a person she might marry, but also gives a savage comeback. And just like other times, she shuts her husband without even doing a lot.

8. When she deals with the ladke-wale calmly without letting them push around her family.

In yet another episode, Manju Devi and Pradhan ji have opposing views after they visit the restaurant to meet the ladke-wale. While Pradhan ji doesn’t like the way they talked to him and disagrees on going to a different place to satisfy their ego, Manju Devi believes that they should leave the matter. They both have different opinions, but Manju Devi decides on sorting the matter by calmly telling the groom’s family that they’ll wait for another half-hour at the restaurant. She supports her family, and doesn’t let the groom’s father disrespect them – even though she disagrees with them.

It’s Manju Devi’s world. We just live in it.