In Part Two R. K. Narayan's novel The Painter of Signs, Daisy, who works for the Indian government's Family Planning Program, and Raman, the painter of signs from the book's title, visit a remote village. The Family Planning Program aims to reduce the number of children per family to two. However, the population in the remote village they are visiting has grown from 600 to "seven-hundred odd" in twelve month's time, so Daisy immediately asks the village teacher to gather the families under the banyan tree in the centre of the village.
After speaking to the villagers for an hour,
the chiefman said, 'There is an old shrine in a cave over there where barren women can go and pray and bear children. How would you explain it?' Daisy simply answered, 'You should ask the priest of that temple,' and Raman admired the courage and subtlety of her reply.
In what way is Daisy's replay courageous and subtle? At this point of the story, Daisy and Raman have not yet visited the shrine or seen the priest.