Study Guide

Baap and Maa in Homeless Bird

By Gloria Whelan

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Baap and Maa

For a story that's structured around a teenage girl, Koly's parents don't make a whole lot of appearances in the book. In fact, they bounce from the scene after the first chapter. See ya, guys. That said, they influence Koly long after she leaves their home. Baap and Maa are super traditional, honorable, and hard-working, and they imbue their daughter with a sense of perseverance and dedication that she relies on throughout the book.

At Koly's wedding, her parents get ticked that the Mehtas lied to them about Hari's age and condition, making it clear that they do care about their daughter. Thing is, they also know it's bad luck in their culture to encourage their daughter to become a runaway bride, so their lips are sealed on that front. This doesn't stop them from comforting her after the wedding, though. Koly tells us, "before they left, Baap brushed my hand with his and slipped me a coconut cake" (1.75). Aw. Those are her favorites.

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