“Aur kitna khaogi? You just had an apple. The remaining ones are for us,” he said.

She adored him. He was her favorite grandson.

Now, lying in her dingy room, she thought of the days when she used to hide apples, mangoes, and those luscious apricots for him. Everyone said she was biased and of course, she knew she was.

Amma had eight grandchildren. Out of them all, Kabir was the apple of her eyes.

An angry voice pulled her back to reality.

They had been telling her she was losing it. Her memory often failed her. She was too weak to get up from her bed now. Diabetes, arthritis and high blood pressure wouldn’t let her live with peace or dignity.

At 86, all she wanted was attention. And that’s what nobody wanted to give her.

She wanted them to sit with her, eat with her, laugh with her, maybe watch some TV with her.

But they couldn’t stand her anymore. She was an old sofa that had to discarded soon.

All her life, she had fought for Kabir and his parents. Her other children often told her that they too deserve her love and affection. But she couldn’t see beyond this family.

It was Kabir who snatched the litchi from her hands.

She could hear him now.

“She doesn’t even deserve to be alive. Why are we keeping her here? Let us take her to the old age home. I am sure she doesn’t have too many days left,” he was shouting.

They thought she couldn’t hear. They thought she was always blabbering

But she heard everything. She understood everything.

Where can she go? What can she do? To save her self respect and dignity?

Nothing. The only solution would be to die. But even death eluded her.

This is part of my short story (fiction) collection that I wrote years back but never got back to.

Share your thoughts with me at anoushkabhartia@gmail.com

Writer. Buddhist. Feminist. Looking for freelance projects.