They used to fight over her. They would fight about who got to lie on her lap. Who got the first and last vaai (mouthful) of food when she fed them. About whom she would bathe that day. They even fought over who she loved the most. And which one of them loved her the most.
“My house is too small” says the eldest daughter-in-law
“My son needs the extra room to prepare for his board exams” says the youngest son.
Silence from her daughter.
“How was I to know that she slipped and fell in the bathroom?” says her other son.
They still fight over her. Who will keep her. Who will pay for her hospital bills. Who will clean up after she wets herself.
Her granddaughter looks at her. The wrinkled skin. The worn, gold bangles. The frilled nightgown from Pondy Bazaar that has replaced the regal, nine yard sarees she once wore.
“Amma, we will keep paati” she says.
They take her home. She sees her two grand daughters fight for their mother’s affection and attention. They fight over which one of them she loves more. Who gets the last vaai of food. Who gives her the last kiss goodnight.
And she hopes that history does not repeat itself.