Mahi knows they are in it together, her old mother and the caregiver. They laugh at her when she leaves the apartment, remain adamantly quiet and withdrawn when she comes in the evening after work to spend some time there.
She massages her mother’s feet, her mother is morosely watching a TV show. Mahi sits with her mother and watches the show.
Did you eat the fruits that I left in the fridge, amma ?
Not taking her eyes off the TV she replies, yes.
Mahi knows that her mother would have given the apples and grapes to the caregiver, and traded in return spicy biriyani that the care giver brings from home.
You are sitting on the commode again, remove the seat only when you want to pee. It is not hygienic to sit on the commode the whole day.
The tension of the day at work, drive through crowd and traffic gets Mahi as she says, Shit Bucket – that’s what it is. Why don’t you understand?
I dribble, her mother says.
No, you do not. You are lazy.
The show on the TV goes on, her mother holds the walker and gets up slowly from the wheel chair. The caregiver places the seat over the commode and her mother sits, she does not glance at her daughter who starts to feel guilty.