Fruit This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

January 5, 2014
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“Ah my sweet girl, you are home! How was school? Come here. I sit at home all day – how come I never see you, how come you never talk to me? I win Sudoku today and read Hindustan Times, come look. Here this boy from my village wins big spelling bee in America. Very smart boy. Ay – what are you wearing? You look like … how you say … homeless? Homo! You look like homo on the street. In India, people throw coins at you, looking like rickshaw driver!”

“Grandma, I think you mean hobo ….”

“Have some fruit! I cut fruit for you. I cut apples and mango and orange and you come home and eat junk. All junk. Chi! Come here. At 2 o'clock, I wanted to take walk but too cold outside, so I told your mom I walk inside,” she says proudly, as she takes her third lap around our kitchen island. Wearily, I survey the procession: purple Velcro sneakers religiously following a tennis ball-clad walker, and my neurotic parakeet with his clipped wings hopping behind her. By her expression, you'd think I walked in on an Olympic track practice.

“Look at this bird, he knows how I walk. I am 83 and look at me. I walk inside, I walk outside. That Meena at physical therapy, she wants wheelchair all the time. She is what? Only 65? Psh! Why? I tell you why. She does not do yoga. She eats butter, sugar, fat. Like you. That is why she wants wheelchair all the time. Come here.”

Fourth lap.

“It is October now? Almost time for holiday, yes? Hello-veen? I don't give candy to the children – rot their teeth and their brains. Chi! I will give fruit – all fruit you never eat! I cut and I cut and you eat Pringle chip and French fry and your brain turn into Pringle chip and French fry.”

Fifth lap.

“Come here. You get homework? You study? When I was in medical school I study 18 hours a day! I had jaundice and still I went for exam. Roshni, why you don't … Ay! I have to go to bathroom again. I do not like being old. I take blood pressure medication and then I drink water and I go to bathroom, and my blood pressure goes up because I do not like to always go to bathroom, and then I take more medicine, and when does it stop? I tell you. Never. Never it stops.”

“Grandma, you're not old,” I say with a trace of a smile on my face.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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