Home in the Hill : A Granddaughter’s Tales of Childhood Adventure
By Muskaan Shah
Home in the Hill : A Granddaughter’s Tales of Childhood Adventure is a collection of memories of teenager Muskaan as she remembers her childhood days spent at her grandma’s house in the hills. There, while with her friends Tristan and Maya and cousins Jay and Neil, she finds herself constantly accosted by the presence of her annoyingly intrusive neighbour Mr Feeny, who frequently bumbles into the backyard without invitation, with an eye towards wooing her seemingly unmoved grandma. Feeny’s shenanigans set the stage for a slew of short and endearing episodes sprinkled with humour that explore tales of horror and petrifying hair loss. Such comical themes aside, the book also investigates how we deal with loneliness, betrayal and disaster, with each story ending in a nugget of wisdom.
Home in the Hill : A Granddaughter’s Tales of Childhood Adventure is the first work of writing by 15-year-old Muskaan, a talented child artist in Ahmedabad and student of Ahmedabad International School, who had her first solo exhibition of art in 2018. Join her as she transports you back to a time of childhood misadventures.
The little red gate before me was bedecked like an Indian bride wearing a garland. I had walked the path to this house many times over many holidays. I knew well the path laden with stones that would take me past the little red gate into a garden with fruit orchards and vegetable patches neatly arranged in rows. Traversing the stone path, I reached the door to grandma’s home, my home. There was a green doorbell at its centre, and those white fragrant flowers known as mogras always hung from here. The scent of the flowers and the sound of the doorbell were very soothing and welcoming. Grandma would have me believe that she loved these flowers because I loved them. But I knew there was another reason why she had mogras on her door.
I rang the doorbell and after not even a minute, there she was, the boldest lady I have ever seen in my life.
Grandma was short and thin, but her posture conveyed her confidence and wisdom. Grandma’s straight grey hair was so long that it reached till her waist. It was thick and strong. Even when braided, it was over an inch thick. My cousins and I always dreamt of having hair like hers. Grandma was a kind and independent woman. Since grandpa passed away, she lived alone in this house.
There she stood, with her smiling face. She welcomed me with a warm hug. As soon as her arms were around me, I started sniffing.
“What are you up to, dear?” she asked.
“I’m trying to remember this smell so that I never forget that my grandma always smelt of… saffron and gold,” I said.