Three out of my four grandparents grew up in Ahmedabad.
Whilst, the histories and childhoods of my other grandparents are murky to me- remembered only through foggy childhood stories and vague snippets of overheard conversations. My paternal grandfather's childhood is something I love to imagine and have a strong impression of. I love walking the streets of Raikhad and thinking about how he would've walked those same streets, decades before me- cycling to school, playing cricket in the alleyways, and eating malai and khakina for breakfast (a habit that I have happily continued).
The first time I stayed at his family home in Ahmedabad by myself, I would sneak up to his old room every evening and imagine him sitting at his desk- looking out onto the very same dusky courtyard view, darkness slowly wrapping itself around the neighborhood, and I'd feel this tingly fluid sense of the bloodline that connects us.
Today, the Kadri family home is a Neemrana hotel and one of my favorite places in the world. Every year, a part of the profits from the hotel go towards running an all girls school just down the street from the house. The day I visited the school, I couldn't help but beam with pride as I watched curious, plucky young girls giggle and sprint down the hallways, and bright, sunny classrooms buzz with engaged little brains. I've always known that my grandfather is a pretty amazing man but visiting the school was a wonderful revelation for me of the legacy that he is leaving behind and how in his quiet, determined way, he is making so much of a difference.
Here are some photographs of the Rah-E-Khair Girls School. It is a pretty wonderful place.