Little House Big House

Debut Novel

A Summer with Nani and an Alien

Every summer, Varsha visits her grandmother, Nani, in the Indian town of Sullurpeta. And every time, Nani criticises Varsha for not being a “perfect girl”. Their strained relationship takes a turn one summer after a rocket launch from the town’s space centre brings a little alien named ‘Awu’ to their house.

At first, Varsha tries to hide Awu from Nani because she knows Nani is not a woman of science. But when Nani finds out about Awu, she does not react in the hysterical way Varsha had expected. While Varsha tries to figure out who Nani really is, the “evil scientists” at the space centre begin an alien search. In the chaos of things, Varsha gets one miraculous chance to send Awu back home. But the problem is that Awu does not wish to go back home and Nani is not fond of Awu’s family of two fathers. To make matters worse, an evil scientist lives right in the neighbourhood of Nani’s house.

 

What follows is a summer of surprising revelations, little adventures, conflicts and kindness between humans of a small Indian town and an alien of another planet.

Read this heartwarming tale:

Praises and Reviews

It was an enticing read, an amazing debut novel. Bavishya has proven she has a knack for writing Children's fiction with much needed inclusivity and complex female characters..

Bloomsbury Reviews

Tony Gunk

There was something emotional and raw about this. It might've come from a place deeper in her heart. It was an enticing read, an amazing debut novel. Bavishya has proven she has a knack for writing Children's fiction with much needed inclusivity and complex female characters. This is how she does it.

Michigan Literary Reviews

Tony Gunk

It was an enticing read, an amazing debut novel. Bavishya has proven she has a knack for writing Children's fiction with much needed inclusivity and complex female characters..

Bloomsbury Reviews

Tony Gunk

Storytelling Workshop For Children

When Varsha visits her conservative grandma Nani for the summer, she expects the usual criticisms on her “abnormal” clothes and “boy-ish” haircut. But after a failed rocket launch from the town’s space centre, a little alien named Awu shows up at Nani’s house, turning her summer exciting.

 

At first, Varsha tries to hide Awu from Nani, because she knows Nani is a woman of religion, not science. But when Nani finds out about Awu, she seems to be aware of alien life. While Varsha tries to figure out who Nani really is, the “evil scientists” begin an alien search. And one of those evil scientists lives right below Nani's house. To make matters worse, the alien refuses to leave because of something bad she did on her planet, and Nani hesitates to help Awu after learning she has an unconventional family of two fathers.

 

What follows is a summer of surprising discoveries, intense conflicts, and tender moments between humans of a small, Indian town and an alien of another planet.

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Brief History

Bavishya Tai was born in the city of Chennai, India in 1999. She lived the first few years of her life with her grandma and uncle's family in a small, Indian town called Sullurpeta where her parents (who worked in the city) would visit during the weekends. One fine weekend, when her parents said goodbye to leave, she cried and refused to let go. So her mom quit her job to raise her in Chennai where she has lived ever since. 

She still visited her grandma every summer during her school's summer vacation. But as she grew up, she found it more and more unbearable to visit due to the outdated gender norms that her grandma and uncle tried to impose on her. 

Her first novel A Summer With Nani and an Alien is a middle-grade sci-fi/literary fiction which revolves around this part of her life, where she tries to understand why her grandma was so disapproving of her individuality, and how she wishes her relationship with her grandmother could've changed for the better. She also briefly touches upon the unfairness of mothers having to give up their dreams to take care of children, or having to juggle between work and home.

 

Being a creative person who was interested in films, she did her under-grad studies in Visual Communication in Loyola College, Chennai. It was during this time that the trailer for Pet Sematary (2019) was released. When she saw that it was an adaptation of a novel by Stephen King, she remembered reading about people not liking his film adaptations, but loving his books. Being a film-buff, she wondered what his books did that movies couldn't do.

 

Overcome with insatiable curiosity, Bavishya read her first ever novel, Pet Sematary by Stephen King at the age of eighteen. When she finished it, she celebrated a little for doing what she deemed impossible, and sat and contemplated the magic of words, writers, and books. She then moved on to reading another book, then another, and another. 

At nineteen, she landed an internship as a Copywriter for McCann Chennai for her creative ad works in college. And she realised her passion for writing by the end of it. After college, she started writing her short stories, poems, and her first novel.

 

Sheis currently working on finding a publisher for A Summer With Nani and an Alien.