The path went straight through the ruins. Usha knew it well; she had often taken it while going to the bazaar to do the weekly shopping, or to see her aunt who lived in the town.

     Wild flowers grew in the crumbling walls. A wild plum tree grew straight out of the floor of what had once been a large hall. Its soft white blossoms had begun to fall. Lizards scuttled over the stones, while a whistling-thrush, its deep purple plumage glistening in the soft sunshine, sat in an empty window and sang its heart out.

     Usha sang to herself, as she tripped lightly along the path. Soon she had left the ruins behind. The path dipped steeply down to the valley and the little town with its straggling bazaar.
     Usha took her time in the bazaar. She bought soap and matches, spices and sugar (none of these things could be had in the village, where there was no shop), and a new pipe stem for her grandfather’s hookah, and an exercise book for Suresh to do his sums in. As an afterthought, she bought him some marbles. Then she went to a mochi’s shop to have her mother’s slippers repaired. The mochi was busy, so she left the slippers with him and said she’d be back in half an hour.

     She had two rupees of her own saved up, and she used the money to buy herself a necklace of amber-coloured beads from an old Tibetan lady who sold charms and trinkets from a tiny shop at the end of the bazaar.
     Usha met her Aunt Lakshmi, who took her home for tea.

     Usha spent an hour in Aunt Lakshmi’s little flat above the shops, listening to her aunt talk about the ache in her left shoulder and the stiffness in her joints. She drank two cups of sweet hot tea, and when she looked out of the window she saw that dark clouds had gathered over the mountains.

     Usha ran to the cobbler’s and collected her mother’s slippers. The shopping bag was full. She slung it over her shoulder and set out for the village.
The road leads to the ruins. Usha knew that route well as she always went for weekly shopping to the market or her aunt's house through that route.
The path was full of wildflowers, and a plum tree grew out of the hall of the ruins. She could see the lizards and a purple coloured bird named whistling thrush sang.
Usha also enjoyed and sang tripping on the path a bit. Soon she has crossed the ruins and reached the market town down in the valley.
Usha did her purchasing in the market, and she bought some soap, matchboxes, spices, sugar, a new pipe stem for her grandfather's hookah, and a math exercise book for Suresh. She even bought him some marbles. She went to the cobbler to repair her mother's slippers, but the cobbler was busy, so he asked her to come after half an hour.
She had saved two rupees for herself, which she used it to buy amber coloured bead necklace from a Tibetan lady. The lady had a shop at the end of the market, and she used to sell charms and trinkets, which is a small jewellery.
Meanwhile, Usha met her aunt, who took her home to have some tea.
Usha spent almost an hour listening to her aunt, who told her about all the ailments she has like pain in left shoulder, stiffness in joints, etc. She had two cups of tea, and when she looked out of the window, she could see black clouds.
Usha ran to the cobbler and took her mother's slippers. The shopping bag was full, so she hanged it over the shoulder and started for her village.
Meanings of difficult words:
Breaking or falling apart into small fragments.
Scuttled Run hurriedly.
Plumage A bird's feathers collectively.
An oriental tobacco pipe with a long, flexible tube.
Mochi Cobbler.
TrinketsA small ornament or item of jewellery that is of little value.
State Council of Educational Research and Training (2019). Term-1 English Standard-7. The Wind on Haunted Hill by Ruskin Bond (pp. 25-34). Published by the Tamil Nadu Textbook and Educational Services Corporation.