i think we are talking about the same novel.i too read it before some 10 years. the child will be playing in a basement of a house or some thing like that.
Two things i remember clearly from that story is
1. When the herione first visits the hero's house the cook there will ask herione if she wants chai(tea)and then the cook herself will say " since you are from south india , i think u will like coffee only
2. The herione always wears saree and one the hero will tease her about that.But once during a travel she will put the saree around her shoulder to block the cold wind.and hero will say " now i understand the multi usage of saree"