It’s the harvest season and across India this is being celebrated in different ways. It’s Uttarayana time in Gujrat – it’s all vibrant and colourful – the sky it not filled with stars but this time of the year it’s KITES. As you hear words like all around ‘Kai Po che’ (I have a cut) you by default know where you are. Going back in time to this whole tradition of kite flying it’s believed that kites were brought to India by Chinese travellers F Hien and Huin Tsang.
During my recent visit to Ahmedabad for the International Kite Festival, it was an experience of a different type for me. It was no ordinary. My first of a kind, first hand experience of visiting such a huge kite market and seeing everything at much close quarter.
Yes, I am talking about Jamalpur- the kite hub of the city. As I decided to explore this part the city to feel the buzz of the kite flying festival all I could see was shops loaded with kites of variety, bright colour, of different hues, shapes and sizes. Be it Modi or your famous TV stars or Bollywood names everyone has found their place in these kites. The miniatures kites were the real attractive ones for me.
As I strolled through the market I soon came to know that that this is one happens to be the biggest kite market in the country. The excitement and buzz in the city for kite flying starts much prior to Uttarayana and the eve is called the ‘katal ki raat‘ or the final night.
All the kite and manjha makers are in full swing as this happens to be their peak business season. Though manjha making is a tough process and also has some side effects (as glass powder is used to give that sharpness) but the festival has yet not lost its flavour.
The patangyaari (the brotherhood of kite flying) on rooftops across the city sees a different level. Each enthu face looks for that moment to cut the other ones kite and yes that’s the ultimate kick moment. The kite and colour buzz of Jamalpur might die after Makar Sankranti, but this expeirnce for sure is worth a memory of lifetime.