Zini, me & life in general

The Retired Kite Runner…

Whenever i was asked to write an essay on my favorite festival in school, i would invariably write an essay on Utraan (also known as Uttarayan, Makar Sankranti or Pongal). It has been my most favorite festival since i remember, simply because of kites!!! The best thing about this festival is that, you can start flying kites days before the actual day and can keep flying after for days!!!

Utraan with Friends - Image from http://www.dpreview.com/challenges/Entry.aspx?ID=596990

Utraan with Friends – Image from here

From the favorite festival of mine, I remember…

-Coming back from school and picking up my pillu (ball of thread) and kite and rushing out to fly it with my friends.

-Me as a 1st grader running with the thread in my hand and my kite flying, following me, and i marveling at the magic, ecstatic with the fact that my kite actually flew!!!

-The langsiya and ghachrka duels with friends, and singing “aai ja paai jaa, langsiya/ghachrka ladai jaa”…

-Making a kite from newspaper after running out of my stock of kite after a month of Utran, and my futile attempts at flying it…

-Discussing in the school about who got how many cuts on the hands by the “paakki dori” (strong thread) and proudly wearing cuts like badges…

-The mushrooming of maanjawalas on the roads everywhere and visiting them to get the strongest thread.

-Brother and i accompanying Papa, he checking the dhaddho (the stick in the kite) and buying kites for us…

-The colourful kites, the Majestic Dhhaal, the flamboyant puchhdiyo, the designer Chandedar & Taaredar, the tinsy-winsy Phuddi….

-All the Chikkis – Til, Daaliya, Shing and my favorite Mamra, made by mom…

-All of us sitting together and tying kinna on the eve of Utran, listening to old hindi songs…

-Rushing to terrace even before eating anything and mom calling us to at least eat something and go…

-Reluctantly coming down in afternoon for a lunch of The Undhiyu-Puri, Jalebi, Kachori, Kadhi-bhaat, moli daal….

-Mom putting a chikki in my mouth as i flew kite…

-Mom’s refusal to hold anybody’s Firki after all of us bugging her to hold ours…

-Papa teaching us tricks to win the kite fight and my euphoria at cutting a kite…

-The joy of catching a passing cut kite in Bhaar Dori (Long thread)

-Shouting “Lapet Lapet” (Roll back – the thread) no matter whose kite was cut….

-Latest songs playing on every terrace…

-Flying a big white kite just before the sunset, so that we can tie Tukkals to it, and later admiring the beautiful sight that tukkals make….

Tukkal – Image from here

-The unwritten law that you do not cut kites flying out of your terrace….

-Agony over mom withholding permission to fly kites in my board exam year, and the joy that she finally relented for few hours….

-All friends gathering at one home (terrace) and flying kites, shouting, singing, doing bonfire in the evening and dancing…Oh and going out to eat after a long day on terrace…

-Papa worrying about potentially harmful threads on the road and insisting that i take the car if i wanted to go out…

-For the 1st time missing flying kite in the 1st year of my job as duty called and Sitting under a transmission line to watch for potential power tripping as part of the duty and dad coming there carrying my lunch…

-Attending an Action Plan meeting for ensuring continuous power supply to the city on Utraan…

-Flying kites with equally kite crazy hubby and we holding firki for each other (Sadly we had only 2 years of kite flying together)…

Yes i am the retired Kite runner. But mind you the retirement is temporary, i threaten to fly kite at the first chance i get!!!! Happy Uttarayan to all of you…

The Kite Runner – Image from here

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Comments on: "The Retired Kite Runner…" (24)

  1. though we don’t celebrate the kite festival this post brings back my memories of making kites with newspaper and flying them on summer hols… nice write up 🙂

  2. I have loved flying kites but never had the oppurtunity to fly them at a big stage with so many involved ..

    maybe next year I will visit india and get to enjoy this all

  3. Beautifully written TM 🙂 May you get the opportunity to fly kits very soon enough (next year) 🙂

  4. I am getting hit – fully hit with nostalgia 😥

    I so miss Uttarayan in Gujarat – nothing like hearing the music all day long and catching the ‘kati patang’ 🙂

  5. I just loved loved your post ZM, you’ve written it so well. I have never celebrated Uttarayan in Gujarat, and I am really grateful to my Masi in B’bay to give us a feel of how it’s celebrated. I did not know names of the kites and love the tukkal image. I remember my cousins discussing about their kites and manjas and shouting lapet, lapet. The pillu is tied to the manja, isn’t it?

    • Thanks 🙂
      There are many more types of kites, though the names are evading me now…
      i haven’t seen the Uttarayan in B’bay, but i am sure it must have been fun….
      The pillu is basically a ball of Manja, where you start by rolling the manja on a small stone or small ball of paper and then keep rolling it till it reaches a size sometimes bigger than a tennis ball!!!

  6. A beautiful post t2m and I absolutely loved the way you spun the colors and memories of kite flying. I love those night time tukkal kites and then the Undhiyun and fun of Uttrayan in Gujarat 🙂

  7. wonderful nostalgic post!! We did fly kites but never did the lighted kites at night…such a beautiful concept!!

  8. Waw loved this post so much 🙂

  9. What a lovely post ! So you are from Ahmedabad ! I just saw your comment on my post on the aloo buns…guess what, I live two mins away from Vastrapur, will definitely go check out Fresh and Fresh…We celebrated Uttarayan with some friends this time and it was just awesome…love the pic of tukkals here…

    • Thanks Arch, and welcome here…
      Yes, i am from Ahmedabad….
      I realized that you stay near Vastrapur, coz you mentioned Gwalia in one of your post….i have stayed in the vicinity all my life 🙂
      Glad to know you enjoyed Uttraan 🙂
      You may not find the Iyenger bakery stuff at Fresh n fresh, but as far as i remember, they had some good variety in breads and such…

  10. You took me back to my Ahmedabad days…though I have never flied a kite I can relate to the excitement….I especially loved the lamps thing…such a lovely sight…

  11. I’ve not tried my hands at kite flying 😦 never thought so…

  12. Dude.. i dont know how i came to this link while surfing.. however there is a great agony while reading the line and imagining the thoughts of your mind. I am still a kid who is in his 30s however flying a kite is like passion hobby or best to say insanity to me. last year i missed the chance to fly kites. you have hit me with the same chords. This time i pray no rain would interrupt me and my kites!! Kudos

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