Wednesday, July 23, 2008

This one's not a Bird

Yes, its not a bird , but it can still fly. A sheet of paper, a few sticks , a tail & a reel of thread is all that it needs to touch the sky or at least to try. Its our very own Kite, Gaalipata, patang, etc.
Very colourful, full of life while it is flying , feels as if it is trying to paint the sky. Ok now, this is not from any movie, nor am I inspired from the movie "Gaalipata" to write about Kite. But from a long time, I have nurtured this liking towards Kites and Kite flying that just happened to be supported by another discovery that I made regarding that forced me to sit down & pen this article.
Guess what, our amazing line of festivals also includes "Kite Festival" that is celebrated after the first Ekaadasi during the month of Aashaada. Well, the festival though not widely celebrated, seems to be in vogue amongst the rural parts of Karnataka, esply., the Mysore - Mandya region. 'Aashaada', typically falls during the month of July and this month is considered as inauspicious amongst the Hindus. It is mostly famous for the fact that this is the time that our elders do not permit newly weds to stay together. So, the bride is sent back to her parents house for that one month, after which she will return to her husbands house. During this time the Girls parents invite the son-in-law to their house on this particular day after the Ekaadasi. Lots of sweets and "habbada oota" welcome the groom. Friends & relatives gather to fly Kites and celebrate. This is the "Pata'da habba" meaning 'Kite's Festival'. Interesting to know that we have something like this that we were not aware of, or at least I was not aware of.
Long since I have seen any kites flying in the city of Flyovers, I mean Bangalore. Not that we have forgotten this colourful game of trying to connect to the sky , but just that everyone's just got so busy , no one seems to have the time or the inclination towards it. Blame it on the fast growth , Globalisation or call it cosmopolitan culture's invasion. We gain some , lose some. In the trade one of the things lost are the Kites.
Once in a while remembered by our movies and life size events of national & international Kite festivals, we seem to be forgetting the pleasure & fun one could have while flying kites. My earliest memory of kites date back to the days when I use to sit in the backyard of my house and see my brother and his friends fly kites in the playground. Coincidentally, my cousin was sharing with me his love for kites when he was a kid and he use to fight with my aunt begging her to give him money to buy Kites and fly them. It was not only fun but lot of competitive spirits involved amongst the rival gangs to see whose kite flies high, waging war against each other kites and just to see that one of the kites have been cut off by the other & there you see your kite dropping down without any support ..............."ohh!!! how painful it could be!...there are days when I cried that my Kite was cut off" he said. The pain of making the "Maanjha", the glass laced thread that was coloured to add glamour , the rattle that was used to roll the thread......seemed to have got stuck somewhere, may be in some tree or some electric pole, still fluttering and crying out to us asking us to get them down , repair them and fly them once again High in the sky. Anyone listening ?
May be I can, I want to host a gathering at my house for my friends, I am sure my terrace can be the Kite-pad to help the Kites Take -off.


Rachna said...

Hema, I am impressed by your commitment to the culture of the region and what a good ambassador you are!

Sumana said...

Hi Hema, that was a nice piece :)) well, this would be something that would automatically excite me, specially after spending 2 yrs at IFA. tell me when we can get our kites to your place :))

Sree said...

cute one dahling! n yep, tell us when u gonna host tke kite party!:)
btw aashaadha z not so much about newly weds not being together, it is the girl n the mother in law who arent supposed to stay in one house...if it was the guy n the gal, he couldnt b invited to the girl's house too allva:)
read khalid hosseini's kite runner, adralli kite flying stands for all that was once beautiful and fun n lively in afghanistan in pre-war days...