I have fond memories of the Kite Festival from my childhood. Though, I never flew kites independently, I used to assist my brother and cousin in the activity.
The preparations used to start a week before the Makar Sankranti day, some of the activities, quite adventurous ones had to be done away from the radar of our parents. We used to break tube-lights, grind them, mix them with rice water (if I remember correctly) and apply on the threads. This activity generally used to happen on the terrace where there will no one to interfere. All these preparations was to make our kite invincible from the neighbours. Afterall, its not just a kite, its our self-respect.
Come January, we eagerly wait for one of the most important festivals of India – Makar Sankranti. It is celebrated in different ways in different regions. In most parts of India, flying kites is a very important activity.
Just a few days before the kite festival, we went out to Dhoolpet area of Hyderabad for a Photowalk. This is one of the places where kites are made and sold.
People were coming in large numbers with all the kids in the family to buy kites as the festival was just a few days away.
For the shopkeepers it was a time for making brisk business and for the children, it is the time they wait for the whole year to arrive.
The children are very choosy with the colour and the pictures on the kites.
Can’t wait to fly after buying their kites with their favourite star – Aishwarya Rai.
The thread is as important as the kite itself, it is chosen based on how sharp it is.
Looks like NaMo and his supporters have tried their hands in all possible media, including the kites.
Some of the kites has old Hindi movie posters.
Some were of very vibrant colours.
Some kites are huge and fancy. This one has the actress Sonakshi on the kite.
Ganesha is an integral aspect of Dhoolpet, most of the idols are made here. Even if its not the time for Ganapati festival, you will always fine some around.
In those days when we used to fly kites, there was no Facebook or whatsapp. Kites gave a wonderful opportunity for some, to express their feelings. People used to write with pens. Nowadays, the kites are more articulated.
There are also some choices for the patriots, with an Indian flag.
The shop-owner’s son inspects the ‘phirki’ before selling them.
The SRK kite!
People wear these shining caps with cacophonous whistles attache to them while flying kites. As you blow the whistle, the antenna appears.
All sorts of creativity and innovation is applied to lure the customers buy a kite. This one of actress Kareena in form of a bride with a golden skirt will surely attract some attention.
Apart from the popular film actors, the favourite characters of the cartoon shows are also used.
Proud owners of kites!
The lanes of Dhoolpet are very photogenic.
Fully loaded for the assault
We soon left the place to the second most popular market for buying kites – around Charminar.
A contemplative Salman Khan fan.
Sankranti is celebrated all over India in the 14/15 January.
Dhoolpet is near to Purana Pul in old Hyderabad.
You might like to read my previous posts.
This article is written by Saurabh Chatterjee. He is a travel photographer and a photography trainer. He strives to ‘make every camera-owner a great photographer’ through his Photography workshops and Photo Tours.