Sunday, January 21, 2018

2018 Sankrant in Mumbai

This year, we celebrated Sankrant in Mumbai. There has been a gradual decline in kite flying in Mumbai, but there are still pockets around Mumbai where kite enthusiasts live and fly. Some of these areas are around Malad, Borivili, Vile Parle, Santacruz and Masjid areas.

I was pleasantly surprised at the number of folks flying kites in Mumbai. It's after many years that I've spent Sankrant in Mumbai and it was worth it.

We bought kites from a shop outside Vile Parle West station. We got the big tailed Rajasthan artisans made kites. These kites have a large rounded tail that fuses into the body of the kite. These kites are really versatile, they handle well and are really good for kite fighting.

Some them turned out to be a bit light and did not turn well. But the one I flew on Saturday 13th was a wonderful blue and black kite  and I cut 10 kites with it, and remained undated.


We even got great manja (thread). This year, I got a little thicker manja (12 thread). It was really sharp and strong. 

My 11 year old son also flew with me this time. I bought him his own firki and he cut 6 kites. He was super excited to have won the kite duels. Other times he lost his kites and sometimes he did not even realize that the duel was on. It's all part of learning to survive in the sky. My wife helped him catch his firki and she flew some kites too. 

My dad who is 78 years old also flew with us. He taught me kite flying as a kid and I remember those days when he used to hold my firki for hours as I enjoyed my kites. Here's a photo of my father flying, I was so pleased to see he has not lost his touch. 

As we returned to the US, I got some of those broad tailed kites with me. In Minneapolis, where I live, we have the Lake Harriet Winter Kite Festival. For those of you who don't live in cold weather, the lake freezes in winter and you can walk on it. In fact cars and trucks can also drive on the lakes once they are frozen. I intend to take some of my kites to fly on the lake this time. 

This year I did not take enough video footage to create a good video clip. Maybe next year. 

Kites flying is such a good sport - you get to go outdoors, improve your eyesight, sharpen your reflexes and look up into the beautiful, vast expanse of our universe. Go fly, soar high and have fun! 

Thursday, October 5, 2017

IndiaFest 2017

Fun times at Indian Association of Minnesota's IndiaFest on August 2017. 

Festival of Nations, 2017

This year, I dressed up a Shivaji Maharaj on Saturday. All with beard, dress and the entire costume. People loved the dress and many clicked photos with me too. My aunt was visiting from India and she helped out too. 

Festival of Nations, 2016

Sunday, February 8, 2015

2015 Sankrant at Baroda, India

Hello Kite Lovers,

This year for the annual Indian kite flying festival, I again took a trip to Baroda, which is the western state in India. It's here that the fighting spirit still rages and cities come to a stand still as people enjoy their kite flying.

This year I had my family with me, my parents, my eight year old son and Amita, my wife. We stayed at my cousins place - Jagruti and Sanju are great hosts. Joining us also was my childhood friend Viru with his family. It's been years that we have been trying to organize to fly kites together on Sankrant and this year we finally made it. Viru and me used to fly kites together way back since we were in, I think, 1st Grade.

Another wonderful thing this year was that we planned our trip to land in Baroda two days prior to the Sankrant so that we could catch the kite buying frenzy. Streets are littered with kite vendors, every street corner they are making maja ( the sharp thread used in kite fighting). It was magical. Take a look at this video and experience the fun for yourself.

Kay Po Che.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Exciting kite times at Festival of Nations 2014

What a great time to spend time at the Festival of Nations in St.Paul, Minnesota. This is an annual festival where folks from more than 50 countries get their food, music, culture and color to this fun event. And off course I have the Indian Fighter Kites. Both my wife, Amita and son Manas were there to help me at the kite booth.

It has been a great experience at the Festival of Nations - there are folks here that I meet year after year, kite enthusiasts that come to get more kites and those curious folks who swing by and ask, "Do these fly?" My answer to for these folks is a short video from my January trip to India. A tiring, yet very satisfying Festival of Nations this year. Here are some pictures.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

A Memorable 2014 Sankrant

A wonderful two days filled with dawn to dusk kite flying. Love it. Enjoy the video.