‘Patangbazi’ is a favourite practice in Old City during Sankranti

The January sky in Hyderabad is coming alive with the myriad colours of kites as revellers are turning out in large numbers to dabble in ‘Patangbazi’ to usher in a new beginning.

Sankranti, the harvest festival is known for kite flying and true to this popular practice, the grounds were filled to the brim and every conceivable rooftop is being occupied by kite flying enthusiasts.

Brisk business

With three days of holidays at a stretch, the excitement was palpable as kite fanatics of all ages are coming out to soak in the festive mood. Traditional kite markets in Old City continued to remain a big draw.

Large groups of young people were seen making purchases at the make shift kite markets in Gulzar Houz, Hussaini Alam, Dhoolpet and Begum Bazaar on Monday.

Roadside stalls at Narayanguda, Secunderabad, Ameerpet and Dilsukhnagar also witnessed a brisk business. Flying kites at night in Begum Bazaar is a big draw. All through the day, hectic preparations were here with floodlights being erected and music systems set up on rooftops.

“Flying kites at night is a decades old tradition at Begum Bazaar. Large number of families turn up on roof tops to indulge in serious kite flying. It is unique because kite flying is done at night and the sky is lit up,” says Amit Srivastav, an ardent enthusiast at Goshamahal.

New designs

As with every year, there was no dearth of new designs. This Sankranti, PVC kites have flooded the market. While the regular variety of PVC (plastic) kites of Batman, Shaktiman and butterfly are in demand, paper kites with pictures of actors like Shahrukh Khan, Salman Khan, Sunny Leone, Katrina Kaif and Mahesh Babu were much sought after.

“My children insisted kites depicting comic book heroes. So, I purchased Batman, Spiderman and Shaktiman kites for them.

“The festival comes just once a year and it’s an opportunity for us to pass on the art of Patangbazi to children,” feels T. Ravi Shankar, a software professional from Begumpet.

In demand

With changing times, even the tastes are changing. “Chinese made string or ‘tangoos’ is in great demand this season. Compared to local manja, there is a huge demand for manja from Kolkata and Gujarat. Initially, the sales were slow, but as festival approached, the kite sales picked up,” says Aashwaq, kite trader at Hussaini Alam.

Meanwhile, a kite flying festival is being organised at Aziz Nagar village near Gandipet. For details, those interested can call on 99494 17777.

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