Though traders had complained about drop in sales, the last few days saw hectic activity, as customers even from nearby districts thronged the wholesale markets

Some decided to relive their childhood memories, while some others were desperate to revive last year’s kite flying rivalry with their neighbours, relatives and friends. Many came out to have fun. Others simply wanted to pass on the art of ‘Patangbazi’ to the next generation.

Kite flying during ‘Makar Sankranti’ is an enticement to go outdoors and get exposed to the January Sun and get a break from the cold December. The young, the old and the middle-aged in the city embraced this invitation and came outdoors on Sunday to try their hands at kite flying.

At Begum Bazar, flying kites at night is a big draw and a long-standing tradition. Huge focus lights have been erected on top of houses, lighting up the neighbourhood skyline. For the past two decades, families here turn up in large numbers on roof tops to indulge in serious kite flying sessions.

“It’s like broad daylight at Begum Bazar during nights. When we were children, we used to start kite flying from Diwali. But these days, we only get three days to fly kites. Almost every household comes out on roof tops to participate in the fun,” says Amitesh Sharma, a software professional from Begumbazar.

After the initial sluggishness, kite sales have picked up at the Gulzar Houz wholesale kite market. Huge rush was witnessed at the kite markets of Hussainialam and Dhoolpet. Though traders had complained about drop in sales, the last few days saw hectic activity, as customers even from nearby districts thronged the wholesale markets.

New designs of PVC kites have flooded the market. “The new designs are a combination of two to three older designs. PVC (plastic) kites of Batman, Shaktiman and butterfly are much in demand,” said Aziz Baig, a trader at Gulzar Houz.

There was also great demand for the plastic thread, known locally as ‘tango’, priced between Rs. 50 and Rs. 200 a bundle. However, everyone seems to agree that the passion for kite flying is diminishing. “It was a big thing earlier, but children don’t get enough time to fly kites. It is an ideal outdoor activity and a great stress buster that has to be promoted,” says K. Srinivas of the Kohinoor Kite Flying Club (KKFC), an organisation dedicated to promoting kite flying.

Along with JCI Hyderabad, KKFC organised a kite flying festival at Gymkhana grounds. Similar kite flying festivals were organised at Exhibition grounds by the State Bank of Hyderabad and at Shilparamam. “There is a need for the Government to institutionalise kite festival much on the lines of the Gujarat International Kite Festival,” says Jiten Savaria, president, JCI Hyderabad.

(With additional inputs from Asif Yar Khan on old city)

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