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Let’s take to the skies: Sankranti

Sankranti festival is synonymous with kite flying. Photo: K.R.Deepak

Sankranti festival is synonymous with kite flying. Photo: K.R.Deepak   | Photo Credit: K_R_DEEPAK

The colour doesn’tmatter, nor does the size, all that matters is whether my kite is soaring or not. Let’s reclaim the skies with our kites

The festive weekend is here. Sankranti holidays have fallen in place and it’s time for an extended weekend of kite flying. Kite flying parties atop terraces are a common thing in Hyderabad. Now, the music blares and wind is just right but the sky still isn’t covered with a cloud of kites.

But avid kite flyers have tales to share — of the fun and the popular spots of yore, when Hyderabad wasn’t taken over by all the numerous flyovers, skyscrapers and children didn’t give much thought to sun tan. Having grown up in Brahmanwadi near Begumpet, P. Siva says they would travel to Dhoolpet to witness the kite-flying frenzy. “Brahmanwadi also had a lot of kites, but it was no match to areas like Dhoolpet, Sitaphalmandi and Warasiguda. It would appear like there was a mela of kites in the sky. From our rooftops we would see the skies till Khairatabad as there weren’t too many buildings.”

Of late, music has become a new addition. Back then , one could only hear cat calls, whistles and raucous laughter.

With the city losing its open spaces to buildings, malls and road widening, some say it is the lack of space that forbids many to go on a kite flying spree. In Secunderabad, Parade Grounds used to be a popular hangout spot. “Sometimes a few of the military areas were made accessible and people had a good time flying kites and exploring these otherwise inaccessible areas. It added to the experience. The AOC area in Mehdipatnam was another favourite, owing to the rocky landscape and the vast open spaces,” says Ravikanth an illustrator , adding , “It was more like claiming our streets. It was a natural thing, no one had to organise an event for us to claim our streets then. Another fun activity was coming to Ameerpet and visiting the ‘Gold Spot’ area. We would pay Rs 5 and drink endless number of cups of Gold Spot. Truly a golden experience.” .

But these aren’t the only spots that were visited for a sight of kites flying up in the sky. Different zones had different favourites, so the crowd divided, depending on where they, or their friends, lived. According to photo journalist P.V. Sivakumar, the most popular area would be behind Mangalghat police station, where the kites are made by the Pardis. “The bed of Musi near Purana Pul was a popular meeting ground for kite flyers. Then people also gathered at the Jumerrat Bazar ground, Jamsingh Temple and Karwan Old Sabzi Mandi Road. The scenes were infectious. It would get anyone in the festive mode.”

Some say that the kite season used to be the best time to sneak out and run to places like Charminar without any fear. “Or maybe get onto a Bajaj scooter and zoom off to the old city to buy kites and pretend to know how to fly. There was hardly anyone who didn’t know how to fly a kite. It was a ‘see and learn’ thing. Almost like a natural process,” laughs Vijay Kumar, a railway official from Tarnaka.

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Printable version | Apr 2, 2020 4:37:54 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/Let%E2%80%99s-take-to-the-skies-Sankranti/article13999489.ece

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