With strings attached

Children at The Yellow Train during the kite festival

Children at The Yellow Train during the kite festival  


Spirits soared along with the kites in a recent kite festival held in the city

According to Madhav Khare, an aero-scientist: “A long time ago, when man had not yet invented the aircraft or any other object to fly, he watched the birds in order to learn how to fly. And one of the first things he did to know more about flying was experiment with kites. He soon learnt how to harness the wind and how to fly. From it came the later developments in the form of aircrafts. However, man is yet to make anything that flies and lands as gracefully as the bird.” Khare is a key resource person at the National Council for science and Technology and is an author of several scientific books.

He was at the recent Kite Festival organised by Yellow Train at its farm school. He had paper aircrafts which he could fly and it looked as if he had a remote control for them. The children were fascinated at the kind of things Khare could do with mere paper.

Kite flying is hugely popular in the north of India where they do not have such amazing winds as we have here in the south, and Khare wondered why kite flying was not such a big tradition here. One has to dig up the history to know where and why this ancient and joyful act of flying kites disappeared in this part of India.

Music & Literature

Over 200 families attended the event . And the Kite Flying Festival began with everyone singing this classic from Mary Poppins. Oh, oh, oh Let’s go fly a kite ...’ Children had been asked to write kite stories a few days earlier, and the three best entries were released as books. Abhinaya, Thaneesha and Shivram, all aged between seven and eight, wrote wonderful stories along with illustrations.

Shobhana Kumar read aloud from her poem Kite’s Love Song and also read excerpts from Khaled Hosseini’s The Kite Runner. Khare spoke about the science behind flying a kite that is the most fundamental lesson in aerodynamics.

The children also set up their own stalls and sold creatively designed kites. They devised attractive marketing strategies such as offering one kite free with every kite bought. Some of the kites had messages to God.

It was moving to see many grandfathers and fathers who had grown up in small towns flying their kites with great ease. Not just the men, Priya Sambasivam, one of the visitors said, “My mother bought me kites as a child and I could never really fly them. I am so glad I managed to fly my kite today!” The glow on her windblown face said it all. Menaka Vinay, another kite enthusiast, savoured the simple joys of kite flying. “I am so glad that our kids have this opportunity of going into the fields and flying kites.”

Organiser of the event, Santhya Vikram, said: “I have been following some of the Kite festivals such as the ones in Gujarat and have been fascinated by them. It is so simple — all we need is paper, thread and wind. We have all the three, so why not get the children in our city to experience the magic of kites. I am so glad it turned out to be such a hit.”

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Printable version | Jan 19, 2020 11:05:22 PM |

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