Leaving aside our patriotic feelings (we all love our country!!!), many of us consider Independence day just like any other holiday. For some, it is a day of relaxation – Sleep, eat, rest, relax and freak out. Some plan to go out for a movie or spend time at the mall. But, there is still a majority of people who wait eagerly for this day for kite flying. Come 15th August, you will see the sky all dotted with kites of various hues, shapes, sizes. This is one of the most popular activities that is carried out by Delhiites, since a long time, and the tradition still continues. It is said that kite flying is associated with the spirit of freedom.
History behind kite flying
“Go Back Simon”- This was the slogan in protest against the Simon commission in 1927. Patriotic Indians at that time used the kites as a medium of protest. Kites with the slogan “Go Back Simon” written over them were flown in the sky. Ever since then, kite flying has become a tradition for Indians on Independence day to celebrate independence from British rule. With the unfurling of the national flag on 15th August, Delhiites also get busy with kite flying as an expression of freedom, happiness and patriotism. The colourful kites fill the skies in no time, and behold, they are animated. Your heart leaps when your own work of art reaches dizzy heights and almost disappears in the dotted sky like a speck.
The tradition continues
It is not known whether kite flying activity on Independence day by the young generation today has any relation with the feeling of patriotism or not, but the tradition continues. Kite flying is a fun activity for many. Young, old, girls, boys, men, women, irrespective of their caste and creed, are seen on the terraces, parks, open spaces in most of the localities of Delhi, busy with kite flying. The sky looks colourful. In some areas, competitions of kite flying take place. In some areas, terrace parties are organised with kite flying as the main attraction and Bollywood music playing in the background. Some of the areas where kite flying is popular in Delhi are Chandni Chowk, Daryaganj, Hudson Lines, Kingsway Camp, Kamla Nagar, Tilak Nagar and other West Delhi areas. In areas of Old Delhi like Chandni Chowk or the residential colonies of West Delhi, the interconnected roof tops look amazing with families busy in kite flying. You get to hear cheerful shouts as the kites soar in the sky. Families and neighbours compete with each other. The winner is the one who cuts the largest number of manjhas in the locality. School kids join in this fun activity in large numbers.
Markets flooded with colourful kites
It is that time of the year when the kite sellers make a good ‘moolah’ by selling kites. Nowadays you will find a plethora of kites, in varied styles and price range. Though the tricoloured kite still remains the favourite, you will find kites with various cartoon and super hero characters for the children, kites in varied prints and colours for the young generation. Designer kites are also available. There are instances of people buying very expensive kites with the intention of keeping them as decorative items, after using them on the Independence Day. With online shopping the latest craze, choosing of kites has become all the more easier.
For all kite flying lovers, there is an urgent request from PETA not to use manjha for flying kites, because, a manjha is coated with finely crushed and powdered glass, which is dangerous for birds when they get entangled in the thread. It is also dangerous for pedestrians and two-wheelers. Instead, everyone should use cotton threads.
Let the spirit of freedom continue
It is time for everyone to celebrate this important occasion of our lives. Let the old and the young alike come forward to join this traditional activity of kite flying. Let the new generation enjoy the spirit of freedom. Let them come out of their boring videos and computer games and have a fun-filled Independence day celebration. The old can revive their childhood and scream loudly “aai bo”. Let the spirit of freedom fly high!!!