Wednesday, January 17, 2007


makar sankranti is the time when one sees thousands of kites up in the sky.though kite flying is not very popular in south india,in the north and west it is 'de rigeur' during this period. particularly in cities like ahmedabad,surat and baroda.i was therefore a bit surprised when i read that the religious head of the jains had given a call to desist from kite flying.he said nature should not be harmed or disturbed.please give up kites and save birds he added. on uttarayan this year there were many who heeded to his advice

'prayas' an ngo' in surat has been spreading this message and advising people on how the killer manjha or thread kills birds.the ngo has done simple sums.there are 2 lakhs jains in surat.even if 5% refrain from kite flying,10,000 persons will not go up to their terraces and hundreds of birds would be saved.should there be cruelty in such an auspicious festival they ask. "paap no patang? naa baaba naa".


david mcmahon said...

Nice one, Gopal
As you'll see, kite-flying even gets a mention in `Vegemite Vindaloo'. Took some kite shots in Calcutta in October - must post them on my blog soon.

gs said...

thanks david for your comments.i haven't got to the kite-flying mention in your book yet.when are you planning your next trip to kolkata?
take care.

Lotus Reads said...

I remember seeing a lot of Kite flying in Bombay. Infact, my cousins used to fly kites and since I was their adoring acolyte I was happy to run behind them with the wooden contraption holding the manjaa for them. :)

I don't know how I would feel if people stopped flying kites in Bombay even for good reasons, like the ones described by the Jain priest...kite flying is such an integral part of the Western Indian culture during Sankranti, that I would miss seeing a near-empty sky.