as a kid was all about the til-gul polis that mom made, the rangolis I drew in our courtyard and of course those kites! I remember looking at other kids fighting the kite-wars, crying out "Kkaaattt", and then running wildly after the kites won. The sky would be painted with hundreds of kites and every terrace or open space would be a venue of a noisy party.
I always wanted to be part of that real-action but I’ve never done that. This Sankranti with A, a kite-enthusiast, I knew I had a good chance of flying a kite.
So, Saturday saw us at A's cousin's place. 5 mins of exchanging pleasantries and munching on the til-gul laddoos, we got down to serious business. Both A and his cousin had had kite-colored childhood. They gave us (the cousin's husband and me) the technicality of where to tie the thread, how long that should be, which manja is good quality, why kites should be attached with tails (not just tails, but very very long tails), which kite is flyer-friendly, etc. The lil-too eager audience was mighty impressed. A actually used words like "the dynamics of kite-flying, the air-resistance, body-weight of the kite, balance", etc. For a whole minute I forgot that he was talking about just a simple kite!
The practical took place on the terrace.
I had no idea that we unknowingly had a traitor amongst us. A sweet traitor though. Even before our kite began to soar, A's 3 year-old nephew(S) pounced upon the thread and with all the strength of his tiny body began cutting it! Two of us tried to distract the tiny devil with a battered kite while the other two tried to fly the kite. The day saw two of our kites being swooped upon by the enemies. (They stood out with their brilliant tails, was our obituary for them.) But we also had a loot of 2 kites! Zero-sum game. Nah! Unlimited fun!