Saturday, January 17, 2009

Where have all the kites gone?

Makar Sankrati has lost its charm in the Maximum city… where have all the kites gone? Probably the kids are content with video games… or are the high rises blocking all the wind?

3M remembers that as a kid spending the entire day and night on the building terrace on Makar Sankrant Day was a norm… especially in Mumbai’s Marathi and Gujarati dominated areas, where used Pej (Kite fites) between neighbouring societies were the highlight of the season… So, you started off as a Firki-holder to an elder kid and then graduated to become a ‘kite runner’ and finally were “mature enough” to fly the kite… But these days you hardly see enough kites in the sky… Sob… Sob..

So for the good old… here is a glossary of Mumbai eestyle kite flying words put together by 3M… enjoy!

Badav – To pull the kite string so that it rises to a higher altitude
Bhardor – A cut kite with a very long string... a prized possession for the kite runner!
Chaap – The lift given to the kite by a person (other than the kite flyer) by catching it in both his hands
Chand – Kites from Bhendi Bazaar which have a crescent and star symbol
Dheel – To let the kite fly in strong wind by simply releasing the Manja from the Firki
Firki – The spindle on which the manja (String) is wound
Gond – The gum used to resurrect damaged kites
Hool – Scaring off other kites by making aggressive gestures
Kauvva – A large kite
Kandeel – The candle lamp that is attached to the kites at night to create a spectacle.
Kani – A special thread formation that is used to tie the kite to the string. The ‘zero-zero’ kani is for beginners and the evolved ones would know by just looking at the kite that it ‘needs a two-one kani’
Kaipoche – The word that everyone on your terrace screams when you cut a competitor… To be repeated at least 3 times!
Manja - The string that is used to fly the kit is coated with fine glass powder so that you can cut the strings of other kites. ‘Ghaslet Manja’ used to be top of the pops till ‘Chinese Manja’ took over!
Patang – A regular sized kite

Readers are free to add their bit to the glossary…

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