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Offbeat: Photoessay

By Divyanshu Dutta Roy
At times when India gets a long-sought respite from harsh weather elements and skies turn a brilliant shade of blue, scores of kites take to the skies to signal the arrival of festivities. At their helm are passionate kite fliers who show off their skills in this game of pleasure and rivalry and whose shared love for it often brings them together to form a community.

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For connoisseurs of kite flying a place called Lal Kuan in Old Delhi is a haven for this primordial pastime of simple pleasures.

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In its narrow by-lanes one can find the best kites of the city of all shapes and kinds, for the average hobbyist or the seasoned player.

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Naturally, it is here that you will also find - only if you know where to look - clubs dedicated solely to the art and sport of flying a kite.

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This is one such community. The Ekta Kite Centre of Sitaram Bazaar in Hauz Qazi. Ask for Sardar Ghee Wala if you are lost!

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'We are the largest supplier of kite thread spindles in Meerut,' says one of the members.

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Spend some time with these young and not-so-young men and you realise how serious they are about kite flying.

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Apparently they can never fly a kite just off the rack. It always has to be taped, tended and adjusted - so that it flies right and doesn’t come off when pulled strongly.

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And then up it goes! A short drop, a sharp pull and it can only be wizardry that makes a paper square soar like a bird in seconds.

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“The pessimist wonders how soon his kite will fall. The optimist ponders how high his kite will fly,” says our ace flyer Sachin.

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A club of champions, of many accolades they invite all to join them on a Sunday or any other holiday to have a swing of this beautiful sport.





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