The vast expanse of bright blue above Hyderabad is now dotted with colourful spots. With their necks craned and eyes up in the sky, the Hyderabadi kite runners are ready to welcome yet another festival.
With Sankranti comes kite festivals and the city is abuzz with them now. The highlight of this year’s festival is, however, quite impressive. KITE 2017, the International Kite Festival organised by the State is all set to introduce remote-controlled kites that are not dependent on the wind and instead use propellers powered by rechargeable batteries. The fest which will be held from January 12 to January 17 brings renowned kite flyers from 16 countries and 10 pan Indian clubs.
In Hyderabad, flying kites is closer to heart as a favourite sport besides the traditional values attached to it. For Canute Reynolds, retired Traffic officer in the Indian Airlines and a resident of Bowenpally, flying kites is more of a passion than just a hobby. “I started flying kites when I was a kid, running across the roads and climbing up terraces.
The fascination only grew up with me in time. Even when I was working,I had a group and we used to go to the Mahindra Hills to fly kites,” he says.He notes that the habit is slowly dying out. “Kids these days fly virtual kites in video games. They are missing out on the pleasure of holding the string in the hand and steering the kite, seeing the wind take it high up in the sky,” Canute adds.
Mukesh Verma, a CA student, says Sankranti comes with childhood memories of kites and cousins. “I used to stay in Adilabad in my childhood. Every Sankranti all of us cousins would come to Hyderabad to celebrate the festival. We used to gather at one our cousins’ place, go up the terrace and fly kites. Although I still do it, it is not exciting as it used to be,” he reminisces.
Siddharth Vijaywargi, resident of Narayanguda, says it is even more thrilling when it is a competition. “Our entire neighbourhood comes together for the occasion. We hire music systems and make it a more challenging, competitive affair,” Siddharth says.
While a lot of traditional sports are dying a gradual death, Hyderabad is putting its best effort to keep it alive, with the technology taking the kite to places.