As the first week of January stepped in, every year, I would break open my tin coin box (I hated the word piggy bank) and counted how much I have collected for buying the new set of kites. I had the old ones too. Some kites, I made myself, using the plastic from the package boxes. They used to be rugged, and would sometimes stand the occasional uninvited rainfall too, prevented from getting withered away like paper kites. And did they fly; they flew with enough strength to leave fine lines of cuts on my index finger. Today, when I stop to think about it, I realize how kites shaped the way I dealt with situations in life.
Through Difficulties to the Heights
Back in Saint Francis De Sales High School, in Nagpur, where I studied, I was a part of the Red House. More than 150 years old today, the school had evolved with traditions and imbibed the same in its students. We had our House Flag with the Insignia of an Eagle and the Motto – “Through Difficulties to the Heights”. Through your life, the kite comes with a similar message. To fly against the wind, to stand against the difficulties and be down to earth and remain grounded with the strings. Never forget that no matter how much success you accomplish, your humility will keep you there on top. Kites not only fly on a festival, they come with a simple message of perseverance, courage, and the strength to pursue your dreams.
Nazar Sada ho Uunchi, Sikhati Hai Patang!!
The Kite Flyer’s Challenge and Dilemmas
Every kite flyer comes through the common phase of confronting his family members on matters of kite flying. It is a rare and a subtle passion to keep. Preparing your own ‘manjas’ at the cost of leaving the entire household, or colony or locality stinking with the chemicals, messing your hands, and standing on the edge of the terrace often times in the hot sun till you get a sun tan that fashion models would envy. The kite flyer lives through it all, to put that piece of paper in the air, against the rough winds. But the idea and fascination of putting that kite in the air every single time is an enthusiasm that could rarely match any other achievement in life. Kite flyers, give me a cheer on this, will you!!
Free like the Kite
There is an amazing sense of freedom when you are on a flight. When the kite takes off from the ground in almost ‘no wind’ and gradually summons up the ‘push’ to fly on its own. Until then, every kite struggles. The take off is troublesome and frustrating. The wind is rarely hard enough to take off the kite. The kite drops dead on the ground several times. Your friend and your worthy navigator who helps you not only with holding the ‘chakri’ but also running several times to help you try again, gets more frustrated than you.
But, when the kite flyer keeps persevering to try and keep the kite in the air, gradually loosening the strings, eventually a stage comes when the kite gets the air-draft to fly on its own. Those who fly kites would admit to it.
At that point that the ‘kite is free to take off on its own’. All it needs then is just loosening of the strings and the kite takes its own course to the skies.
Life is similar. Everyone struggles to take off when they are ‘flying low’. Everyone has to pass through the challenge until they attain a height where they will get that ‘push’.
With Freedom Also Comes Responsibility
Even freedom comes with its own set of choices. Often the more wise and responsible ones! Everyone likes freedom but it comes with a responsibility. Kite flying is not free from it. The sharp strings flying in between the streets are responsible for unwanted accidents and deaths every year. Every freedom, including kite flying, thus comes with a great responsibility. The responsibility to uphold the prevention and safety precautions in highest regards, and protect the lives of the children running around to catch the kites on the streets as well as people who unknowingly run into kite strings sagging in the middle of the streets.
Make sure that when your kite fell on the ground after that decisive flight, it does not take a life in the bargain, rather leave the people around with the message of courage, perseverance and hope to take to the skies again, with the same enthusiasm, smile and energy.
Wishing everyone a Very Happy ‘Makar Sankranti’
Featured Image Credits: Tom Brandt @Via Unsplash