In Pushkar, Rajasthan state of India, I was walking down the street. Suddenly
I heard kids' voice above. I saw that they flew a kite on the roof top
of the building nearby. I was back to a hotel and looked over all the town
from the terrace. One, two, three ... many kites were spotting in the blue
sky. I traced the lines. I saw kids drawing the line on the roof top.
'So why everybody fly a kite?' I asked kids about it. They told me there
would be held the annual kite festival in mid January. They had less than
a month to the festival. That's the reason why they were so serious to
drawing the line.
The kite shops opened in the old town, and kids hung around there. At the
shop kids would buy a kite which had been long for, then back home holding
it tightly. Would go up to the roof top. Later on, it's their training
time for the kite festival.
Looks like they got full support by the families. Parents tried to find
a good timing to release it. A house keeper poked the kite on the brunch
with a stick. Some kite were already trapped by the cable before the festival.
All of those pictures related with a kite can be a winter sketch of this
I recall the novel which mentions a kite competition. It's titled "The Kite Runner" by Afghan author, Khaled Hosseini.
A heartbreaking story of two Afghan boys who spent childhood together in
Kabul 1960s' then were torn by the civil war. The key of the story was
"Kite Festival" which is held in January in the town.
I had thought the "Kite Runner" meant the running kids trying
to capture good wind for the kite. But it's not correct. Kids chasing a
falling kite which is cut off the line in the kite battle, who is called
Kite Runner. On the kite competition day, they have a battle not only in
the sky but also on the ground.
The interesting point is that January is the season for a kite in Japan
too. When I was kids, I bought a paper crafted kite at a candy store in
new year's school break. I had to do some additional work. I pasted long
newspaper strip tail on it. Then I headed to a vacant lot or absent rice
paddies with it.
We also had many kite competition in January all over the country. And
now I try to recall once again if we had custom chasing a kite. Maybe not.
Even thousands miles lies between Afghanistan and Japan, we have similar
culture about kite. So do in India? Why not. That's why I could accept
the scenery about kite in Pushkar quite naturally.
Even though we, Indian and Japanese, have difference in features. I found
many common points in culture and mentality. We must have a same base as Asian.
So, is there a kite runner in India. I don't know. The answer must be in
the kite festival. It's held in this very weekend.
" Kite " Pushkar, India 2012