KAIPO CHE ………
14th January is Uttrayana !!! This is one day when you should really be in Gujarat !!!! toooo bad I am not !!!! I am stuck here in Indore…..
Gujarat becomes truly vibrant on this day …. all terraces are full of people…. Every one young and old, male and female, hindu and muslim, sikh or christian, if in Gujarat, it is time to be on the terrace it is time to have war with your neighbours. Its time to give them a real hard time, cut the neighbours kites before they fly properly, it is time to ensure their kites do not soar. !!!! Its a friendly WAR, but WAR alright !!!!
The terrace is full of music and dancing apart from flying kites and screaming… Hooting at the person who just lost his ‘PECH’ (got his kite cut) Food as is so synonymous with Gujarat keeps on flowing through out the day. Chikki, Tal Sakdi, Undhiyu, Jalebi, Poori plus lots of tea, lemonade and snacks !!!!
[ the manja is made by the thread passing through a mixture of glass powder, the thread has to be sharp]
This is one festival when even the parents, the moms and dads join in… Actually cutting Mom’s & Dad’s kite is the funniest… with Mom threatening, “Jo mari patang kapai to, Kale Khavanu Nahi Male…!!!” ( If you cut my kite, you wont get any food tomorrow). Later we would retort, ” I now have a wife Mom, she will surely feed me !!!! KAIPO CHE …”
This is the time to shout, “LAPPET !”(when some one’s kite is cut he is told to lappet meaning roll back his thread) It is actually an insult but one that doesn’t offend any one !!!!
[the kite shops are as attractive for the kids as any candy shop]
Then suddenly some one on the terrace gets nasty and your far off kite is suddenly chopped off from your hands with a scissor…. your heart sinks for a moment and then a wild chase to catch the scissor weilder begins ….
Ohhh…. as the day nears… now I miss not being at home that much more…. This is the last Uttrayana that I am spending in Indore… I have promised myself and my family that from next Uttrayana onwards come what may we shall be in Gujarat and actually celebrate this festival. No matter how much work and how important it is, I shall go and fly kites !!!!!
[ The official kite festival happens in Ahmendabad, the chief minister and lots of NRI’s etc get together for this. Also in Ahmedabad people go to a stadium to fly kites and on All India Radio they give running commentary of the proceedings of kite flying at the stadium !!! Believe it or not…. it happens !!!!!! ]