New Delhi: Makar Sankranti, also known as the Kite festival, is celebrated across India with much fanfare. This year, the festival is being celebrated on January 14 and 15, depending upon the Hindu calendar timings. People fly kites and mark the arrival of spring. This year, &TV artists including Aayudh Bhanushali (Krishna, Doosri Maa), Yogesh Tripathi (Daroga Happu Singh, Happu Ki Ultan Paltan), and Shubhangi Atre (Angoori Bhabi, Bhabiji Ghar Par Hai) share their kite flying experiences and memories during this auspicious festival.
Aayudh Bhanushali, Essaying Krishna in &TV show Doosri Maa, says, “I belong to a english family and we eagerly wait for Makar Sankranti, also called Uttarayan in Gujarat. The key highlight of the festival is the famous “patang bazi,” where the kite string contains abrasives to cut down others’ kites. Every year, my cousin and I gather on the terrace to compete in a kite-flying contest with our neighbors. When I was very small, my mother never allowed me to fly kites tied with sharp Manjha as it could hurt me. She used to replace it with plain thread, and kites laced with Manjha would always cut mine. Every year, my neighbors used to tease me by saying, “Iss bar bhi teri patang nahi udne vali. Last year, after years of practice, I challenged them to a kite fight, and in a few minutes, I had cut their kites. It was a fun experience, and now nobody teases me as I have become a pro at flying kites (laughs). Apart from this, the preparation of Uttarayan in Gujarat starts in December itself. People start enjoying delicacies such as Undhiyu, made of a baked mix of winter vegetables, chikkis made of til, peanuts, and jaggery, and other special festival recipes savored on this day. I wish everyone a very happy Makar Sankranti.”
Yogesh Tripathi, essaying Daroga Happu Singh in &TV show Happu Ki Ultan Paltan, says, “While kite flying is mostly done on Makar Sankranti across India, I would say in Uttar Pradesh it is like a full-time sport. You may see colorful kites flying in the sky and kids spending most of the time doing that on their terraces throughout the year. I was no exception. Two weeks before Makar Sankranti, I, along with my friends, used to buy kites in bulk, and we used to be on our terraces flying them the whole day. The most memorable moments are when we used to cut others’ kites and run from one terrace to another to catch the kites and increase our collections (laughs). I still remember how I fell once while running behind a kite, and my entire family was very upset and angry with me. In my hometown, I still have some kites with me. It is indeed one of my favorite festivals. Makar Sankranti is celebrated with devotion in Uttar Pradesh. A lot of people visit Ganga ghats to bathe and then start their day by eating “dahi-chura” (curd and flat rice). A special khichdi is made with green peas, rice, and seasonal vegetables that taste delicious. I look forward to eating it the entire year. I wish everyone a very happy Makar Sankranti.
Shubhangi Atre, essaying Angoori Bhabi in &TV show Bhabiji Ghar Par Hai, says, “During Makar Sankranti, our whole family gather in my hometown Indore. We prepare the special festival meal called Sankrant Bhoj. We also give out small gifts, such as til-gur ke laddoo, fruits, dry khichadi, etc., to the poor. I enjoy kite-flying a lot as well. We organize a small competition which brings us all together and is great fun. During this time, at least one stray kite would find its way to my terrace. Whenever a kite is cut loose, it falls to the ground, and I and my friends just rush towards the falling kite like kids. We also spend hours trying to resurrect kites which are cut loose with the hope that it might fly once again and challenge other kites in the sky. For us, kite becomes a symbol of inspiration and hope to restore the lost glory. The whole festive vibe of Makar Sankranti fills my heart with immense joy, and I wish everyone a Happy Makar Sankranti!”
Watch Doosri Maa at 8:00 pm, Happu Ki Ultan Paltan at 10:00 pm, and Bhabijii Ghar Par Hai at 10:30 pm, airing every Monday to Friday only on &TV!
Here’s wishing the readers a very Happy Makar Sankranti!