New Delhi, Aug. 14 -- With Independence Day just a day away, the city seems to be bracing up to conquer the skies with kites. So, we headed to the Lal Kuan market in Old Delhi -home to some of the oldest kite-sellers of the Capital.
At the market, colourful kites ('10-25) were displayed in beautiful patterns on both sides of the road. On kites, Spiderman was next to Deepika Padukone and Shah Rukh Khan, while Narendra Modi gave a tough fight to Ben 10, and Santa made a special appearance.
Mohammad Altaf Qureshi, who has been in the kite business for the last 50 years, said the demand for kites peaks during months of July and August. "We have certain customers who buy kites from our shop every year. Kite-flying has reduced a lot in the last few years. Given the way of life - no terrace, closed apartments, hardly any open grounds - not many people come out to fly kites now."
For those who thought kites are not trendy enough, here's a reality check. "Kites of cartoon characters like Ben 10 and Chhota Bheem, actors and Chinese kites are a big hit in the market. This year the Narendra Modi kites are already out of stock," said Babloo of Bhishan Chand Trading Company, who has been in the business that was started by his grandfather in 1955.955. "Usually, I don't get time to fly kites,tes, but I did spend a whole day with Aamir Khan flying kites while he wass shooting for r the movie 1947: Earth," he said.
Kite-sellers Pappu andd Irfan Qureshi said, "We set up our shop only during the kite flying months in n Delhi. It is a one-time thing for us." Many kite-sellers travel around the country to sell kites during respective seasons. "In January, we are in Jaipur and in July you will find us in Delhi. Since this is what we do and it is seasonal, it doesn't make any sense for us to have a permanent shop in one city," said Mohd Shamim, a kite-seller from Moradabad.
Another seller, Mohd Fazil customises kites. "People come to me, give a design and I make it for them. I decorate them with stones and other things, but since I put all that on a regular paper kite, you cannot fly it," he said, adding: "I think kite flying hasn't reduced, but only become more popular."