kites in Karnataka, eyeing tourists like Goa
Giant and minuscule, dragons and butterflies, mean machines and
gentle doves...kites of every conceivable shape and size will slug
it out at Karnataka's maiden kite festival to be held next week at Belgaum, an important town located across Goa's border.
Love soars like kites. And sure enough, tales of friendship and
sweet reunion fill the air as kite flyers from across the world
mingle at the 21st International Kite Festival in Gujarat's
For 29-year-old Sorotti Damaris of Spain, travelling with her
husband to the festival is the best way to "express her love and
care" for him as the two pursue their passion for kite-flying
"My husband is a kite flyer and kite-flying is his first love.
Coming to the Gujarat festival is my way of sharing my love for
him. It has made me understand him better," Damaris, who learnt
the art after marriage, told IANS.
The festival, with participation from 37 countries and eight
Indian states, takes place between Jan 11 and 14 in three
different regions of Gujarat.
A friend who wants to understand the intricacies of expressing
emotions through kite flying also accompanies the Damaris couple
on their third visit to Ahmedabad.
"I am a music lover; so I have come to this festival with acrobat
kites. They fly in the air on synchronised rhythm just like
synchronised-acrobat sport," said Spanish team member Helena
Molinero, 30, accompanying her friend Sorotti Damaris.
"It is a way to evoke feelings of joy that come only when you see
the kite dancing high in the sky," said Molinero in a mix of
Spanish and English with hand gestures.
The saga of friendship doesn't end here.
Two old friends located time zones away from each other meet every
year at the kite festival. They are Raymon Degraaf from the
Netherlands and Greg Mountjay from South Africa who met in an
Indian Railways bogie eight years ago on their way to the
international kite festival in 2003.
The friendship grew stronger and the two friends reunite once
again at the 21st edition of the festival. "Degraaf and I make
sure that we meet every year at this festival. The charm of
Gujarat and kites manage to bring us together," Mountjay quipped.
Tales of friendship abound, say tourism authorities.
"This year, we have it at three different venues -- Rann of Kutch,
Ahmedabad and the Mandwi beach," said Farooque Pathan, tourist
officer with Tourism Corporation of Gujarat Limited (TCGL).
"The teams will be the same, but the regional participation by
people of the city will change accordingly," he added.
"During this festival, we have also seen marriages happening,
inter-country relations changing and bonds growing stronger,"
added Pathan, who has been guiding the tourists and kite flyers at
the festival for the last eight years.
Sonkar can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)