Kites have made an earlier-than-usual appearance in the Calcutta skyline because of the lockdown.
The “kite season” usually starts around Independence Day and lasts a few days beyond Vishwakarma Puja. But the colourful diamond shaped objects are dotting the skyline for over three weeks now.
The shutdown has opened an unexpected window for kite lovers to indulge in their favourite sport from the terrace.
As the afternoon sun starts receding, the colourful kites start appearing in the sky. The numbers are more in north Calcutta but south also has its share of kite lovers, who rush to the terrace for their favourite sport.
“It seems reliving childhood once more. This is probably the only positive of the lockdown. I am not the only one. The sky in our area has a number of kites in the afternoon,” said Shirshendu Dutta, a 35-year-old kite aficionado in Cossipore, in north Calcutta.
Dutta had bought several dozens of kites and several thousand yards of string before the “season” last year. Over 30 kites were lying unused. “I had thought these would be used during Vishwakarma Puja this year. But for the past 20 days, I have been flying kites for close to two hours every day,” said Dutta, a businessman, who takes part in kite-flying competitions in winter.
Now, his companion who holds the kite reel is his six-year-old son, Traigunya. “He is also locked up like me. He needs some fresh air and enjoys the kite-flying session,” said Dutta.
The kite shops are not open. People are using the leftover stock from last year.
Dutta’s friend Suvendu Sarkar, a Baranagar resident, is also passionate about kites. But he had “completely forgotten that at least two dozen kites and 3,000 yards of string were left from last year’s stock”.
Till three days into the lockdown. “I saw a kite in the sky. It was like my eureka moment,” he told Metro. Since then, he has been flying kites for over an hour every day.
“I am having tense duels in the sky with other kite lovers. An hour or two just flies by,” he said.
South Calcutta has also been seeing a substantial number of kites. Priyangshu Das Bakshi, appearing for his higher secondary exams this year, has had the test deferred because of the lockdown. “I had bought two dozens kites last year. Around 10 remained from the stock. I have been flying one or two every day,” the Kasba boy said.
The teenager has his afternoons packed with private tuitions under normal circumstances. He also goes to a cricket coaching camp two days a week. But the lockdown has indefinitely placed a bar on private tuitions and cricket camps. Priyanshu has been making the most of the opportunity.