As adults, we all forget the little things in life that give us immense joy. This Independence Day, we rediscovered the simple joy of kite flying as a family, all thanks to my five-year-old, and it got me thinking about how life comes to a full circle. We stood on our terrace, good 20 years later, celebrating Independence Day as a family, just like we did when we were kids.
Nitin and I, like many other parents, try to follow are children’s lead in the things they want to do. Kabir (our son) was excited about flying kites this Independence Day for the first time. As excited as he was, we didn't realise that this was going to be a first of many kite flying sessions. It started with us going shopping for kites and manjha.
In many ways, it was a first for our family as well. It reminded me of the time when my father would take my sister and me kite shopping, many years ago. Reliving those happy times brought back many good times we shared together as a family.
What's a kanni, you ask? Well, it's the most important part of the flying the kite. Kanni or tying the knots on the kite to attach the manjha is a very important part of flying the kite. The kanni helps make the kite more stable and getting it right is essential otherwise your kite won’t take off.
Well, years later here, we were with a bunch of kites and the special thread trying to figure out how to tie the knots and as weird as it sounds, when I held the thread and the kite together I knew exactly what had to be done and so proud that my son would learn it from me. Yay!
Since Kabira, as we call him lovingly, could not wait till the evening to fly kites, here we were, nani, mom and son, walking up the stairs to the terrace a little before noon with our perfectly kanni-ready kites ready to be flown, except neither of us really knew how to fly the kite. But lo and behold, here we were on a humid but windy Independence Day trying to figure out how to get the kite off the ground.
After several miserably sad attempts of me trying flying the kite and my mom trying to give me instructions from the sidelines, we failed. But here’s the silver lining, a young boy on the adjacent terrace whose kite was literally dancing in the sky, decided to call Kabir over and let him fly his kite just to put a smile on Kabir’s face. Now that was precious. While I might have failed at getting the kites in the sky, I succeeded somehow to get Kabir to experience flying a kite. (PS There still are some really good people in the world and for us, it was the boy on the terrace).
At 4:00 pm sharp, the entire family was up on the terrace and Nitin was now under pressure to make sure he got the kite up in the sky. Admittedly, his kite-flying skills had been rendered useless over a period of time. There were still some basics he thought he had control over. Truth be told, we had no idea what we were doing. But with six-seven kids, all not more than 15-years of age flying kites with so much ease, we had to up our game and save our face.
And let me tell you, we struggled hard to get the kite catch the wind. Every time the kite would get some movement, it would come crashing down. Half-an-hour into the adventure, we almost gave up, when the winds got stronger and we tried one last time. The kite simple took to the wind like mountains to snow. It flew, like it was meant to and hurray went all of us, ecstatic at the sight of the successfully manoeuvring the kite in the sky.
It was a powerful day because it made me realise how much we can learn and relearn from our kids. My little one's obsession over flying kites turned into a beautiful memory that we would all cherish forever and hopefully will turn into a yearly thing for us.
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