POLITICS HAS taken over Bollywood as the popular theme at the kite bazaars in the city this year. So far, kites with images of film stars and cartoon characters were widely available. Shah Rukh Khan’s film Raees was the most popular theme last year. However, this Makar Sankranti, kites with images of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and some of his slogans, such as ‘acche din’ and ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padao’, and those with images of Congress president Rahul Gandhi, have taken the market by storm.
A few kites, with images of Modi and Gandhi, and the term takkar (clash) typed across, have also been popular this year, said a shopkeeper. Siraj Tamboli, owner of Siraj Patang Depot in Raviwar Peth, said the prices of kites have ranged from Rs 5 to Rs 50 and Rs 200 to Rs 1,200, depending on the designs.
Shopkeepers said implementation of the Goods and Services Tax may have delayed the production of kites but has not impacted the sales. If anything, sales have seen an upward surge. Mansoor Bagwan, owner of Bahar Kite Shop in Bohri Ali, Raviwar Peth, said, “As GST came into effect in July, production units were confused about the new changes to be implemented in the billing process. This caused a delay in transportation of raw material. The production started ahead of Diwali, whereas every year, it starts around August. As the kites are handmade, this year, the production was less than its demand in the market. The sales, however, have been relatively higher.”
The jump in the sales of kites has also been attributed to the rising number of kite-themed events and competitions. One such event was organised by Sadashiv Peth’s Shri Shivaji Kul organisation for nearly 200 schoolchildren on Saturday. As part of the event, children studying in classes 2 to 10 were provided free kites. Organiser Aditya Dhaygude said, “We organised the kite flying competition to let the current generation know about a traditional sports, which is fast disappearing in the digital age.”
Sunny’s World in Lavale, too, is hosting a kite flying competition on Sunday, which will also include stalls of food, tattoos, kite-making, along with a DJ. While most of the events are open for all, Pune Expat Club’s Puravankara Kite Fest 2018 on January 26 has an exclusive invitee list. The show will feature kites being designed by designer Ashok Shah and team, and an LED kite show.
(With inputs from Sajid Inamdar)