Friday, 16 January 2015

SANKRANTI..... kite festival

its been awhile since, my last blog.
hope you didn't think i'd gone for a dip in the GANGES RIVER, 
never to emerge again.

no... haven't been in the GANGES. 
still winter here. 
it's nearly too cold for a daily bucket bath.
but, i manage, through gritted teeth.


in fact it had started the previous week, stocking POP UP SHOPS around the local market and also in the main bazaars.

the DNA newspaper of jaipur.
the photos are of ACTUAL kites.

just image looking up into the grey skies, and seeing MICHEAL JACKSON looking at you.!

unfortunately, the birds suffer as well from the invisible kite strings.
this year the killer manjha took a toll on migratory birds, like, ROSY STARLING from balochistan, europe's WOOD SANDPIPER.
rough estimates say that over 300 birds were saved by volunteers.

more kites being hand delivered.
when kites are piled high, very high on the back of push bikes, it is a very colourful sight.

not only is the sky full of kites, when darkness descends, out comes the FIRE WORKS.
of my goodness!
the noise!
beautiful sight!
dogs howling!
thick pollution in the skies!

 this man is from my local market.
in one of those POP UP SHOPS.
he is hand winding kite string onto a reel.
he is holding the string between a wad of newspaper, as the string is covered with a fine coating of GLASS.
hence, the injuries to birds, and humans as well.

plastic kite string reels.

some wooden kite string reels.
i think that these could be the inspiration for something arty.

reels of kite string.

i don't know why this photo is huge. but, i am not deleting it, as it shows some of the local lads with their collected kites.
in the background is a buiding site.
the neighbourhood is littered with abandoned kites, that have been CUT and then they slowly, and gracefully float to their resting place.
then boys, with long sticks, are wandering the neighbourhood, to collect the kites, and re sell them.

view from the roof top here.
looking at neighbours flying their kites.
what you can't hear is the music.
some people hire boom boxs, and not only is their a competition to CUT the strings of any kites, but there must be a competition for the LOUDEST bollywood film songs.

the  noise in itself, i would have thought would be enough to scare away any birds.

some of the kites, here, in readiness.

happy hands.

food to feed a lot of people.
this little clay stand is great.
moulded to fit a wok.
a very large mixture was prepared in readiness to cook PAKORAS.
really, a wet mix. flour, salt, water and chilli ( of course) and finely chopped vegetables.
then it is simply scooped out with the hand and dropped in to the fat.
cooked, drained, and DEVOURED.

they tasted as good as they look.

it would not be an INDIAN PARTY without sweets.

a sweet box.

the contents.
these were like fine vermicelli, soaked in a sugar syrup.

i joined the families of this home, on the roof top.
everyone was excited.
the children were nearly jumping out of their skin.

there is an art in preparing the kite.
holes have to be pierced in the paper.
then kite string threaded through, and carefully measured as to where to put the central knot.
then another length of string is attached and then this is attached to the string reel.

the kites are very light, so with the slightest breeze they get air borne easily.

the jubilation when some one cuts the string of another kite is exciting.

after the food is cooked in many batches, and cleaned away, 3 other women and myself sat on a cloth on the marble floor and proceeded to peel a mound of garlic.

i asked were they just getting the cloves in preparation for other meals,
OH ! NO... this amount is just for tonight's dinner.

this garlic is put into an electric grinder and reduced to a pulp.

the flavour is well worth the effort, and besides it is a wonderful opportunity for the women to
chat and laugh.

it was another wonderful day in jaipur,
 surrounded by friends, laughter, food, music.

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