It is that time of the year again when kids want to fly kites, and adults want to relive their childhood by playing sitolia. 14th January Makar Sankranti marks the Hindu New year. It is more awaited for the til laddoos (sesame laddoos) and dry sesame cakes (gajak).
Do you remember that your skirt pocket or your trouser pocket always used to look full on the day of Sankranti when you were in school? You do…??? Yes… the sesame candies or til revdis were a delight when the crunching sound used to turn all heads in to your direction while class was going on. And not to mention the irritation of teacher present in class at that time… Festival fun was more important than the punishment obtained… and those crunchy revdis were yearned for by your fellow mates.
Sankranti marks the advent of harvest and Hindu New Year. Before this the “balle balle” festival of Lohri on 13th January is more of a fun. Aroma of roasted til coming from the kitchen along with ghee and gud (jaggery) is mouth watering enough for not just kids but also elders. What is a festival of Sankranti without sesame sweets… it cannot be imagined with all the varieties of til.
Apart from taste buds, this festival of Sankranti is also known for the outdoor games like sitolia (game of seven stones). Also touching the sky with kites is another dream we had as kids. Basically, kite flying is another ritual followed religiously on this day. Sitolia has taken a back seat in city since there is hardly any place left in colonies to enjoy this street game. Mind you, this was more of a street game and not a play-ground game. So now that we don’t have that kind of place on the road, very few children can be spotted playing sitolia.
Flying kites is certainly happening even now. Even competitions are held on large scales. Where kite flying used to be a roof-top sport, it has now become both nationally and internationally important. It is not just restricted to winning a kite flying competition; it includes a lot of other things as well. People have gone ahead developing different styles of kite, shapes and sizes also matter in competition. Kite flying needs to be dealt with care. The string or the maanjha has taken a lot of lives in the past. Chinese products have been banned and strict action will be taken against those who deal in Chinese stuff. Kite flying is a game meant for fun… it should not take lives.
So go ahead and celebrate this Sankranti 2018 with full fun and safety, love and laughter.