Painting & Photo: Neji Ravindran
Those were the first ever kites bought for me. Perhaps those were also the last. I remember they were red, purple and green. I was around 7 years old then and had just relocated from my hometown. On the destined day, when the sky was dotted with hundreds of kites, I went up to the terrace with mine. I didn’t know how to go about flying them. I still don’t. In fact, no one at home knew how to fly a kite. I did all the basics. Holding them up so the wind will catch them, and unravelling the lines. They would fly up a few feet or so (well, that’s what I wanted to believe), and then they would come crashing down. A relative, who was staying with us, felt sorry for me. He struggled for a while trying to help me, and I felt sorry for him. After a few pathetic attempts, my kites lay around me, torn and tattered. And I quietly climbed down the terrace. Strangely enough, I was at peace. That I had tried something which I knew at the bottom of my heart was not exactly my thing. I grew up to be a master kite-flier, though. My kites being my dreams.
They were tethered to the ground. Her dreams. Like kites, they stretched far and flew high in the sky. An alien sky. They got entangled and enmeshed in umpteen other dreams. Others’ dreams. Strangled, they broke and fell in a rapid descent. And crashed. Crashed at her own feet. They lay strewn around her. Waiting, hibernating. Until new dreams sprouted in new forms and colours. With wings so light they could fly higher than the farthest kite soaring the sky. With strings so entwined they could bear the strongest winds. With tails so bright they left blazing trails. Like wish-fulfilling meteors. And they conquered her entire sky. Yes, them, those kites. Her dreams.
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