New Delhi, Aug 13: Bollywood heartthrob Salman Khan and young star Harshali Malhotra who featured together in the latest blockbuster "Bajrangi Bhaijaan" fly high up over the skies in Old Delhi.
Not literally though! but pictures of cinestars are featured on a paper kite. As the "Bajrangi" kite drifts up in the gentle afternoon breeze, its movement is keenly followed by 80-year-old Mohiuddin from inside a small room of his house in the walled city area.
Said to be one of the best kite flyers in the country, Mohiuddin popularly known as Bhai Mia, has been in the sport for over half a century and had participated in kite flying festivals in Dubai, Bahrain, New Zealand and other countries.
"What you now see in markets are all Chinese kites. They are heavy, do not rise high in the sky and are more popular among children. People who participate in kite flying games on Independence Day, still prefer the paper ones," he says.
This is usually the time of the year when people in the city, particularly the walled city traditionally participate and showcase their prowess in kite flying games.
In Old Delhi where houses nestle cheek-by-jowl along narrow streets, open terraces are ideal for kite flying and provide a beautiful landscape view of the ancient city. Every kite flown by Mohiuddin is fashioned at home and he handpicks all the required materials ranging from the paper, the cross spars besides deciding on whether the kite should be a diamond or a star or some other fancy shape.
The professional kite flyer says he fashions his own designs to display at various events on Independence Day every year. With age related ailments, the octogenarian seldom flies now.
However, he still crafts several of them for his sons Jamaluddin and Aminuddin who are poised to take forward his legacy. The duo now professional kite flyers operate a business.
From giant kites measuring 400 square feet to a small one measuring a mere 2 mm, Bhai Miyan and his sons have flown a large number of kites.
On this Independence Day too they have been roped in by DLF Promenade, a south Delhi mall for a kite flying event with Jamal setting his sight on making a record of flying maximum number of kites on a single string.
Tanzeem Hussain, whose family has been into the business of making kites for the past 114 years, says that the Chinese kites are popular among children because they have 'Chhota Bheem', 'Donald Duck' or other cartoon characters on them.
Every year kites are based on popular new releases. This year though 'Bajrangi Bhaijaan' designs are hot-selling. Other popular kites designs include Modi and Obama kites besides the usual series of cartoon based ones.