By Sonali Desai
The city is playing the host in the upcoming International kite fest for the second time. However, there is only one team participating from Belgaum. The fest has received registration from 52 international kite-flyers from 30 countries, and 80 from all over India. As informed by Chaitanya Kulkarni (Event Coordinator) the fest has arranged 42 stalls for the kite flyers and 4 stalls for others. People who have not registered can go buy kites from these 4 stalls and fly kites outside the flying area allotted for the participants. The International Kite festival will be held on 15th and 16th January on Nanawadi grounds.
High-flyers, a team of 15 members are the only participants from Belgaum who will be seen flying their own handmade kites during the fest. The team is headed by Sandesh Kaddi who is a businessman by profession. He developed a liking for the unique hobby of kite flying from his father, Dr M S Kaddi.
“As a child all the flying objects attracted me. That is how I developed a liking for flying kites. Gradually, I started buying kites and flying them,” said Sandesh.
As soon as you enter his room upstairs, there are dozens of colourful kites with different dimensions and shapes. One wonders whether these kites could really fly. “They fly and they look colorful in the sky. It has got nothing to do with shapes; one should know the basic aerodynamics. We make kites out of waste plastic and dried Bamboos. It’s a very cost-effective hobby,” informed Sandesh.
He also informed that kite-flying is not very popular in India, compared to abroad and that Kite manufacturing is a serious business outside India. Sandesh is also an avid cricket fan but ask him what comes first, he said, “Kite flying, definitely.”
From the time the fest date has been announced, Sandesh and his family have been making kites in their house. At dusk, chennamma nagar residents are sure to catch a glimpse of flying colours in the sky. That is when the Kaddi family goes for a test flight in their backyard.
Ask him how are they prepared for the fest, he said, “We have made around 17-20 kites so far. We are very excited. But the organizers of the fest should not neglect local participants. Last year, foreign participants were given extra heed. Most of them fly bought out kites whereas we bring our own handmade kites.”
The hobby has been passed on from his father, and following the same tradition Sandesh taught his 7-year-old son, and his wife to fly kites. It’s been ten years for Geeta and Sandesh’s marriage, and since then Geeta has admired and respected her husband’s hobby- kite flying.
“Before marriage I didn’t even know that kites can be made of different colours, size and shapes. Today, I love this hobby especially when I see the happiness on my husband and son’s face when they are flying kites,” said Geeta, medical transcriptionist by profession.
Geeta and Sandesh’s son Avichal Kaddi has also found his hobby in kite flying. He loves to paint his kites and see them fly. He has also attended many kite festivals with his parents in India and abroad.
Avichal’s grandfather, Dr M S Kaddi learnt the art of kite flying from his uncle. “In villages we used to fly kites only in the month of April and May when the winds blow from the west to the east. For this fest, I have assisted my son in making a makkala pata kite, the idea of making this comes from a village,” said Dr M S Kaddi.
Talking about how most kids are showing interest in kite flying he said, “My grandson has already taken the initiation in such a hobby. I would like to see other children developing interest in making and flying kites.”
Sandesh and his family members have so far created variety of kites namely; stunt kites, viper, delta, Japanese-bondor, patang, butterfly, easyflier, dragon, box kite, sword kite and diamond kite.
The team includes family members and close friends of Sandesh Kaddi. Most of them are joining the team to motivate Sandesh and to get a beautiful experience of piloting a kite.
The flying colors of Belgaum
Dr M S Kaddi
Keerti Raj Udgavi