Uttarayan- Part I- Gearing up

I find myself in Baroda this Uttarayan. I watch and learn  as Nimesh re discovers the pre uttarayan preparations. I find myself thinking , ok , so we'll fly kites, its going to be bright and colourful and a whole lot of fun. I might be right but what I didn't account for is the serious business that kite flying is in these parts. Here's a glimpse into over half a day of preparations..... all towards getting the Dori (string) ready.

Get to Akbari - They are a family thats in the business of preparing the dori.  Get to Fatehganj and ask for Akbari's everyone knows the place.  Ignore the stench of the chicken coops and move on to where you see a magenta mushroom cloud.......do you see spools of magenta strings rotating continuosly giving you a feel that you are a part of a disco sequence with Parveen Babi? yes?!! then you're at Akbari my friend and if you are a girl/woman you'll probably not find too many like yourself. Men of all shapes and sizes in a frenzy are looking for the best buy and meticulous preparation.

Select the Dori and Phirkee
Dori's of different strengths or plys are available at their store and going by the names of a few of these its preparation for a combat- AK- 56 , RDX , Ninjas, etc to name a few.
Get in Line
Pass on your Manja for some glass coating. You are in line you will get a token number for your reference and from now on follow your number like the lamb did Mary.

Give it an edge
The white dori is passed through a mixture of glass , sabudana (for starch), and some other chemicals, it emerges yellow and is wound on a large charkhi.

The Charkhi enjoys some time in the sun while it waits is turn next to a bornfire.
Let it feel the heat
The charkhi spends some time on a stand at the bonfire, where some diligent hands of customers and attendants rotate it to ensure it dries properly.

Roll it up
 Finally the string passes on to a Phirkee and you're ready for some kite shopping.
The fascinating part of this visit was observing how each process is conducted. Motors spinning the charkhis, boys on sliding seats , phirkees loaded on to stand with wheels- simple yet mind boggling.

Some more on the magenta mushroom cloud right here

1 comment: