Colourless Delhi skies on Independence Day

August 15th, 2011 - 9:25 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Aug 15 (IANS) The winds were there, yet Delhi skies were hardly kaleidoscopic with colourful kites as they often are on Independence Day, because sporadic rains played spoilsport Monday.

Reeling spindles tightly wound with thread and kites eager to lift off, like the people, stayed mostly home because of the inclement weather.

“My brothers and I had bought 200 kites but we have not been able to fly even 20 of them,” said 16-year-old Vansh Batra, a resident of west Delhi’s Patel Nagar, who had set up huge speakers and music players on his terrace and invited several friends.

“Every year on Independence day, I start flying kites at six in the morning, but today it was just an endless wait,” he said with regret. “All our efforts were wasted.”

The city received 4.6 mm of rainfall from 8.30 a.m. to 5.30 p.m., making Monday an indoor affair, with malls and theatres coming to the rescue.

Typically, on Independence Day, kites of all shapes, sizes and colour liven up the skies in many parts of northern India and kite-flying competitions also held.

This year the kites were few and far apart.

“Only some of my neighbours are flying kites, as the rains have stopped now,” complained Anuj Sukhani, a 19-year-old from south Delhi’s Lajpat Nagar. “But overall the skies are empty. Who should I compete with? There is nobody.”

Sukhani said he had bought kites, strings and reeling spindles worth Rs.5,000 this year. “The day has been ruined by the rains,” he said.

People like Anas Meraj went for a movie with friends. “It was getting very irritating,” he said. “The minute we started flying, the skies opened up. Once we reeled our kites in, the rains stopped. Eventually, we lost patience and chose to catch a movie.”

Avantika Singh agreed. She decided to visit a nearby mall with friends to make the most of what was left of the day.

“Although, it has stopped raining now, it is almost six p.m. now,” she said. “In another hour or so, it will be dusk. So there’s no point in waiting. We’ll celebrate next year.”

The BSES, which distributes electricity in Delhi, reported 23 cases of power tripping because of kite flying.

Clearly, the weather did not deter some.

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