The Independence Day has traditionally been the D day for residents of the walled city who fly kites on with real skill to establish their dominance over others in the art.
But this year there won’t be any kite-cutting competitions as the residents have realised that the sharp string, the glass-coated thread called manjha, poses a danger to birds.
Danish and Waaris, eight-year-old kids and kite flying enthusiasts, are too young to understand their responsibility, but know that sharp kite flying thread hurts birds.
“We’ll be using white thread (not glass-coated) this time, though I really like it when I beat others by cutting their kites. I understand that manjha can even kill birds,” said Danish, a student of DAV school.
Kite enthusiasts say that this year they’ll let kites and birds fly together.
Thousands of birds get injured in the kite flying season every year as they get entangled in the sharp kite flying thread. "Every year we have kite flying competitions where kite fliers compete against each year. This year we won't be having any such competition and will showcase our skills by flying kites of various shapes and sizes," said Arif, member of a kite flying club.
Though, kite flying is an annual affair in Delhi during this season, some in Old Delhi are of the view that it should be treated at par with other sports, as it is has been around for centuries.
Bhai Mian, 80, who is regarded as the foremost authority in walled city when it comes to kite flying, said kite flying is older than the Olympics but still not considered a serious sport. "There's not due recognition in kite flying, though the government organises kite flying festivals but it is not taken seriously as a sports," said Mian, who is invited to all international and domestic kite flying competition and is perhaps the most famous kite flier in India.
Kite flying at the Garden of five senses
To celebrate the fervour of Independence Day, the Delhi Travel and Transport Department Corporation is organising a kite flying event at the Garden of Five Senses near Saket on Wednesday.
The event which will be open for the public from 11am to 8pm and will see expert kite fliers from old Delhi, the Mecca of kite flying display their skills.