It's a quiet day, an overcast day. The sky is grey, a breeze flutters the leaves outside.
It's Independence Day. A day for flying kites.
I watch them flying about in the sky. There are dozens of them - pink, yellow, green, red against the grey sky. The distant ones are mere black spots. They could be birds, except for the way they fly.
There are other watchers. Other people on other rooftops, faces upturned. They're too far away for me to read their expressions. I wonder what's in their minds. Nostalgia? Wonder? Or are their thoughts far away from the kites? Is it just a duty to them, a mere ritual, this watching of kites on Independence Day? Bring out a glass of nimbu pani and sip it slowly, watching the kites, listening to the children's laughter and shouts.
There's a kite stuck on the tree outside my house. There always is, this time of the year. Last year, it was a tricolour kite - green and white and saffron. This time, it's black - with a white stripe and a red tail. It flutters in the wind - a tug-of-war between the breeze and the tree. The poor kite is stuck in between. The breeze will eventually win, though. And then it will carry its prize a few yards, before it gets tired of it. And then the kite will fall to the ground.
I've owned a kite only once in my life. My father made it for us - my brother and me. I must have been about six or seven. I don't remember if it could fly, but it was really pretty. Purple all over, with a purple tail and purple streamers. I remember buying the purple paper, I remember watching my father make it, but I don't remember if it eventually flew.
The vehicles outside all have tricolours. They flutter from the handlebars of two-wheelers; they stick out from the side-mirrors of four-wheelers. All probably bought from the kids at the red lights. I wonder if those kids have kites. Maybe they'll buy some with the money they get selling the tricolour.
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