As I was going through some of my childhood pics I remembered one incident that took place perhaps 13-14 years back... It was a windy winter afternoon and most of the neighborhood kids were busy making kites for the late afternoon showdown in the vast barren paddy fields in the other side of the locality across the forest. Suddenly a crazy brainwave struck my younger self then... why not make the biggest kite among all of the peer group... what I lacked in skill in making kites was more than made up by reams of colored paper, thin bamboo sticks and dollops of glue made from rice and starch!!
After various attempts at making a contraption that vaguely resembled an apology of a kite I finally succeeded and hold aloft my green colored kite that was atleast 1.5ft on all sides with a 1 meter long tail to add to the effect. I left it to dry in the Sun for sometime so that the glue sticks fast and then I could go to the battle ground where other warriors would display their stuffs and try hard to rule the skies with their confetti colored colorful kites.
Just then my cousin came home... he was a known semi-pro at kite flying and I offered him to have a first go at flying my kite. His eyes goggled out of the sockets when he saw the big kite... had it not been for the windy conditions it would have needed an engine to fly that heavy monster!!
After much coaxing and emotional blackmail he told that he will give it a shot. He told me to get the strings ready and then off we went with the green monster... after 10-15 mins across the forest and taking the short cut through the lake we entered the vast vast paddy fields where the yellowish cut stems of the harvested crops hinted at the imminent community feast and also that my birthday was not far off either!!
The wind almost pulled my woolen cap off as I ran backwards holding the kite as my cousin got ready to pull the strings (literally!!). The half-cut paddy stems made whitish scratch marks on my knees and below... but it was no way going to dampen my flying spirits. The cerulean sky was like a giant polka dot skirt... being dotted with tiny colorful kites of all hues and shapes and sizes and feverishly excited kids shouting and egging on their respective flight commanders.
My cousin struggled initially to launch the kite but as the wind grew stronger it was propelled into the orbit with much further ado... but since the other kites were the usual variety being light and small they became increasingly difficult to control and maneuver and most of the players tried to pull down their kites to save them from being torn apart. But my 'green-eyed monster' with the long pinkish tail was gaining height and was the monarch of all it surveyed. My cousin was shouting that the kite was so un-worthy that only an insane gust of wind could have lifted it up... I gave a sheepish grin and admired my creation flying majestically!! Just then my cousin gave me an offer that I couldn't refuse... he handed me the strings and told me to control the kite for sometime. O God I was so happy... it felt like I was flying along with the kite... in the open open sky!!
Just like any Bollywood potboiler there was a twist in the tale... a monster appeared... with fangs of fury and violence in its mind... the eagle zeroed down on my kite and in a cruel twist of fate it cut the string and off went my kite in a random tangent... and then the entire world passed into a blurred existence as I dropped my the string-box and ran after the kite... as fast as my small legs would carry me. My cousin took a while to get a grip on what's was happening amidst the cries of the other kids who kept on shouting that the big kite was cut off by the big bad bird. I ran past the silent stream, the forest and entered into our lane and then across the street to the other locality... and at the same time keeping an eye on the 'lost' kite being swept away by unfriendly winds. I could vaguely make out that my cousin was also running behind me... his concern was entirely on recovering me from my madness and not the kite... bt nevertheless he was there. I crossed the busy road and then into the narrow lane that leads to another barren field that closely resembled the paddy field where we were flying our kites. I looked around but somehow I lost track of the kite and it was nowhere to be seen... still wondering what might have happened to my dear kite. Dejected and drenched in a cold sweat I turned back to return home and could see my cousin huffing and puffing and swearing at me at my madness. But I was oblivious to his admonishments and my eyes were just searching for any signs of the kite. As we turned back to take the long walk home we could hear a group of kids shouting lustily and when we went near we could see a large green kite hanging from one of the branches of the tall tree. It was still trying to fly... more of a symbolic gesture but how I wanted my kite back. My cousin told all the kids that it was my kite and the entire story... they reluctantly agreed to buy the story and my cousin climbed the tree and got back the kite... 'my' kite!!
That night I kept on looking back at the kite and then fell asleep smiling. That was the last time the 'gentle giant' ever flew in the skies but the memory lingers on. I was the 'kite runner' for a day and I got my kite back... even an ill mannered eagle couldn't take away from me what was mine… ‘my kite’!!