Jaipur’s kites with faces of politicians in demand


It’s not every day that Home Secretary Amit Shah is seen standing alongside Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and politicians of opposing ideologies smiling in tandem. Prime Minister Narendra Modi along with leaders such as Mamta Banerjee, Udhav Thackeray, Akhilesh Yadav and others can also be seen sharing the space inside the workshop of Abdul Gafoor, 70, located in the walled city of Jaipur.

With Makarsankranti days away, Gafoor, sitting in an 8×6 foot room in his house (workshop), is busy giving last-minute touches to life-size kites with photos of politicians from all parties. “I pre-select the faces of the kites based on the popularity of the leader or the celebrity. Previously, I was only reserved for state politicians, but little by little I started making kites. “Cut-out ruffles of national politicians. This year I added, Navjyot Singh Sidhu, Mamta Banerjee and Asaduddin Owaisi to my list,” said Gafoor Ahmed, who makes life-size kites of celebrities, politicians and sportsmen. famous for 40 years, in Outlook.

When looking around, kites with the faces of actress Anushka Sharma and cricketer Virat Kohli who recently got married in Sawai Madhopur, Rajasthan are tucked inside the corners.

“With the upcoming Uttar Pradesh polls in mind, I cut Akhilesh Yadav. Likewise, seeing Owaisi’s growing popularity in the Muslim community of Jaipur, I decided to do a kite with his face, ”added Gafoor, who takes at least four to five days to complete a kite. flying. While Gafoor does all the work on his own, sometimes his eight-year-old granddaughter Taranum goes with him.

With Makarsankranti days away, Abdul Gafoor, sitting in an 8×6 foot room in his house, is busy giving life-size kites a last-minute twist with photos of politicians from all parties. (Credit: Tabeenah Anjum / Outlook)

Pink City’s famous Patang Walon Ka Rasta, located inside the walled city, is buzzing ahead of the festival. About 500 families living in this region are engaged in the manufacture of kites. Besides making simple kites, in the traditional Jaipur style, they also bring in designers and workers from Uttar Pradesh who live here for a month and make designer kites just before the festival. Now Bareily’s kites – Manjula, Pauna and Dedh Kanni were available here.

Pink City’s famous Patang Walon Ka Rasta, located inside the walled city, is buzzing ahead of the festival. About 500 families living in this region are engaged in the manufacture of kites. Photo by Tabeenah Anjum. (Credit: Tabeenah Anjum / Outlook)

Traders not only sell the kites across the state, but also export them to Delhi, Haryana, and Gujarat. Kite shops located in Handipura and Haldiyon Ka Raasta have experienced a decline over the past two years. “We are seeing a decline in sales and that is due to the pandemic. This year Omicron’s fear and the restrictions imposed by the state government have marred the festival. The livelihoods of thousands of families depend on it. making and selling kites. And everyone’s going through a bad phase, “Noor Mohammad, a kite seller in Ramganj, told Outlook.

A Jaipuri style kite costs around Rs 5-10, while the more sophisticated are priced at Rs 10-50. Jaipur’s kite has a 150-year history and was made popular by Maharaja Sawai Ram Singh II, who brought the tradition of Lucknow to Jaipur. The tradition continues at the City Palace, even today. Everywhere a true Makarsankranti is celebrated on the premises of the palace.


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