Art · Still Life · Street

Flying Colours

Patang, maanjha, charkha, pench, dheeel and …… kaatteeey!!

Happy Lohri /Pongal/ Makar Sankranthi!!

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Culture · People

Till next year….

….may your spirits keep soaring.

A fragile piece of paper, a pair of bamboo sticks and a long string, put together – can be a great unifier across religions, regions, age, caste and perhaps gender. Kites are flown with great fervor not minding the antennae, communication towers, washing lines, unfinished terraces[without parapet walls]. It is perhaps easier when there aren’t too many high-rises.

A snapshot of the rooftop kite-flying festival while in full swing. The skies wouldn’t be dotted with colour specks anymore.

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Culture · Daily Life · People · Street · vendors

Pulling the right strings

Hailing the season when the skies would be decorated with flying colours. Many say it is a dying pastime in the urban setting, while it used to be a month-long ritual in the past – no one flies kites for more than 3 days in the city. But there are kids in another part of town who indulge in kite-flying right from the time Diwali is over!!

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Culture · Daily Life · People · Street

Making the Manjha

From the Manjha Series: This is a close up from the same scene. The man was making sure he had the thread count right before he went about applying the mixture.

[Text below from http://www.hinduonnet.com/thehindu/mp/2003/10/27/stories/2003102700040100.htm]

conventional Manjha is an abrasive material that usually comprises of fine glass powder ground into a paste with idli, cooked rice or hide glue solution. This is then coated over a thread of sufficient tensile strength to make it (the thread) a cutting tool.

Manjha-makers like to invest their “recipes” with a certain mystique. Exotic ingredients such as cactus, barks of select trees and, most bizarre of all, blood of garden lizard, find their way into manjha recipes. A manjha-maker will swear by the potency of such ingredients, but whether they help in lending that cutting edge to the thread is doubtful.

Some ingredients are given exotic names but in reality are either chemicals or resins. For example, manjha-speak includes such terms as madarsingh (which is but iron pyrites), suruma (lead sulphide) and parangi sambrani (a fragrant exudate from a tree).

Some kite-fliers make “unconventional manjha” by mixing micronised quartz powder with nitrocellulose lacquer (which is used as a protective coating on metals and wood) and then diluting this paste suitably with a thinner. These innovators swear that manjha prepared in this manner is more moisture-proof.

All the images on this blog are protected by copyright. Please do not copy, blog or repost in ANY way. If you wish to use them please get in touch with me through email.