Soaring kites carry our saddest thoughts

Shirish Paranjape

Soaring kites carry- Shirish ParanjapeWhile at school in 1970, I read the following story in my Hindi textbook.

A group pf children was flying kites. A young boy wrote a note on a small piece of paper and attached it to his kite. When someone asked, he explained that his mother had died recently. He was using the kite to reach a written letter to his mother!

My daughter and her friends spent a lot of time and energy in organising a Kite Festival on Sunday January 18, 2015 in Christchurch.

Eleven hours before the start of the Festival, we received information from India that my mother (who was 85) had passed away.

After a tumultuous night, we as a family decided to go for the Kite Festival and do everything as planned. The idea was to celebrate life rather than mourn those who have passed away.

We also decided not to say anything about the death of my mother to anyone.

Hundreds of people turned up and enjoyed the event. Many colourful kites took to the skies and competed with each other.

As I sat there, the scene reminded me of the story that I had read at School.

It was as if the kites were bidding a final goodbye to my mother and conveying our messages to her.

It was only after the Festival ended that we informed our friends of our tragic loss.

I am not sure if we had made the right choice.

But we did what we felt was right at that time; something that my mother would have liked us to do.

Shirish Paranjape lives and works in Christchurch. Email:

A related story on the Kite Festival in Christchurch appears in this Section.

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