One confession. All I know about Basant and kites and strings, I learned from Aamir on the back of his ancient honda. We would be trolling the byways of Lahore, ditching classes and committments, and Aamir would grind the bike to a halt, point to some mid-distance in the sky and explain to me the paitch in progress. As far as I could, and can, tell there would be two barely visible pieces of paper in the sky but he would know the backstory, strategy and result of the competition in progress. I usually nodded and acted bored. But he wrote stuff down for me so that I can give it to you, my gentle readers.
Type of Kites: The internets are not that helpful when it comes to images of the various types of kites. Help readers.
- Guda / Gudi:They are squares with tails or without. Like this. Or that. Stable but not as fast and not much control.
- Patang / Kunkwa: This is the pro version. Looks like this. Stable, strong and fast but lacks good control.
- Coop: Looks like the patang but with a bigger bottom giving it more control.
- Cheel Kaat: LIke a elongated guda but bigger. Fast and strong.
- Jahaaz: Looks weird (distance between the top and bottom half of the patang)
- Sharla: For the kids.
- Kabuli Guda: Afghani variety
Strings: The kite string is where it at though. All of the kites have a weight and wind resistance. The string needs to be strong enough to carry the kite.
There are two ways to categorize the Dore -strings: By the thickness of the string and the grade/amount of glass in the Manjha (coated mixture). Any string can be used to fly any kite but one has to make sure that the string can bear the weight of the kite. So, people get 6 or 7 different types of strings prepared – of varying thickness – and use them with different types of kites.
Below the fold are some pictures of a string making session that I took at last year’s basant. Enjoy.