A date with master kite-flyer of Pink City
Every kite flyer in Jaipur wants to learn Babu Khan’s skills. He has mastered the art of handling train of kites, winning accolades in the country and overseas.
FROM ABHA SHARMA
DH NEWS SERVICE, JAIPUR:
Though he hails from Bareily, Babu Khan is almost a Jaipurite now, thanks to his passion for making and flying kites. The Pink City which goes crazy on Makar Sankranti with colourful kites dotting the sky, and mesmerizing children, aged and the women alike, it’s a treat to the eyes to watch Babu Khan showing his skills at kite flying.
A skillful kite flyer, an artist par excellence, Babu Khan’s knowledge about the world of kites is extraordinary.
No wonder, he has won a number of prizes and trophies, including best kite crasftsman of the country at the All India Kite Festival, Gwalior in 1987. He has been participating in international kite festivals and has been twice awarded the first prize for the most beautiful kite design in France. He has a long experience in the field since he has been making and flying kites since the age of 12.
A special invitee at the kite festival held at the City Palace in Jaipur from January 12 to 14, Babu Khan’s craftsmanship has left many a kite-flyers spellbound in Goa at the kite festival during the recently held film festival. He flew five hundred kites on one string at the festival, much to the admiration of one and all.
It was Japanese kite flyer Nakamura who first cuaght the imagination of Babu Khan, when the former flew the ‘train kite’, consisting of about 70 kites on a single string, a few years ago.
A similar train kite in a popular Hindi movie Bhabhi, seen in childhood, further fuelled Khan’s ambition to emulate the Japanese artist. Starting with 100 kites on a single string, he gradually increased the number. Now if the wind supports, he can fly almost 500 kites on one string. He displayed his skills in Agra, a couple of years ago by flying about 350 kites on a single string, leaving the kite lovers captivated.
He can make a tiny kite as small as one inch. And make it fly too. “All you need is favourable wind and fine thread, as delicate as a lady’s hair, but strong enough to hold the kite. And of course, one’s fingers should have the skill, he says”, says Babu Khan.