Viswakarma Puja is a day of celebration for Vishwakarma, a Hindu god, the divine architect. According to Vedas, Lord Vishwakarma is considered as Creator of the world. The festival is observed primarily in factories and industrial areas.
As a mark of reverence, the day of worship is marked not only by the engineers and architectural community but also by artisans, craftsmen, mechanics, smiths, welders, industrial workers, factory workers and others. They pray for a better future, safe working conditions and success in their respective fields. It is a day of great enjoyment and fervour especially in North-Eastern parts of India where kite flying is a special occasion.
It is an event when people of all ages within a family make their way to the attic to witness the colourful kites adorning the beautiful blue sky. The game of kite flying is an occasion of great revelry among children as they find immense joy in letting their spirits fly high along with the kites. The cool breeze, the festive mood and the togetherness with close ones also lightens our spirits. This kite flying is a source of unparalleled bliss for people who take it as the best possible hobby. It is a traditional game which is passed down through generations in a family, and at times to see the grandfather, father and son/girl flying a kite together on this special day serves as a treat to the eyes. Even those who are not accustomed to it, they make their way to the roof to have a look at the spectacular view of the sky. Kite flying involves preparations like making the manjha (thread) and tying it to the kite. However, it won’t be surprising to know that this game has found its popularity in different countries on various occasions, the largest example being the Chinese New Year. So, this Viswakarma Puja let us not confine ourselves to the four walls of the room, instead indulge in the happiness of flying kites and find a way to fill our lives with immense pleasure.
(Coordinator, Class XII, St Thomas Boys School, Kidderpore)
Restoring a tradition
Human eye admires a limited expansion of the vast sky. No matter how big, bold and beautiful, it is our vision that enables us to adore merely a part of it. It is enormous and limitless. The sky is a canvas, the mind a paint brush, and the kite, an art painted all over the canvas. An art that expresses joy, manifests victory and enhances glory. A kite is one result of all the success achieved by the mortal beings.
Kite flying is a tradition inherited mainly from China. It is believed that the Nawabs built this interest. The spirit of kite had been so mesmerising in the pre-modern period that it took to the markets in the Mughal India. It increases the spirit of festivals in India, decorating the whole sky. Vishwakarma Puja in West Bengal is one such occasion where people grab their ghuri-manja and decorate the whole sky with colourful kites. If one goes to the open fields they will see the excitement of the little ones, rushing all around with kite, carefully examining the direction of wind and throwing it up high just as the other one pulls his string to let the kite fly higher into the air. Higher the kite gets, higher their excitement reaches.
The situation only gets thrilling and intense when another kite enters the scene. The kite fighting begins. It is the time when people gather all around, staring patiently at each of the kites, focused. The strings can tie up anytime and cut the other. Thrill escalates with throbbing heartbeats around the scene. The kite flyer looks for the correct moment and gives a sudden pull in his string. The kite throbs a little when its force cuts the other. The opponent’s kite is now free and it floats in the sky. Just as the kite defeats the other, it marks the beginning of another competition, ‘the kite runners’. Children speed with all their energy.
Their eyes focused on that one kite diving in the ocean of breeze. They know which direction to go. Their feet are bumping crazily on the ground. The one who approaches first gets the kite. Joy beats in every heart. Probably it’s because of the Puja that every heart gets filled with positive vibes and enthusiasm. It is surprising to see how merely a few metres of string, bamboo sticks and paper pieces not only brings joy among the people but also colours the sky with the most wonderful essence ever.
Today, smartphones bring joy and happiness in our lives. It virtually connects us to people by cutting down the real life interaction. In this century of virtual interaction, reviving the culture and regenerating the tradition of society is a great thing one can expect. Kite flying is one such way of bringing people together and adding to their joy.
This Vishwakarma Puja, let’s fly as many kites as we can and fill the sky to revive our culture and restore the social interaction. Class XII, DAV Public School, Kolkata