MIDWAY : Kite flying

Do you fly kites? Or should I say do you know how to fly kites? My little cousin brother, who has now developed a passion for kite flying, one day asked me this question. I have never flown a kite before and thus I am completely ignorant about it. He laughed at me and said, “well you don’t know how to fly kites? I am an expert in it. No other kite flyers dare to come near me when I am flying mine.” I have already past 16 Dashains and still know nothing about flying kites, whereas my brother is just eight years younger than me and has become a pro in this.

I instantly knew I was missing something in life — excitement, happiness. I had to learn this art. I thus called my little expert and he promised that he would teach me every thing he knew about kite flying. I went to the market and bought the best thread, the best lattai and the most expensive kite. My excitement knew no boundaries as I walked to my brother’s home. Unfortunately tho-ugh, it began to rain and I knew we were forced to stay indoors. But to my surprise, my brother told me that he was a champ in flying kites even in the rain. But first, he wanted to show me something on his computer. He opened a flash file with kites all over. He began to show me the controls for the kite and I played along. The rain stopped and I asked him if we could go upstairs to fly kites. With the devilish grin on his face, he said, “You have just learnt how to fly kites, welcome to the 21st century.”

For a moment I was completely taken aback. I kept looking at him and he gave me smiles after smiles. And there ended all my desire to learn kite flying and prepare for the coming Dashain. However, later when I pondered over what had happened that day I realised that this was a serious matter of concern. If Nepali kids start giving up the real experience of flying kites for the shake of the virtual world what will happen to our unique custom of flying kites in the open space and celebrating the victory of good over evil? If this is what technological advancement and development are, then I am totally against it. Technology should not be a hindrance to our customs rather it should be an engine for growth of creativity without suppressing our culture and customs.