Kati patang is a Hindi phrase meaning ‘a cut kite’. It was the name of a major blockbuster Hindi film starring Rajesh Khanna when I was growing up in India.
The kite in this picture is technically NOT a patang but a guddi. But it is still cut. It was one of those serendipitous moments that every photographer loves. I was clambering about on the roof of this mosque (built, no doubt, on the foundations of an older temple) that overlooked the Ganga river in Varanasi. I was thinking I might get a nice aerial view of the river and ghats that seems to be ‘essential’ for every photographer worth his salt.
Well before I could get myself situated this little kati guddi came floating down like a leaf right in front of me. I watched it silently, wondering if I could catch it with the lens. As God or luck would have it, it hesitated, shaking slightly in the breeze coming up from the river. I snapped and a few seconds later it continued on its way down toward the ghats.
This has turned to be one of my favourite shots and made it into my first photo book The Hindustan Way . The colour of the kite is a personal favourite and the strong silhouette of the minars and domes gives that Islamic touch which I also adore.