‘Lakhs of people heading for their native places from Hyderabad‘, ‘Empty roads in Hyderabad‘, ‘Cock fights in … village‘, Rangoli competitions in … village, Preparing … dish from … village‘, etc. These were the common programs showed by most Telugu television news channel this Sankranthi season. Many of them focused on Sankranthi celebrations in rural areas, only a few did really cover the celebrations in Hyderabad.
Since many people went out from Hyderabad, there is a common assumption that Sankranthi is not that enjoyable in the city. One should stay in the city to know the reality. In fact, many people travelled to Hyderabad to celebrate Sankranthi, which Hyderabadis generally celebrate with a lot of pomp and fanfare, and some NRI’s extended their stay as they wanted to experience the kite flying festival in the city.
Much awaited break for Hyderabadis
The vacation of three-four days gave a much awaited break to busy Hyderabadis to stay back at home, travel peacefully on roads, which are usually crowded with vehicles and once again the traffic was light with better traffic sense. The city celebrated Sankranthi on rooftops flying kites.
Telugu films didn’t make much impact
A couple of Telugu films were released this Sankranthi. People of Hyderabad rated them ‘average’ and the response from Hyderabadis was not that great compared to their rural counterparts. For many, watching a film was not in the list of ‘things to do’ during Sankranthi holidays. Their top priority was to enjoy on the rooftops, flying kites.
Highlights of the kite flying this year
- The weather was pretty decent, it didn’t play any spoilsport.
- Tents, mikes and speakers were as usual. People in some areas continued until night – flew kites with candles attached.
- Young, old and middle-aged alike, participated in kite flying.
- Begum Bazaar, Dhoolpet and Gulzar House were fully crowded with people buying kites.
- Surprisingly, prices of kites and manjas did not go up, they were the same as they were for the last two years. Manja was much cheaper.
- Wire manja (tangoose) dominated this year; regular manja made from cotton thread was not even available in many stores.
- Compared to last year, kite flying was heavier this year.
- Kite flying was more civilized. The music played was pretty decent, people were more refined.
- Boys and men were busy readying the charakhs and putting ‘khanna’ on the kites when they were not on the floor. They did not want to lose the precious time.
- Sankranthi pooja is generally not that big, people wanted to rush on the rooftop to have fun.
- Some areas where there was heavy kite flying, people were looking for other alternatives.
- Fitness for everyone. Family and even elderly parents were busy supplying snacks, beverages and water to kite flyers. Though it was a bit painful the next day, but it was a good exercise for everyone.
Sankranthi is probably, the only day when you get to see all your neighbours at one time and saying hello to them and trying to figure out whose manja is good and asking them from where they purchased it so that you can keep it for next year.
Rangoli competition was held in many places
There were not only colourful rangolies in front of every house, but also rangoli competitions held in many parts of the city, making the festival even more exciting for the womenfolk.
People of Hyderabad had great fun this Sankranthi; they enjoyed it with great energy and enthusiasm. Hope to see the same or even more in the coming years. Until then, see you!
Did you read our section on Sankranthi and Kite Flying Celebrations in Hyderabad.