The remarkable view from the second floor of my room presents a pretty collage of colorful wires resting in an open uncongested space that only the rich air can afford in Delhi. These wires are important. On them the sparrows flirt. On them the banners sway. On them the sparkling fringes are festooned in festivals. They sparkle yellow in Diwali. They glitter green in Eid. On them Kite lived.
I knew Kite for about ten months. I first saw it in Jan’12, all colorful and gay, all beautiful and becoming. It had colors to rival a butterfly. It had beauty to rival a bird. It lent a meaning to the shabby wires. It lent a meaning to the encroached road beneath. It lent a meaning to my vain acts of sipping coffee and reading newspapers on my room’s balcony. Kids looked at it with desire. Me too. But it was an exercise in futility to desire it. It was impossible to have it. Firstly, it was hanging on the wire that almost ran in middle of the road with intimidating structures on both sides, at a height almost a feet or two above my floor. Secondly, it wasn’t an ordinary kite.
It had a way of looking at me that made me look at it for hours. It was a tinted wink it gave, gushing and chuckling as it it did so. I saw it swimming, with its parent thread keeping it from going too far. It scared me too when it leapt up precariously in the air as if trying to break away. Then it would be calm, with just a hint of activity. Its gyrations were the stuff of sheer poetry. Its stillness the lyric of an elegy. It bathed and breathed in the same air I was disgusted with. I looked at it every day with awe and love. It became a routine. No. It became a ritual. It was my present to the princess – unerring attention, inordinate love.
Then came the rains. The season second in cruelty only to winters. The raindrops seemed to have swords and shields. They seemed to have pledged to melt bricks and humans. The dogs ran to find shelters in vain. The parents implored their kids to remain inside their shelters in vain. It was the spirit of rains. Everyone was given the chance to destroy themselves. Kite too.
It shed its glorious colors – the blue of a blue-eyed girl, the red of the tip of a child’s nose in winters, the green of the clothes of Elves in Santa’s toy workshop, the yellow of the sun’s reflection in water. I saw it being withered. Its beauty left under my watch. It was naked and cold, dripping and sick. I looked at it with sadness. Those were good times when it lasted. It didn’t go away but. It wasn’t there too. All the goodness was gone.
Then came the winters. I still looked at it every day. Nothing was left accept the thin sundries it was made of. It looked as if a broken ship, sighing in sad anonymity of the stifling sea. In the dense white fog of a November morning I found it gone. I waited for the fog to clear but I knew Kite wouldn’t be there. I was prepared for the tragic poignancy of the situation. I was right. It wasn’t there when the whiteness cleared. I went on the road to collect the remains. There was nothing to collect.
I knew it wasn’t an ordinary kite.
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