February 11, 2010

The Kite Flyer

A Kite Flyer On The Banks of the Ganga.

Benares. 2009.

I shall will the wind
To lift my kite to the sky,
Until it is no more than a dot in the heavens,
And even as I seek to control its destiny
I hope it will escape to the stars.

While I wish to touch the stars someday
I’m happier imagining the stardust at night,
And when it is my time to float away
I’d much rather be by the Ganga
Than floating free someplace else!


Coffee Messiah said...

Pretty cool and that kite seems to be way out there.

What kind of kite is it and, does it have any painting on it???


Clipped.In said...

but where's the kite ? :-)

Anil P said...

Coffee Messiah: It's far out in the sky.

No painting on the kite. I think it was made of black paper. When I happened upon the scene, it was already flying high.

Clipped: It's a dot in the sky like the narrative says. Follow the natural line from the boy's hands and you will find it.

Grannymar said...

You can feel the concentration in the boys. Great capture.

What About The Girl? said...

Your poetry is food and drink of the gods.
I hope you have someone by the Ganga to touch the stars with you.

pink dogwood said...

Beautiful words.

The last few lines - are you referring to the end of life journey? My grandmother had similar sentiments. She passed away here in US, but she always had 'ganga jal' with her and had instructed me to put a few drops in her mouth when her end was near. This poem made me think of her.

am said...

The river is as wide as a lake or a bay. Amazing. I'm grateful to have this view into the world of these three children. Good to read more of your poetry. Thank you.

Mridula said...

The kite flyer and his friends make for a very pretty picture!

Anil P said...

Grannymar: Thank you. Two of the boys are watching while the third boy manages the kite in the sky.

TGF Cherry Blossom Street: Thank you :-)

The three boys are local to the place and I'm articulating what the kite flyer might say.

Over there, and elsewhere in India as well, as people grow old many of them wish to have their last rites performed on the banks of the Ganga at Benares (Varanasi), and ashes immersed in the sacred river.

I would imagine that those growing up in Benares, like the boys flying kites, might want to end their quest on the banks of the Ganga (Ganges) when it is their time.

Pink Dogwood: Thank you.

Yes, I'm referring to the end-of-life journey in th last few lines. Something very difficult to miss when one is at the Benares Ghats, especially the Manikarma Ghat where I saw more bodies than I might see anywhere else except maybe on a battlefield.

Here I'm attempting to express the sentiments the kite flyer might have when he grows up.

When out there, I saw many women collect Ganga Jal (water) in cans after a dip in the river, possibly for the same reason you mentioned with respect to your granny, and for other holy rituals back home.

Sm: The Ganga is central to the fertility of the Gangetic Plain as it charts its onward course.

The children were engrossed in their kite.

Mridula: Thank you.

Anuradha Shankar said...

Good one.... surprisingly for benares, the ghat looks empty...... but it makes me wish i was there, flying that kite!!!

Sara at Come Away With Me said...

That kite is so far away it really is a tiny little dot! Amazing.

Riot Kitty said...


radha said...

Lovely poem.

stopandstarespace said...

Well captured...reminded me of Khaled Hosseini's Kiterunner...

marja-leena said...

Lovely photo and poem. I can't see the line of the kite but do see the dot. The boy captured in that tense pose staring out is particularly striking to me when I'm blind to what he is seeing.

dr.antony said...

Go,fly a kite..and away flies all your depression.Your kite will make you look up to the 'windy skies',and see your fantacies take shape.The feeling is nothing short of being one with the world around you.
Beautiful picture.And as usual the magic of words.
Excellent post!

ywake said...

a kite, in a hand, in a string, then fly away.

life, not diff for the same fact, aft all being the dot and flying away is de bitter truth. Aim that all think is to be a smaller dot for the height they goota reach.

Nice read.

Fida said...

I love that poem. We long for one thing but know it wouldn't make us happy in the end.

Amber Star said...

Has it been a year since you posted about kites and their flyers. This is beautiful to see the rapt attention on the face of the boy who is flying the kite.

Anil P said...

Anu: Not all ghats in Varanasi are crowded at all times.

Dasashwamedh (Dashwamedh) ghat is usually crowded for the rituals and Ganga Aarti, and so also for the temples dedicated to Ganga Ma.

The others not as much, only where a ghat or two that function as Dhobi Ghat, used to dry clothes from hotels that line the ghats.

Sara: Thank you. Kite flying usually leads up to Makar Sankranti around the middle of January.

Riot Kitty: Thank you.

Radha: Thank you.

Marja-leena: To see the dot you could click on the image. You are right. It is a tense moment because he is trying to prevent to another kite from cutting his. The other two kids are as tense as well.

Dr. Anthony: Thank you. Kite flying is among the best to pursue, being outdoors and having the kite reach up into the blue skies. All the sunshine too.

Ywake: Thank you.

Fida: Where things diverge they will converge along the way, it is inescapable. Thank you.

Amber Star: The boy is concentrating hard on the kite. They start early mornings.

Gauri said...

:) Brilliant one Anil. And how was the Benaras experience in general? Its on my list of places to visit next for sure.

raghunandan said...

nice poem. why not write more?

Anil P said...

Gauri: Thank you. The experience in Benares was good except for the constant "being chased by boatmen" aspect.

In the gallis away from the ghats there's a certain everyday serenity one can associate with how life must've been a century or two ago.

Raghunandan: Thank you. Never had much skill with verse. Only sometimes travel evokes verse.

Ida/FarEastLogbook said...

Beautiful!!! Both poem and picture

Unspoken said...


Nice to see you again! The poem is fitting for you, traveler :).

Kay McKenzie Cooke. said...

Lovely poem - it speaks of the tension between holding on and letting go! and a kite is a great example of just that. Beautiful.

Kenju said...

I love seeing and flying kites! I had not flown one in years, but I flew one last summer on the beach and it was so much fun!

Riot Kitty said...

Hi Anil! There is something waiting for you on my blog :)

Talon said...

Anil, the perspective in that photo is amazing. The kite is just the tiniest dot - amazing!

"And even as I seek to control its destiny
I hope it will escape to the stars." - that is so beautifully expressed. Wonderful poem.

indicaspecies said...

Such great attachment to mother Ganga!
Lovely post.

Anil P said...

Ida Nielsen: Thank you.

She Writes: Thank you. Travel is poetry :-)

Kay McKenzie Cooke: Thank you. Yes, the tension is heightened by the Kite Flyer having to negotiate the flying while running up and down the steps, always a great chance to see the tension in the Kite Flyer's pose.

Kenju: In India the Kite Flying season picks up in January with the approaching festival of Makar Sankranti.

Riot Kitty: Thank you for the acknowledgement. It means much.

It's always a pleasure to be considered worthy of mention even as I worry and perspire over having to leave out folks in selecting a few. I truly wish the awards could be presented and received without having to pick some over the others in passing them on. :-)

Talon: Thank you :-)

Indicaspecies: Thank you. Am assuming the Kite Flyer would develop the attachment, the 'I' in the post is articulated for him.

Lynn said...

Kites are so happy and free - I love this post.

Fishbowl said...

beautiful verse anil.:)

Anil P said...

Lynn: Yes, they epitomise the freedom of ability to run free without being cut free.

Fishbowl: Thank you :-)

bobbie said...

Love this post. Don't know how I missed it earlier.
Kite flying is a favorite activity with my family.

Anil P said...

Bobbie: Thank you.