Celebrities under the spell of maanja magic

By Bipin Dani

Indian all rounder Irfan Pathan is a man of many talents. It’s true that his bowling skills made him popular in the cricketing circles, but you wouldn’t dare to challenge him in kite-flying, another sport he excels in.

The 35-year-old all rounder, who, last week has announced his retirement from professional cricket will have now enough time to fly kites on Makkar Sankrati.
This Makar Sakaranti is one of the widely celebrated festivals in certain parts of India and more famously in Telangana and Gujarat.
“We always look forward to this festival. You can say it is an extension of New Year celebrations”, India’s chief selector, MSK Prasad says.
“We celebrate this festival for three days, i.e. on 13th, 14th and 15th January”.
“The main vegetarian dishes people enjoy are : Pullihora, Payasam, Garallu, Arasallu, Ladllu. And the Non Veg dishes people enjoy in this festival are: Garallu with Chicken”, added MSK Prasad.
“Rituals are: Cock fights, Kite flyings, Kabbadi competitions and ball badminton competitions for youth’.
“Thousands of people gather to watch cock fights and kite flying”.
“It is a mid-winter and happy season for farmers. They cut their crops and keep on sale”, Prasad added.
Another ex-cricketer Venkatpathy Raju is too enthusiast to celebrate this.
“I don’t fly kites but live to watch it. We, the cricket friends meet at one place, watch people flying kites and enjoy beautiful lunch”.
“My favourite dish is mutton and biryani”, Raju said.
Former right-arm off-spinner Noel Dravid can’t wait for this festival.
“Makar sakaranti is  festival of kites, sweets on the this occasion the family celebrate by flying kites .

“Yes I love flying kites since my childhood I couldn’t wait for the sankarti festival, my friends and me use enjoy catching kites, with music on the terrace enjoying whenever we use cut a kite”.
“I still love it and every year I go to my friend’s house to celebrate the occasion. Lots of non veg food sweets are prepared the best part is the families of all friends join in the celebration”

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“We can see on that day the gathering of people on each terrace shouting dancing and enjoying the kite flying. And we do have kite flying competition where lots of foreign kites of different countries are flown”, he further added.
India’s another spinner, Pragyan Oza attends a pooja on this day.
“We visit temple once the pooja is done we have pachadi and for sure we go for flying kites”.
“Bobbatlu and pulihora are my favourite dishes on this day”, Oza concluded.
India’s former woman cricketer Rita Dey, who has played 2 Tests and six ODIs’ says, “here in Kanpur people do fly kites but I don’t now. In my childhood days, I did use to fly kites”.
“We eat khichadi, gazak and til chikki on this day. In almost all houses, khichadi is surely made and people eat this dish”, Dey added.

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