High as a Kite

Last Wednesday, 26th May 2021, during a temporary lull from the rain that had fallen steadily since morning, I stood on my second floor verandah and looked up at the heavens. It was a purely mechanical gesture, more out of habit than anything else, to see what the clouds foretold. The skies were grey and overcast and the dark clouds looked threatening but as I watched they suddenly parted revealing the sun in all its brilliance, illuminating the sodden world around me. The grey mildewed houses, the rain drenched trees and plants drooping under the weight of the accumulated moisture, the bedraggled crows, squawking miserably, the murky, flooded streets. Cyclone Yaas had just hit Orissa and the districts of West Bengal, and ‘spared’ the city it’s worst, aiming it’s devastation elsewhere. Remembering the Amphan Cyclone of last year, brought a sigh of relief in me but it was short lived as news came in about the utter destruction Yaas had wrought in the affected areas.

At that point of time, however, looking up at the sudden burst of radiance across the leaden skies, I felt a kind of grace that only Nature could confer. As I gazed at the swiftly changing palette of greys, blues, and oranges of the skies, the cool, gusty winds whipping my hair, I spotted something, which given the circumstances, was a tad unusual. It was a kite, just an ordinary paper kite, flying high up, beyond the reach of the tallest building. It leapt and danced, it swooped and fluttered and I imagined the child, who perhaps fed up of being cooped up at home and without informing his parents, had crept up to the terrace to do what children rarely do now. Fly a kite. Remembering a childhood song, ‘Let’s go fly a kite/ Up to the highest heights’, I smiled. I assumed it was a child flying the kite but it could have been an adult too, trying to escape the oppressive present and reeling back to childhood pastimes. I personally never learnt to fly one despite many efforts at copying the adults but since open spaces were plentiful those days, my sister would hold it aloft and toss it into the air while I would start running with the kite streaming in the air behind me.

That same feeling of freedom and exhilaration came over me in a rush, as I watched that anonymous kite, perform it’s own little private dance in the air. It seemed to me a symbol of hope, in a very threatening environment. The child or adult flying the kite too, was exhibiting the same need to hold on to hope. The sun shining out from behind the clouds, despite being the hackneyed and overdone cliche that it is, seemed to be symbolic of hope too.

Hope is given to us in the little and big things around us. It’s in the little acts of everyday kindness, in the koel in the neighborhood, which never gives up calling despite the ancient tree in which it lived, being hacked down overnight, in the pristine white Crinum lily that flowered despite being neglected. It exists in the voice of a grandchild whom the grandmother hasnt physically seen in months, in the selfless acts of humanity that the virus has also given birth to.

The pandemic is teaching us lessons which we had forgotten and there’s hope and deliverance in our desire to learn from them. Faith in the Universal processes and in the indomitable human spirit, fuels the hope and the courage inherent in us, to carry on. Kolkata was spared by Yaas but along with the virus, it’s also showed us that we are all in it together, that in our stricken brothers’ welfare, lies ours. Nothing exists in isolation, everything is interconnected.

And perhaps with that learning, we can venture forth again, revived and renewed and be like the kite. Soar up, swoosh down, fly high, dance again.

Published by Diti Sen

An independent writer and author, currently exploring blogging, tracking life from India and ready to explore anything from the tried and tested to the wierd and the eclectic. You will find, nature, travel, food, children, folklore, customs, myths, festivals, reflections, inspirations, hope, amongst many other things here. Anything that makes me think and ponder and want to know more about, shared in an informative and entertaining sort of way.

8 thoughts on “High as a Kite

    1. How lovely, Dikun . To be able to understand the vagaries of nature and then to learn from it is a big quality.
      Keeping hope as the basic emotion it is a tremendous leap forward to empathise with your brothers’ miseries and then to find the unity in life is absolutely amazing
      You are really making great strides on the evolution ladder pushed by the pandemic and ever present Corona. Keep up the joy and freedom of natural expression.
      Lovely reading laced with nature.

      Liked by 1 person

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