Tales from Colorful Rajasthan

by Taylor McNulty (United States of America)

The last thing I expected USA


Despite having a plane that never showed up and rushing to catch a connecting flight in a different terminal 20 minutes away by taxi, my sister, Ginny, and I made our flight (thankfully due to a delay) to Jaipur in Rajasthan, the Land of Colors, in time for the Kite Festival in India. One of Ginny's friends from university is from there. We were lucky enough to meet her family in Jaipur. She brought us to her grandmother's house to celebrate with a family on the roof. One of her uncles let me hold one of his kites. What you are suppose to do is cut other people's kites with string that has little bits of glass in it. It is an acquired skill. I started moving the kite back and forth. I watched as another kite became entangled in my kite. The only thing I kept telling myself is "Don't let the kite get cut, don't let the kite get cut." I looked to the uncle nervously as this other kite closed in on me. I sheepishly handed the kite back to him, "Oh no, they are cutting your kite." He said, "No, you've just cut a kite!" Another kite got tangled with the line. "Shoot, this one is cutting me now." He laughed, "No, you just cut two kites!" Within two minutes of holding the kite, I cut two kites in my first time. I decided this was the best record to have and left the rest of the kite cutting to them. Later, we went to the Old City, where the Pink City is. Our friend found this alleyway where we climbed up a poorly lit staircase to her friend's rooftop party. When we walked outside of the dark stairwell, we froze. There were thousands of little paper kites in every direction. You couldn't see the sky without seeing kites. We just stood there, with dropped jaws, deciding where to look. Spectacles usually grow old, yet this just kept getting better and better. Loud music blasted from a gigantic speaker ten rooftops away. We watched the sunset as kites became silhouettes against the golden sun. As the darkness settled, people began lighting fire lanterns and fireworks. It became an everlasting firework show on twenty to thirty rooftops. It was like the finale of every Fourth of July show, except it went on for an hour and half. I wondered how more people weren't hurt. I kept comparing this holiday to our Fourth of July, yet this was even more extreme than the people doing fire hula-hoops at Jacksonville Beach in Florida. It was one of the coolest things I have ever seen. I will never forget being on a rooftop in the Old City in Jaipur during the Kite Festival.