First of all-2 BLOGS IN ONE DAY! I feel like a celebrity tweeter..
So after my morning to early afternoon soul introduction to "Toby the Traveler", I decided to do what anybody staying in a 5 star resort would-decompress by the pool.
About an hour into my book, surrounded by other ex patriots, and burdened by the lack of energy poolside, I get bombarded by a kite. Straight out of nowhere, crash, right next to me.
Then it dawns on me....The youth of Hyderabad celebrate Sankrati by flying kites.(youth=4yrs-30yrs) So I look up and there are dozens of kites dotting the skyline. Most barely visible, all higher than the circling hawks of early evening.
Then I hear the music. Loud party music in the distance. Slightly muffled, coming from somewhere far behind the 20 foot walls of the hotel pool.
I try to ignore it and go back to my book.....YEAH RIGHT. I'M OUTTA HERE.
Back to the room to put on some sensible shoes and I head out in the direction of what seems to be a party.
About 2 miles into the twisty back streets of Hyderabad, I finally seem to be on the trail. I had lost the music all together at one point and went on gut instinct and general feel. I kept checking around me to make sure that I could see the occasional rickshaw, so if I got lost I still had a way out. My 3 wheeled breadcrumbs.
Down a long narrow alley, full of suspicious stares I finally hit my most encouraging landmark of my treasure hunt. Children scrambling madly on the surface streets running towards the next downed kite. Then I look up. 7-10 stories above me on multi-leveled roof tops are young adults blaring music and flying kites.....THOUSANDS OF THEM.
I have found what I was looking for. So I do what anybody at a finish line does....sit down and watch.
Enter Maruthi (sounds like Martin). Smiley 20 something full of questions. All questions are answered graciously while I crane my neck skywards.
"America". "Yes Obama". "Medical Clinics". "ITC Hotel". etc.
Then he asks the best question of all...."Do you want to fly a kite?" YEAH I DO. I was instructed to wait right where I was for 10 minutes...don't leave.
15 minutes later (the extra 5 minutes were loooong) Maruthireturned with 2 shiny metallic kites, no string.
"Come-I live up there". To the top of the tallest building I have been staring at for the last half hour.
Up a narrow stairwell full of cement steps pitched at an impossible angle, we ascend higher and higher, until we break out into the sun.
We are on the roof with 3 of his friends who have climbed a latter to the top of Maruthi roof top apartment in an order to get 10 feet closer to god, and kite wind. The very perch I have been watching from below, which is now impossibly far away and dizzing to look at.
Around us on other rooftops are young men blasting Indian Club Music, and sporadically bursting out into Lawrence of Arabia Camel Race yells form roof to roof as they compete to get their kites skywards.
I can see the whole city from here, including Hussein Sagar where the Buddha Monolith still holds vigil 10 blocks away.
We flew kites until sundown, and the image of silhouettes against the sun with their outstretched arms, connected to a piece of tissue paper hundreds of feet in the air. The sounds of distorted club music from speakers not built to handle the volume, the high pitched tongue flick yells of successful liftoff, and the jumble of Hindi being spoken by our roof top aviators was too rich not to sit down and write about.....Even if it is the second time today.