I found my star at the International Kite Festival, Ahmedabad

I found my star at the International Kite Festival, Ahmedabad

The International Kite Festival or Uttarayan at Ahmedabad is a massive celebration that marks the change in season from winter to summer and welcomes the approaching harvest period for the farmers of the country in the form of Makar Sankranti. Makar Sankranti is a festival dedicated to the Sun God and essentially falls on every 14th January of the year. Kites are a significant highlight of this festival.

The International Kite Festival 2017, Ahmedabad

Uttarayan readying for the inauguration!

The International Kite Festival at Ahmedabad this year was celebrated from 8th January 2017 to 14th January 2017 with a vibrant inauguration, mesmerizing cultural shows, children performing Surya Namaskar on a large scale, plethora of lip-smacking local cuisine and a colossal participation from 32 countries including France, Estonia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Curacao, Switzerland, Italy et al.

The International Kite Festival 2017, Ahmedabad

The countries making their way to IKF 2017.

8th January 2017 saw the inauguration of Uttarayan with a sky splattered in shades of vivacity with kites of every possible size, shape and character. Apart from the countries that participated in the event, there were various other Indian states such as Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Rajasthan etc that proudly represented India and lighted up the sky with their creativity. Among the plethora of Indian participants who were eagerly displaying their talent and kite flying skills, I found this wonder woman, a remarkably impressive kite flyer who may have already attained her share of fame but is undeniably the most inspiring of the few creative wizards that I got a chance to interact with.

The International Kite Festival 2017, Ahmedabad

Creativity flying high!

Mrs Bhavna Shailesh Mehta has many accolades to her name but for starters, she is India’s first Lady Kite Flier and has won many awards for her impeccable kite flying and making skills from the Prime Minister of India, Mr Narendra Modi himself from the year 2009 to 2011. She is a professional artistic kite designer. She is India’s first Female Kite Exporter as well. She also runs a Kite Flying Club called Deep’s Kite Flying Club in Ahmedabad. It seems kite making and flying runs in her genes as she proudly talks about her daughter who has also won the Kite Flying Award in the year 2012.

The International Kite Festival 2017, Ahmedabad

Bhavna with her Kite for this year’s competition.

Her kites are an eclectic mix of designs, patterns and themes. Her kites have a specific theme every year. These kites are all handpainted and her own designs. In the year 2008, her theme for kite making was an inspiration from the aquatic animals. Bhavana gleefully remarks that even though these animals are only meant to survive in the water her creativity gave them wings and let them fly up above the sky. In 2016 her themes for kites were the various Avatars of Hindu deities such as Narasimha, Vamana etc.

In 2016 her themes for kites were the various Avatars of Hindu deities such as Narasimha, Vaman etc.

Bhavna with her Narsimha Avatar Kite.

She has also promoted Ladakh tourism through her artistically defined kites. This year she boasts of a collection dedicated to the various spirits that we derive various kinds of energy from. She proudly displays her exquisitely designed Kundalini, Horse, Lion and Phoenix series of kites.

The International Kite Festival 2017, Ahmedabad

This year’s theme was the spirits of animals. This one is the kite depicting the spirit of a horse.

During the promotions of a blockbuster Bollywood movie ‘Jai Ho’, she also flew her kites with the Bollywood star Salman Khan and you can almost see her blushing at that. I could clearly see a fan in her eyes. Wait, not just that the kite that Salman Khan and Mr Narendra Modi had flown during that time was also crafted by Bhavna. So, all you Bhai Fans out there, envious much?

Her creative energy is infectious and the message that she remarkably conveys to youngsters is that no work in the world is small or big. Do what your heart desires and tap into your creative potential, don’t let it die.

The International Kite Festival 2017, Ahmedabad

Bhavna’s Kite Flying Club.

I have always believed that travel experiences become memorable because of many reasons but for me, it’s the wonderful people I meet in every adventure that does the magic. These people somehow reinforce my faith in my decisions in life and inspire me to become a better human being every day. From Bhavna, I learnt that no matter what you aim for in life, we all have something that is unique to us, keep that alive and nurture it. Life is beyond safe options, life is what you actually make of it. Bhavna is creative, full of good vibes, very humble and a fun person to talk to. She beams with confidence and is an epitome of girl power. Lots of love to you Bhavna, you go girl!

  • Phani Trivedi

    Very articulate Bidisha. I have know Bhavna Ben for many years as a creative business woman balancing work life & home life. It’s her skill, dedication & passion that brings her back year after year. I second your views about her & know she will be remembered in the pages of history of Kite Flyers in the World for generations to come….

    • I truly agree to that and I too pray that she may taste sweet success in all her endeavours.

  • How colourful have heard a lot abt this festival

  • Tushar Mehta

    I know Bhavnaben and her passion for KITE and other creative art. She is one woman army not only for Gujarat but also for India for creative KITE. She uniquely transformed mythology, religion and philosophy in KITES. Best of luck her for ongoing International Kite Festival.

  • I could not refrain from commenting. Perfectly written!

  • Meena Mehta

    Very atrue Budisha. Bhavna is unstoppable . Her creativity and her passion and her hard work is worth appreciating. A multi talented lady I have never seen before. Whether it is flower decoration, making Buckeye, Mehndi, Decorations, Hair style …and much more to add on Her kite makibg skill is addibg feather in to Cap !! Sky is the limit fir Bhavna. And surprisingly she does all these in very natural way all in her fingtips.. I wish her all the success in coming years. Love from Meena

  • Fascinating post documenting the IKF as also the success story of Bhavana!

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