Ahmedabad: Inflation has hit even the simple pleasures of life. The price of kites, widely flown during Makar Sankranti, has gone up by 25 percent due to the hike in prices of raw material like paper, string and sticks. “There has been a rise of Rs. 15 in the price of raw manja (kite string). We have to get it coated with glass and then sell it. We get 1,000 meters of manja for Rs. 95 and sell it for Rs. 150 after including the cost of the glass coating,” said Asif Khan, owner of the 70-year-old Standard Kites in Bandra.
Wholesalers sell 20 regular paper kites for Rs. 50 and retailers sell it for Rs. 90-100. “Earlier prices used to rise by Rs. 3-5 every year, but this year there has been a rise of Rs. 10-15 in the raw material,” Khan added.
With the result business at kite shops has gone down by almost 50 percent.
What’s more, there is threat from overseas as well. String from China has been a threat to sellers of cotton string. Chinese string is stretchable and much sharper than the cotton manja, because of which it has been banned. But, it continues to be sold.
Kite makers not only have Katrina grace their kites, but Priyanka Chopra with her long legs and Aishwarya with her beauty are also making the contraptions fly high this Sankranti.
But there is a catch. Just as Sheila sings, “I am too sexy for you,” these kites too are rather expensive. Costing Rs. 350, these kites have pictures of the actresses wearing a gown, which ultimately becomes the tail of the kite.
It will be quite a sight when Priyanka and Katrina take their rivalry to the skies. Ahmed, a shopkeeper, selling these kites says, “Some fans do buy these kites. These are new designs, which have come out this year.”
Apart from Katrina, Priyanka and Aishwarya, no other actress made it to this unique design.
“Many people don’t fly kites because of the birds, but cotton manja doesn’t harm birds. Chinese string has ruined our business, as it is durable and harmful. Although it is banned, people still sell it,” Khan added.