Makar Sankranti is here and with it comes the yummy til ladoos and kite flying competitions. Here is what our TV actors remember of the festival.
Shivin Narang: Flying kites and eating the delicacies of the day is what I remember as a memory of Makar Sankranti. I had a fascination to fly kites since my childhood and in Delhi, we used to take part in kite-flying competitions. The preparation of the Manjha and the competition with the other building guys is what I remember the most. But we need to be careful too. To avoid killing birds, one should find an area with a clear sky so that birds are not harmed. The day of Makar Sankranti is full of energy and enthusiasm. I have celebrated it on the sets too and it has been amazing to fly kites with my co-stars. I love to eat Til Ke Ladoo and Gajak in Makar Sankranti.
Tarun Khurana: Dal Khichdi made by my mother used to be a staple on Makar Sankranti and I still love it so much. My mom also cooks Sarso ka saag and Makke ki roti. My father taught me how to fly my first kite. However, rather than flying kites, we should celebrate this day with joy and spread the love. I might get a chance to celebrate the day with my co-actors this year.
Jasmin Bhasin: The best memories are til and gud ke laddoo. Makar Sankranti is celebrated in a big way in Rajasthan, my hometown. Since I come from a joint family all my uncles, aunts, cousins used to gather on our house terrace, play loud music, eat food and sweets and fly kites all day. It was so much fun.
Abhishek Tewari: I remember when I was very young, on Makar Sankranti we went to Haridwar and had a holy bath. I am a pahadi guy, so as per our kumaoni culture, we prepare a necklace of homemade shakkarpara sweets as a ritual for prayers and I remember when I was a child, I used to wear that necklace and go on the rooftop to call the crows and offer them these sweets. So that was an interesting ritual that we did. I remember during my school days, I used to have kite fight flying competitions with my cousins every year on Makar Sankranti and everyone from the colony used to participate. I agree that no animals should get hurt in this and a lot of precaution must be taken so that people enjoy this festival with the safety and well being of animals.
Moon Banerrjee: I was partly raised in Maharashtra, so I learnt about Makar Sankranti from here. It is not celebrated in my hometown in West Bengal or Bihar. My fondest memories of Makar Sankranti are eating til laddoos, fresh straight from my Maharashtrian friend’s kitchen. I used to fly kites when I was a kid with my brother and his friends. We used to fly kites with the normal manjha because there was a fear of finger getting cut from the other manjha. Since the last one or two years, my son and I fly kites as he is very fond of that. I relive my childhood days with him.
Aniruddh Dave: Makar Sankranti is celebrated with great enthusiasm in Jaipur from early morning to night which includes eating many delicacies. Since it’s a day after Lohri, all the kites are prepared for the next day. From the morning breakfast to the evening dinner, everything is served on the terrace until the lantern kites are released in the skies. My father loves flying kites and people actually compete against each other. You will only get to see kites all around the skies of Jaipur. My father is the king of flying kites, he flies kites even if there are cuts in the hand due to the sharp manjha. I have learned flying kites from him. It feels bad if the birds die due to the manjha and I always try to not put them in a spot like that. In case they get caught, I just loosen the grip of the kite, so they can fly out easily. I love those til ke laddoo, bhajiya’s that are served on this day.
Kishori Shahane Vij– My mother used to make delicious til ke laddoo on this day. My fondest memories are my mother packing small packages of til laddoo for my teachers. I used to give them and take their blessings. We used to visit our relatives too and the fun part was how we used to check the quality of everyone’s ladoos. Exchanging of til ke laddoos is the ritual that I follow with family and friends. If I am shooting, I distribute these on the set. My son when he was growing up, we bought lots of kites every year. My husband is great at flying kites. He made it a point to teach my son too. But he makes sure to not fly them during the day when there are birds. We do a nice Pooja at home and then eat til ka laddoo and kazak. We wear black and yellow coloured clothes.
Saurabh Pandey- My mother has been keeping a sacred puja on this particular day since the time I was 7 years old as it marks the day of the new year for farmers. Food grains and lentils are offered to god. We never used to fly kites during Makar Sankranti and in Mumbai it’s very dangerous as its harmful for birds too. I tried to fly kites when I was 7 but wasn’t successful. On Makar Sankranti, the day starts with a puja, we have Khichdi which is first offered to God.
Ssharad Malhotra– The energy and enthusiasm are at its peak when it comes to Makar Sankranti. The festival has always been about flying kites and celebrating with family and friends. Waiting for the right time and the right air for flying kite is so exciting. I also enjoy eating fini and chikki in Sankranti.
Shashank Vyas- Makar Sankrati is the festival of sweets for me. It’s a kind of a cheat day when I take a break from my diet and binge on Gajak, Matri with achar and many more. When I was a child, I used to start flying kites in the morning and it used to end by the sunset. Apart from eating and flying kites, its more about sharing joy and happiness with your near and dear ones.
Rohit Purohit- Jaipur seems to have the biggest kite flying events after Gujarat. We used to fly kites on the roof top while eating yummy delicacies. We used to compete with each other kites and enjoy the most that week. Our Makar Sankranti used to continue for several days in Rajasthan. And the mithais like – Til padi, chikki and finni – were amazing.
Krishna Bharadwaj – Every Makar Sankranti, I used to fly kites in Ranchi, which is my native place. It was fun to go on the rooftop and fly kites. I used to love watching all the colourful kites in the sky. But as I started growing up, I started understanding that flying kites can be so harmful to birds. They can literally die if they get stuck in the thread used for flying kites. So, I stopped doing it. Now, I only celebrate Makar Sankranti by eating Til ke laddu. And of course, as I am Marwari, I love eating ghevar as well!
Manasi Varma – When I was a kid, I used to go on my terrace and watch kites flying in the sky on Makar Sankranti. I used to love watching them as I did not know how to fly kites and I was even against it as the rough manja hurts the birds. I anyway preferred not to fly them. The best thing about Makar Sankranti was when my aunt used to make til ke laddu and get for us. It used to be so yummy that sometimes I used to eat the entire box.
Vivan Dsena– I am in Ujjain for Makar Sankranti. I love the festival and love to fly kites. Ujjain looks more beautiful in winters and it’s my yearly ritual to fly kites in Ujjain every year on Makar Sankranti. I eat black til ki chikki and other dishes throughout the day without caring for calories.