Kai Po Che on the Skies of Houston!


Photos: Gautam Jani and Vanshika Vipin Varma

By Vanshika Vipin Varma

RICHMOND: Popping colors, riotous celebration and loads of excitement along with the triumphant yell- Kai Po Che, the atmosphere at the Sardar Patel Stadium in Richmond, Texas experienced all of this and more on Saturday, January 28. Yes, it was the Makar Sankranti – Kite Flying event hosted by the Gujarati Samaj of Houston (GSH) along with the support of major Indo-American organizations.

Uttarayan or Makar Sankranti is a festival celebrated in various parts of the Indian subcontinent to observe the day, which marks the shift of the sun into ever-lengthening days. The festival is a seasonal observance as well as a religious celebration. People fly kites on this day and by doing it, knowingly or otherwise, they receive the benefits of sun exposure.


At the Sardar Patel Stadium, with the crowd of over 1200 people, it seemed like people dropped everything just to be able to tug at the manjha (kite string) and cut their opponent’s kite. Heavy rains and flooding had caused this mega-event to be postponed twice earlier. But this time nothing could stop the Houstonians from attending, not even the cold weather.

Measures were taken to avoid blocking the traffic. There was an arrangement for a pick up and drop facility. Three buses were put to service to the venue and they shuttled from the nearby high school where people parked their vehicles.


The event began from 11:00 am and visitors mingled between the various booths that were set up to keep the festival spirit rolling till around 6:00 pm. While GSH sold Indian and American kites and manjha, a feast of food and drink booths were also part of the line-up. Bhojan Restaurant and Chowpatty Chaat Express ensured there was enough for people to indulge in their spectacular range of lip-smacking dishes. Sardar Patel Stadium, originally a cricket stadium, also witnessed some men sneaking to the pitch to immerse in their passion for cricket.


The visitors appreciated and adored the event to the fullest, participating in the extravaganza of kite flying while bragging about their favorite kites, embracing cricket and indulging in their favorite food. This event was a sight of mesmerizing emotions and served as the perfect host to the spirit of India.

Amee Patel, President of GSH thanked the community for their patience and support. She mentioned that they faced many hurdles for this event, but because of the sheer dedication and hard work of the entire team they could pull it off.

For further details and for upcoming events visit www.gshouston.org