From Kite flying to binging on delicacies, Makar Sakarti has always been a fun festival for everyone. TV actors share their memories.
Rehaan Roy: Makar Sankranti has always been very special for me for many reasons. Amongst them, the most important is a Bengali Sweet dish called “Pithey”. This is something specially made on this day. My Maa cooks amazing Pithey. I clearly remember, the whole day we used to wait for the evening so that Maa will cook Pithey and we will have them. My favourite kind of Pithey is “Dudh puli” and “Pathisheptha”. Now in Mumbai, I really miss Pithey specially cooked by maa. But yes, I love eating Sesame laddus in Mumbai during Makar Sankranti. Flying kites with friends always adds to the fun.
Sanjay Gagnani: Makar Sankranti is one festival that we celebrate with full of Dhamaka and fun in Gujarat. On the 14th morning, every year, around 6 am, I go to my bungalow’s terrace and set up the music system and the mic and a day before Makar Sankranti we all do the preparations for flying kites and getting our thread ready. We indulge in a lot of sweets, food, snacks, and we call our friends also. We tease those people whose kites we cut by saying “kai po che”. So that everyone hears that we have cut someone else’s kite. We do light lamps but I urge and request everyone not to fly those lamps because they might be dangerous as they can fall anywhere and they can cause a fire.
Hietal Puniwala: I don’t like this festival much because once every year, people go to the terrace, scream and make a mess. Most people don’t know the importance of Makar Sankranti, they just know to fly kites. Every year, due to kite flying, so many birds die. We should think about our environment. The thread is so sharp that so many people also get hurt. I can’t celebrate this festival. I remember once my cousin was running to catch a kite, he fell down and died.
Aastha Chaudhary: I am from Rajasthan and it is one of the biggest festivals over there. Since childhood, everyone used to go to the terrace for flying kites and we used to set up the music system. Snacks used to be made. I used to eat everything especially gud or teel ki barfi. In childhood, instead of flying kites, I mostly used to sit with a knife so that I could cut the thread of the kite! By doing this I used to get a different type of kick.
Rahul Sharma: My fondest memory of Makar Sankranti is falling down from my neighbour’s terrace. Since childhood, I am fond of flying kites and I used to get up every year around 4:30 am and get ready. We used to keep everything ready like Manja and kites and from 5:30 am I and all my cousins go to the terrace and fly kites the whole day. Also, we used to cut each other’s kites. On this day my mother used to cook Dal bati churma and I used to love to eat it.
Ankit Siwach: Kite flying is one of the best and the most awaited times of childhood. We used to bunk classes to just get away and fly kites. Roaming around the city, having all sorts of street food is what this electrifying time of the year is all about.
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 of flying kites since my childhood and in Delhi, we used to take part in kite-flying competitions. 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 on Makar Sankranti.
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.
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 how to fly 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 the til ke laddoo, bhajiyas that are served on this day.
Shashank Vyas: Makar Sankranti 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 such delicacies. 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, it’s more about sharing joy and happiness with your near and dear ones.
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. It’s about Waiting for the right time and the right air for flying kites. I also enjoy eating fini and chikki on Sankranti. For Hindus, it is the beginning of the New Year as per the Vedic chart. Kite flying is always exciting and makes you believe that you are in the sky and feels like you are a free bird. I have fond memories of flying kites in Kolkata.
Mrunal Jain: As a child, I would look forward to Lohri and Makar Sakranti celebrations with my family and friends in the neighbourhood. We would wake up at 5 a.m. to prepare the kites and a cassette/CD of that year’s favourite tracks on the loudspeaker. The atmosphere and energy used to be palpable. People would scream, ‘Vo kata!’. Particularly on Makar Sankranti, my mom would make her special ‘Dahl ke pakode’ with Pudhina chutney, that we relish as a family. I don’t fly kites anymore because a huge amount of birds and animals found on the street get injured and killed. No amount of fun we have is worth the damage it causes birds and other animals. In fact, we come across cases of little kids and adults on two-wheelers getting injured too. I do my part by raising awareness and refraining from doing the same.
Mohammad Nazim: I celebrate Makar Sankrant with my Saath Nibhana Saathiya team and with my close friends. As everyone knows, I am health conscious but still, on this day, I eat Til ka laddoo. I splurge myself and don’t think of dieting!