1. Brilliant guide to fighter kite-flying Kathmandu style, straight off the lattai spool rather than the passe' pulling on the string method.
2. “We thought of shutting the shop for good, but it is surprising that this year probably because of the lockdown, there is new demand for kites, lattai reels and thread. The business is back.”
3. Avid kite flyers like the editor of this paper have flown kites at 5,800m at Makalu Base Camp in winds gusting up to 60 knots. (The kite survived because the air is so thin.)
4. To down enemy kites, you need strong home-made majha made of snail slime or starch and powdered glass. Once the adversary kite is cut, it is mandatory for the flight crew to emit a blood-curdling “Chaiiiiiiit”, and let the triumphant kite perform elaborate victory rolls.
5. Traditional Nepali made of hand-made lokta paper were heavy and took a stiff breeze to get air borne. Once up, they behaved like lumbering bombers. Latter day ‘Lucknow’ kites, although they do not come from Lucknow anymore, are the versatile and fast Spitfires of the air.
6. The skills of Kathmandu’s kite warriors are passed down from generation to generation.Kite cadets learn to gauge the breeze,its direction & velocity. Take-off is the trickiest part, the timing has to be just right as you let it go in a tumbling motion riding on a gust of wind.
7. A kite's flight is defined by Bernoulli’s principle. When the kite is in equlibrium, four forces - gravity, lift, resistance (drag), and tension of the kite line - cancel out. Drag tends to push the kite horizontally back while the kite line pulls the kite forward.