Sumi looked at the kite on the sky. She had made it fly that high, or at least partly did it. Her responsibility was to hold the lattai (thread spool). We all thought she was too young for her age for the job but her seven-years old self had defied our expectations.
Her older sister, Maya, had used her hands to give the kite its first leap from the ground onto the sky. She had yanked the yellow plastic kite with both of her hands and instructed Sumi to let the breeze do its work. As the wind took the kite farther away from them, Maya excitedly asked Sumi to tighten the thread by spinning the spool towards herself – a common technique to make the kite gain height. The process was then repeated for a few minutes until the kite had reached heaven.
Sumi squinted her eyes at the kite. “It’s so small,” she murmured to herself.
“Loosen the thread or roll it back, that’s the fun of flying a kite,” I told Sumi. She had been holding the lattai firm on her hands, without letting it move in either direction.
“No, if I pull it I’m afraid someone will chait our kite! Look at that purple kite,” she said, pointing at a roaring paper kite right above our heads, “it’s coming to fight us!” She clenched her jaw in, what I read as, fear.
“Then release the thread and make it disappear in the sky,” I teased her.
She looked at me in utmost seriousness. “What if a crow builds a nest on our kite?”