Krutika Desai : While I’m not very traditional when it comes to celebrating festivals and performing religious rituals, I do like spending at least 2 hours of my time in the kitchen on the eve of Makar Sankrant rolling the traditional til ke laddoo with my sisters. They’re particularly good at making all the typical ‘Til’ delicacies … I’m not much of a cook, so I just help them by rolling the laddoos. I’m not really into kite-flying so Makar Sankrant is all about some quality family time with feasting on all the goodies for me.
Mukul Harish: I was born and brought up in Ahmedabad, which meant that I was exposed to everything that spelt remotely Gujarati. The preparations for Makar Sankranti used to start way in advance with us choosing the biggest, most colourful and most creative kite. The festival brings back memories of the awesome fun we used to have during the kite flying competitions. The manja (thread) used to fly kites laced with sharp elements and is a key element for the kite flying competition. My parents never allowed me to fly kites from the terrace. Rival groups would gather in a huge maidaan and the competition would start with a war cry. Once the kite flying session got over, we would go home and polish the Sankranti special sweets off the plates.
Jay Bhanushali : Every Gujarati worth his dhokla will tell you that Makar Sankranti is one of the most auspicious occasions for the Hindus, and is celebrated in almost all parts of the country in myriad cultural forms, with great devotion, fervor & gaiety. It is a harvest festival. Makar Sankranti is perhaps the only Indian festival whose date always falls on the same day every year i.e. the 14th of January. I was not very good at it but absolutely loved flying kites.
Avinash Sachdev : Every kid in my hometown, Baroda, knows how to fly kites but I feel very embarrassed of the fact that I cannot! My entire family are brilliant at the activity. As a child, I used to sit downstairs when my father, uncles and cousins would be on the terrace flying kites passionately. It’s not that I did not try but after many failed attempts I realized that I am only good at holding the Phirki while someone else calls the shots. I loved the sesame sweets (til) prepared during Makar Sankranti and the most exciting part was digging out the 25 paise coins hidden inside those delicious til gud mithais.
Suhasi Dhami – For us Gujaratis, Makar Sankranti holds much significance as it is a festival that celebrates the abundant harvest. The elders in the family would always make it a point to give gifts to the younger members. Of course, the day wasn’t complete without the yummy delicacies prepared for us. I would feel bad for that my mother and aunts would spend hours preparing these mithais that we would finish within a few minutes!
Mitali Nag : I have always been a complete tomboy right from childhood so on every Makar Sankranti, I used to join my cousins on the terrace to fly kites! However being a girl, they would never permit to do anything more then hold the manza so I remember once I got so angry with them that I pulled the string so hard that I ended up cutting my fingers! I was secretly pleased as my cousins got a huge scolding from my Mum!!!
Usha Nadkarni : Every year I prepare til gud at home to bring in this festival. And usually all of my relatives come home to celebrate it with me! This year, as usual I don’t know what my shooting schedule is like so I cannot make any plans. But, however much til gul you give me I really cannot say – “til-gul ghya, god god bola” …kyunki mujhe baat acchi nahi lag rah hai ki koi tyohaar manaane nahi mil raha hai (I don’t like it that I’m not getting time to celebrate any festivalL)!!!
Sara Khan – While we don’t celebrate Makar Sankrant or Lohri at home, I am a major kite-flying enthusiast. Unlike most girls my age, I was always really good at it and I took part in a lot of kite-flying competitions. It was always so much fun to bring down your competitor’s kite. It calls for a lot of studied dexterity and I somehow had the knack for it! I’d love to do some kite flying this Sankrant!