Fenil and Bollywood

Riteish says Tilgul ghya godd godd bola

Posted on: January 14, 2010

FLYING HIGH: Riteish Deshmukh

Riteish Deshmukh plays Kite Runner and shares fond memories of Makar Sankranti

MEENA IYER Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; January 14, 2010)

What’s Riteish Deshmukh going to be doing today? We can tell you. The actor, who is in a festive mood because of Makar Sankranti and his forthcoming films Rann and Jaane Kahan Se Aayi Hai, will be flying kites from the terrace of his apartment block in Worli Seaface. Makar Sankranti today, or the Kite Festival, marks the end of winter and the onset of spring. It is also the Maharashtrian harvest day and one of the many (Lohri in the North, Pongal in the South) in India. And Riteish says that as a child he eagerly looked forward to this day in the Hindu calendar.

“Dad (Vilasrao Deshmukh) was a minister even during the phase when I was growing up. And I remember waiting for the sankranti festival. It meant I could collect all the children in the workers’ quarters and go on to the terrace to fly kites,” says Riteish. He remembers attempting to make his own kites out of newspapers. “And those kites would invariably turn out to be too heavy and wouldn’t fly,” he laughs. The manja that was sharpened with grated glass and other such elements cut his hands… but the excitement of the kite-flying was so high, that little mishaps didn’t matter. Riteish also remembers the other important tradition of distributing til ka laddoos. “We would greet every guest and house member saying, “Tilgul ghya godd godd bola.’ The other clear memory I have is of shouting ‘kai po che’ when we brought the neighbouring kites down.” In recent years, the Bollywood actor who has come into his own for comedy roles, has missed out on the sankranti action. “I haven’t flown kites recently,” says Riteish wistfully. “However, I always make it a point to distribute tilgul even on my sets if I am shooting on that day.”
meena.iyer@timesgroup.com

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