A girl stands near a kite with portraits of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Barack Obama. (Associated Press)
With the country all set to welcome Barack Obama for Republic Day in New Delhi, the 'Modi-Obama' kites, featuring the US President and the Prime Minister, are the flavour this season in Gujarat for the upcoming Makar Sankranti festival.
The markets in Vadodara, Surat, Bharuch, Rajkot, Ahmedabad and other places in the state are flooded with kites featuring 'Modi-Obama' images on them for the Makar Sankranti festival on January 14, Mehmod Khubhanbhai Patangwala, Secretary of Vadodara kite sellers and owners association, told PTI today.
"This year, markets have lots of different types of kites. However, the demand for 'Modi-Obama' kites has gone up after the US President greeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Gujarati during the latter's US visit last year," he said.
Kashyap Upendrabhai Vaidya, an avid kite-flyer from Vadodara who is now a Canadian citizen, said that he has specially flown to the city to celebrate the kite festival on Makar Sankranti.
Mr Vaidya said he does not get an opportunity to fly kites in Canada as no such celebration is held there.
Smita Sanjay Joshi, a kite enthusiast from Vadodara who is settled in the US since 1989, has also come to the city to celebrate the festival of kites.
"I have bought over 100 'Modi-Obama' kites because I am great fan of Modi," she said.
The 27th edition of the popular International Kite Festival began in Vadodara on January 8 and is subsequently travelling to Rajkot, Bhavnagar and Surat districts.
Kites of various shapes, sizes and types are seen in hundreds of kite shops lined up in Gendigate, Wadi, Mandvi, Fatehpura markets of the city.
There are also kites featuring images of Bollywood stars like Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan and Kareena Kapoor, but the 'Modi-Obama' kites are the most popular this season.