VADODARA: With the country all set to welcome US President Barack Obama for the Republic Day in New Delhi, the 'Modi-Obama' kites are the flavour this season in Gujarat for the 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 celebrated today, said Mehmod Khubhanbhai Patangwala, Secretary of Vadodara kite sellers and owners association.
"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.
Also, the US Secretary of State John Kerry's warm hug to Modi during the Vibrant Gujarat Summit has further boosted the sale of 'Modi-Obama' kites in Vadodara and other parts of the state, the 50-year-old association secretary claimed.
Kashyap Upendrabhai Vaidya (around 45 years of age), an avid kite-flyer hailing 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.
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 for celebrating 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 Shahrukh Khan, Salman Khan and Kareena Kapoor, but the 'Modi-Obama' kites are the most popular this season.