This article is republished from Midday
From radium kites to those that sport faces of Jethalal from ‘Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah’, King Kite Centre is a must-visit for the kite-crazy. Whenever we are in Bandra, for our shopping trails, King Kite Centre manages to grab the eye, thanks to its colourful kites. The shop has been at the same location for 60 years, when owner Salim Qureshi’s father came to the city from Moradabad, Uttar Pradesh, and set up a fruit shop. “Once, we let out our shop on rent to a kite seller for 15 days and he made good business. That’s when we decided to sell kites along with fruits,” shares Qureshi. While today it’s all kites, during season, they also sell mangoes.
The kites come in all varieties, and from different locations too, from Jodhpur to China. The shop stocks different types of manja (string, even strong fishing wires for huge kites). With Qureshi’s only son, Masood’s help, the shop has kept up with times; they have an email id, a Facebook page and ship abroad too. The store recently supplied 5,500 customised kites for IIT-Bombay’s annual festival. Sky lanterns costing ’30 are also hot-sellers. Qureshi has also printed calendars on kites for a company in the past.
The kites are major forecasters of trends: Qureshi has sold Kejriwal kites, Modi kites and the funniest; Sheila and Munni kites (based on the popular item numbers). “We sold a lot of those,” he laughs. On trips to Goa, many Mumbaikars, buy their big kites to fly on its beaches. They also have radium kites to fly at night. The most expensive kite on offer is a cloth kite that costs Rs 2,000.
While they deliver across Mumbai on request, Qureshi proudly reveals how drivers of film stars like Salman Khan and Shahrukh Khan have collected kites from his store.
Time: 10 am to 12 am, daily
At: SV Road, near Lucky Restaurant, Bandra (W).