Faces at a Festival

Ben Ruhe
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Big kite festivals draw a wide range of fliers, from professionals to skilled amateur enthusiasts----hobbyists, craftsmen, aerodynamicists, artists, poets, teachers, outdoors people. Following are biographical sketches of six of the kiters, selected rather randomly although all proved to be interesting subjects, who attended last spring’s international festival at Cervia, Italy.

Iqbal Husain:

A Pakistani living in the Ticino, Switzerland where he works as a web content manager for a bank, Husain is passionate about kitemaking, flying, and collecting. His piquant humor is reflected in the kites he makes, mainly trains. One centipede has a crocodile as its head and a string of handbags as the train, another a white chicken trailed by dozens of frying pans, each with a fried egg.

A pig’s head followed by salami slices and a cow’s head by hamburgers are further examples of this very personal viewpoint. The drollery penetrates Husain’s daily life. When he fills in an immigration landing card when traveling, for example, under “occupation” he claims “18th century Indian gymnastics.” “That never fails to produce raised eyebrows,” he says.

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