The Basant Kite Festival was originally banned in 2005, but following protests by kite flying enthusiasts and local manufacturers whose livelihood depended on the big event, the ban was temporarily lifted in 2007. Eleven people died and hundreds others were injured that year as a result of kite fighting, and Lahore hasn’t hosted Basant ever since. You can still see the occasional kite flying high over the city skyline, but those who dare engage in the pastime face serious consequences if caught. The Lahore Kite Flying Association has suggested creating designated kite-flying zones to minimize accidents, but to no avail . There are voices who claim the reasons for the ban have less to do with accidnets and more with religion, as extremist groups see the tradition as un-Islamic and threaten to launch attacks if Basant is held again.
Kite fighters usually have an assistant (known as charka gir) who is responsible for smooth operation of the line, ensuring no entanglement when flying. Boys and men take to their roofs and thousands of colourful kites fly and fight in the sky. It is a significant moment where people from different social classes meet to play together. The very poor part of the population who cannot afford to buy a kite collect straggling kites that fall onto the floor; they are the called kite runners. Kite selling is a popular profession in the country as thousands are sold every week.
Although Sohrab misses his father and mother (and grandmother), he admits he doesn't want to see them. Or, rather, them to see him. All the terrible things Assef and the guards did to him has made him feel "dirty" and guilty. Sohrab's father, Hassan, seems like the most lovable guy in the world. Hassan does, however, hide his tragedy from others, compounding Amir's guilt. How does Amir hide the fact that he abandoned Hassan? Does Baba hide anything? What about Soraya? Why do all these characters hide so much? Will Sohrab, like them, hide his tragic experience?