“Closing Sohrab’s door, I wondered if that was how forgiveness budded, not with the fanfare of epiphany, but with pain gathering its things, packing up, and slipping away unannounced in the middle of the night.”
‘How can someone have such a nuanced perception and such a deep insight into the triviality of human existence, its struggles and happiness’s, found in small nooks and corners, amidst turmoil hitting in its most tangible form?’, was the only question left in my mind after I was done with this book. ‘Khaled Hosseini’, in his masterpiece ‘The Kite Runner’, which also happens to be his first published novel, established him as one of the greatest contemporary prose writers.
I always look for some space of familiarity within a work of fiction, often found in one of the characters, and the same happened with this book, but in the most beautiful way that I have ever experienced while reading. In this excellent piece of work, he paints a picture of a wounded country, with political instability and turmoil, alongside a parallel narrative of a family, with secrets unheard and expectations always materializing. It talks about the pains of immigration, how we settle ourselves in times of anxiety. It talks about the pains of keeping up a secret and the way this obligation translates into our daily actions, how then we react to our responsibilities and desires, to be able to find a common ground of acceptance and understanding. It talks about the need to forgive ourselves, the actual way of absolving ourselves of the sins of the past, of redemption and letting go, for once in our lives. This is the only book that I have come across, in which I feel, every reader will be able to identify and relish that space of familiarity.
Amir, the son of the richest businessman in Kabul, only craves for his father’s love and support. Amidst his struggles to gain his acceptance, he finds recluse in the gleeful games that he plays with ‘Hassan’, who happens to be his father’s servant’s son. Unconscious of their differences, or maybe not completely, the two boys find relief in each other’s company, to forget the demons of their past, just like their fathers did. But something happens, in the winter of 1975, something dreadful, that separates all the fates, continents apart. While Ali and Hassan leave the house, the same night, Russian troops take over the land, and Amir and his Baba have to leave the country. They come to America, thinking that they will leave the past behind, but the past always claws its way out, until one day, Amir, an established writer now, returns to the land where he grew up, to find redemption, although the land is completely changed now, ever since the inception of the Taliban.
What happened to Hassan and Ali all this while? What happened in the winter of 1975, that made all the difference? Why is Amir haunted by the ghosts of his past all these years? Is it the pains of immigration, or is there something else? Freedom can be a falsating ideal, after all. What is this way of redemption that Amir sees, to attain peace? Is there at all, a way to be good again? What is the price of this redemption? What is found and what is lost, in order to let go? All these questions will be answered, when you read the book, and much more. You will remember your childhood and also when you lost it. But I guess this realization is also a latent privilege. “In Afghanistan, there are many children, but little childhood.”, to begin with.
“The old adage in writing is to write about what you’ve experienced in life. I was going to experience what I had already written about.”, Hosseini writes in the foreword of the book. There is a relationship, an inter-dependence of sorts, between fiction and reality. It’s not just reality that affects fiction. Sometimes the relationship operates the other way round too. That is the beauty of language. This is the only work of fiction that I have read so far, that is so close to reality.
I’d say, have a tissue box beside while you sit down to read the book, and if you can, read it in one go. You will be able to experience the totality of it, most directly. It’s devastating, unforgettable and heartbreaking because it’s true. Truth is all that.
“Do not pity the dead, Harry.
Pity the living, and above all,
All those, who live without love.”
P.S. Read the book right now.
|Name of the Book:
|The Kite Runner|
| 9781408850251, 1408850257
|Awards if any:||.|
|Purchase link:||Available on snapdeal|
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