BOOK REVIEW. “For you a thousand times over.’’
As a reader, I have always believed that books can make one feel so much. ‘The Kite Runner’ running along the old streets of Kabul, Afghanistan had an ever-lasting impact on me.
Amir, a Pashtun and Hassan, a Hazara, who works with his father as a servant in Amir’s father’s house, are the best of friends. They have to fight the societal discrimination of the Hazara community every day. Through this distinction, the author has successfully explained the prevalent community differences.
Amir and Hassan spend their days listening to stories, eating authentic delicacies and flying kites.
But, the day of the Kite Flying Tournament, unleashes incidents which changes the life of the protagonists. Hassan is soon after compelled to leave Kabul. A noticeable feature was that, though Hassan is physically present in only half the story, his memory stays throughout as if he was there all along.
“It may be unfair, but what happens in a few days, sometimes even a single day, can change the course of a whole lifetime…”
Secrets are revealed and the scene swings from Kabul to the city of California. Amir has grown up and is betrothed to the beautiful Soraya, though the shadow of his childhood refuses to leave him. When he gets a call from Rahim Khan, a fatherly figure, he prepares to visit Afghanistan.
The story picks up as one becomes more curious about what will happen once Amir returns. The sadness of the death of close ones , the guilt and the chance to help a young boy, leads both Amir and the readers in an emotional turmoil.
When Amir finally visits his native city, it was no longer like what he remembered, caught in the throes of greed and destruction caused by the Taliban, it had become something unrecognisable. Witness Amir’s rediscovery of Kabul and his self-forgiveness.
The story brings with it heartbreak, love, loyalty and repentance. It is one of the best works of Khaled Hosseini, loved by many.
Fun Fact : Because of its raw and straightforward nature, The Kite runner is banned from several school curriculums and its movie remake is prohibited in Afghanistan.