Reading is an escape.

It’s as simple as I could put it. Reading helps us escape into a world where there are no worries and everything is all right. There are no tears, no sorrows, every villain die in the end, the prince gets her princess and they live happily ever after. And it fills us with a sense of deep satisfaction, knowing that somewhere, even though it’s just our imagination, everything is going to be just fine.

If you are into that, trust me, ‘The Kite Runner’ is not for you. It’s not a book you would want to curl up with, this book would make you sit up straight and forget the world around you. This book is not something you could read over a cuppa coffee instead you would want to take it to dinner with you and still it wouldn’t be enough (I know, it wasn’t for me!!). But even if I say so, I know, you are not going to resist the challenge and will definitely pick it up.

‘The Kite Runner’ is not going to balm your soul against the injustice in society; in fact, it is going to make you question your consensus towards everything. It takes you on a journey of 12-year old Amir who had it all, a very rich and successful father, a big mansion and a faithful servant to take care of everything. What he didn’t have was a mother to be there for him, his father’s approval and courage to stand up for what he wanted or to even accept things just as they were.  This book beautifully portrays how our future is shaped by the decisions we make. And not only does it make us who we are and who we become, it shows us how one bad decision or incident can stick with us and mar the lives of those who are directly or indirectly affected by it.

Set in the backdrop of 1970s Afghanistan, this book follow Amir and his loyal friend Hassan through their times spent together concocting various mischief to entertain themselves, Hassan always saving Amir’s when caught, Amir being pampered by Ali , Hassan’s father, who is a servant in Amir’s house, Amir’s struggle to gain his father’s approval and in the process finding an ally in Rahim, his father’s business partner and friend, A kite flying competition and an incident that changed everything,  The social barrier silencing every relation made above blood, Soviet invasion and the refugee life in US,  Amir’s return to Afghanistan to meet a dying Rahim Khan and in the process finally finding the redemption he was longing for.

 

This book is not a chick-flick and it’s not a memoir or science fiction but it sure is a classic page-turner. Throughout the narration, you will find yourself relating to atleast one or two incident (in my case, there were many) and you would want to know everything about Amir’s struggles and whether he did what was right in the end. All the twists, the rise and fall cycle of life, the way one picks its life back pieces by pieces, and happiness and a little remorse and guilt is what this book is all about. Although, it is filled with dark and intense memories of a child, in a twisted yet subtle way, we can interpret that life gives everybody a second chance, and though we can’t go back and change the past, we can always look forward to a bright future.

The author, Khalid Hosseini, possess a talent to weave traumatic events with hope and warmth and such intensity that would make you think twice. He was born in 1965 in Kabul, Afghanistan and moved to the United States in 1980 shortly after the Soviet invasion. Currently he is a doctor and lives with his wife and two children in Northern California. Khalid remembered his roots and consequently became the winner of 2006 and 2007 Penguin/Orange Readers’ Group Prize. Such was the compassion of this tale that it couldn’t be left untold and thus ‘The Kite Runner’ is now a major Feature Film.

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Nahid Arzoo

Nahid Arzoo