Archive for September 2nd, 2007

The Kite Runner

Yesterday I finally got a chance to read Khaled Hosseini’s The Kite Runner. This book has been on my wish list for a long time. And then my team at work presented it to me. I was glad, ecstatic. Books are no less than a passion for me, they give me fuel to live on.

My date with The Kite Runner was being delayed with my inability to take out energy and time, while coping with challenges associated with new job. But once I started, it was hard to stop. I started reading it at night when clock struck 12. Once I had read the first few chapters, it was hard to put the book down. But sleep I did, it was impossible to ignore my granny’s angry rebukes to sleep.

Sleep was difficult to come by, I had read about 6 chapters in half an hour. It had summed up most of the first part of the story. I deeply felt Amir’s torment and imagined Hassan’s anguish. The book had done something to my insides. When the lights were switched off in my room, I tried to reach out to my best friend; I was deeply moved. But it was not to be as my friend was sleeping. After all it was about 1 a.m. in night.

I slept for 8 hours, only to wake up and resume reading The Kite Runner without brushing my teeth, without moving out of bed. It took my granny’s exasperated reprimands to finally get me moving to bath and have breakfast. I was eager to know what happened next in the book. I was curious if Amir and Hassan met again. Were things between them were as glorious as before? How does redemption come for Amir? Is Hassan doomed for life?

I finished the book in afternoon. It was such a gripping and captivating tale that I could not bring myself to interrupt my reading to even speak to my aunt who was visiting me. So much that she asked me if she was disturbing me. I could not dare to be honest; instead I tried to sum up the tale for her. (I had then reached the third part of the story where Amir, the narrator meets his arch nemesis, Assef.) As if that would explain my impoliteness!

In the backdrop of Amir’s story, history of Afghanistan is stated. The first part describes the glorious Afghanistani era of Buzkashi, soccer, and kite-running competitions, dotted with caste differences and ironies. The second part describes war-ridden Afghanistan when attacked by Russia. The third part is about Taliban take-over, it is most gruesome and sad part of the story. Yet it ends on a note of optimism. I hope that the story does not die here.

This book is story of both cruelty and love, and sin and redemption. It does not preach, yet has a message. It is not a historical chronicle, yet educates. It is not an outright tragedy, yet your heart bleeds for the characters in the story. It is not a comedy, yet it gives you a smile and a hope.

If you have not read the book yet, visit here to read the summary of first seven chapters of this wonderful book. I am sure after you read more, you would want to know more about the author, Khaled Hosseini. You wonder, how much of his first book was auto-biographical. You might want to read his interview here and listen to his radio interview at this Web page.

And me, I am going to call my aunt to apologize to tell her why I could not be attentive to her yesterday.

P.S: Admist my internal turmoil after reading the book, I tuned in to Idian Idol 3 results only to watch my favorite contestant, Ankita, voted out. It was a day certainly high on my emotions.

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Visceral Observations is written by Poonam Sharma. It is licensed to her under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License
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September 2007