Posted in BOOK THOUGHTS, FICTION, LIFE, REVIEWS

RAMBLES, ATONEMENT, HEALING AND RENEWAL: READING KHALED HOSSEINI’S THE KITE RUNNER

I was recently admitted into the new age spirit of an e-reader, a Kobo specifically. It took reading The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini to remind me that I still love that traditional smell of a fresh book that reaches to you like the smell of fresh fries on a hungry stomach.

In The Kite Runner, we are introduced to a certain present time by the lead character narrator. He talks of a phone call in 2001 that has changed him. Then by the next page, he takes us on a ride through his memory lane talking of his entire life from childhood to the time when he got married and that very time – 2001. It took some 150 or so pages to get there so you can imagine that with the excitement of Hosseini’s narrative and flowery diction, I had to trace my way back to Page 1. Now, the e-reader wasn’t fast enough to get me there – or I didn’t want to waste time – so I jumped to one of my bookshelves and picked the paperback. I read the two pages in seconds and was back on speed with my book (Page 175).

Oh! Did I mention that I am still reading the book? It is one you should. I think Khaled Hosseini is worthy of every praise he is getting. His story as I have read so far traces how we make decisions that haunt us. Our lead character out of childhood jealousy and a hope to impress his father betrays his best friend (Hassan) and does not stand up for his friend in a time of danger. This is despite Hassan being in that position because he had stuck to his ground

The Kite Runner
The Kite Runner

retrieving a kite for the honour of our lead character (Amir). Hassan forgives Amir and begs him to play but guilt strangles any joy that Amir might have had. In the end, he sets Hassan up and makes him to be driven away.

Okay, you don’t get the picture. There’s this caste system and Hassan is the son of the servant of Amir’s father. So, despite being born at the same time with Amir and sharing the breasts of a woman brought to suckle them (Hassan’s mother ran away and Amir’s mother died after childbirth), Hassan is to be Amir’s servant too. They become friends and Hassan is OVERTLY loyal. He is a strong boy who stands up for Amir always. Now, eventually Amir gets envious of his own father liking Hassan. He also wants to win the love of his father who doesn’t think much of children who prefer reading to playing soccer! Anyways, so, that is the point where this and that happens, Hassan still sacrifices a million times more for Amir and has to leave with his father breaking a relationship of many years.

War and instability comes to Afghanistan. Amir leaves his native Afghanistan and migrates to America with his father (his mother is dead, by the way). Time rolls on itself and a lot happens; his father dies, he gets married etc etc. He hopes to have fresh starts but he discovers; the past never really leaves us. It cannot be really buried. Perhaps ignored sometimes but never buried in entirety. Like our shadows, this past clings to us and when day shines we find it walking beside us. Well, that’s most of what I have made of his position.

As I read on, I think empathically of what Hassan’s life would be like at that point. How the pranks and nonchalance of the young Amir changed the destiny of Hassan and his father. I am thinking of how our acts of commissions and omissions end up being the decider on the making or breaking of people. I am thinking of my own childhood, decisions I have made and wondering if there aren’t holes to the past that I need to fill in whatever way. In some cases we have little or nothing to do but if we think deep we will discover that though we can’t right all wrongs, there are certain things we can do to make amends and be better.

As Hosseini says, there is a way to be good again.

Yes, there is a way to be good again. May the times give us the grace to be better each moment and work to right whatever wrong we can. We only live once, why don’t we make it worth it?

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Some all-rounded writer with the wits to turn anything and everything to words with inspiration... cheering to glory and on...

11 thoughts on “RAMBLES, ATONEMENT, HEALING AND RENEWAL: READING KHALED HOSSEINI’S THE KITE RUNNER

  1. ..Great Book, One of the best I read last year. Khaleed Hosseini is a great writer…You should read a thousand splendid suns too. You are so right on the money about the unmitigated joy the feeling of the pages of a real book gives. It is inexplicable to me. I have the writer’s latest, “The mountains echoed” in soft copy and I have not been able to read it. Right now I cannot imagine a world without hard copies… Lovely review as always bro….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Doc, merci beaucoup. Kind compliment. If I blush too much and change complexion I will come and find you…and it wouldn’t be funny, trust me 🙂

      Too many books to read jare. Only just finished Carlos Ruiz Zafon’s ‘Angel’s Game’. Great book but I think that his ‘Shadow of the Wind’ is the most awesome book ever!
      I bought ‘The Kite Runner’ and ‘And the mountains echoed’ in Ibadan last year but I’ve not been able to get to them till now. If you were close, I might have considered lending you the book…but oh well…
      I have ‘A Thousand Splendid Suns’ on the E-reader. I guess I will read it next… But walahi, my brother, I nearly forgot the beauty of the held book – and to think that I am meant to be a publisher! (*hides face)

      Truly, what will this world be without our hardies? May the heavens save us!
      What’s on your reading list?

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      1. Please blush oooo, so that you can come look for me…but hold the book sha…lol!! Apart from knowing that Carlos Ruiz Zafon is Spanish and one of the richest writers around, I don’t know much else about the dude. Tolkien’s, The Two Towers, Margaret Mitchell’s, Gone With The Wind and Thoma Friedman’s, The Lexus and The Olive Tree….The list is more than a 1000 long sha…

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        1. Chai! I will not try to compete with your list o! Hmmm….. Oh well, I like the list. I might borrow some part of it. Maybe we should share book lists. I wish you will begin to take some e-reading notes… As Topazo said, let’s enter the 21st Century! Abi?

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  2. Yay! Master Su enters the 21st century! Please don’t you look back o, change is hard but you eventually get used to it. Soon, the feel of the screen as you scroll through a book will be a wonder…
    And books you can’t get easy access to can be yours with just a single tap on your screen. The possibility is limitless!
    nice review…let me run to kindle and get me an e-copy!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hmmm…. Lemme see if I can get into this spirit of electronic screen but I no sure o… Sha, hmmm, if the magical Doctor has spoken, what can we mere mortals do or say? 🙂

      But kai, that your first line, the yab no easy o… Chai… I will get back to you, even though you tried to cover up with that compliment (thank you sha)… 🙂

      Like

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