A Thousand Times Over
When you feel guilt, you drown yourself in it. Sooner, you achieve redemption. But let’s not oversimplify things: Guilt kills like drinking spoiled milk for breakfast, or worse like Miriam DS, death threats. Redemption meanwhile makes you lose things, sacrifice. These two make Khaled Hosseini’s The Kite Runner a profound read. One for the ages.
A simple plot slices the Afghanistan complication— a Sunni rich jealous kid Amir and his Shi’a harelipped Hazara playmate Hasaan. They’re frenemies that so much we can tell. They happily go climbing on trees, dirtying their clothes, watching movie screenings… together. But to much family discord, Amir betrays the latter, and kicks him out of his house. Moreover, he follows the trails of his childishness and cowardice, as he grows dazed in a vacuum of lies. So much lies.
Aside from the first person prose, what I lik a lot about the novel is Hosseini’s ability to show war from such a meager “friendship” storyline. Talibans ruling and killing. Corpses lying on the streets. Houses peeling down to dilapidation. Nang(honor) and namoos(pride) fumbling on the soil. It’s Kabul, once fruitful turned into a scrawny county.
Human emotions are flowing in the pages. I almost shed a tear when Amir’s burly dad, Baba who battled a bear in Baluchistan (“My daddy’s greater than your daddy!”), was lying helpless and frothing from his cancer. Amir was holding him in his arms, hushing, “Baba jan, I’m here. Your son is right here.” I was immediately reminded of my father in a seizure as he was strolled to the ICU last October.
Albeit this, Baba will always be my favorite character. I forgot though what he looked like in the movie…
BABA: I want you to ask this man something. Ask him where his shame is.
BABA: War doesn’t negate decency. It demands it, eve more in times of peace.
You see, I borrowed the book from my blockmate Kea, on a mission to save my neurons. I am going to at least read one GOOD book a week, which started last Wednesday night. If you would want to help save me from stupidity, lend me your book set, which might do. Lol. As for now, Zendagi Migzara. Life goes on.