‘A thousand splendid Suns’ is a heart rendering tale by Khaled Hosseini.

There’s so much I want to say but this story chokes me every time I hold the pen. Nevertheless, I’ll try. Mariam and Laila two hapless women in the backdrop of 70s-80s suffers through all their life while recognising and appreciating the transient pleasures and littlest blessings. Being a woman is not the easiest thing in any corner of the universe but there, in those horrific state of affairs it was a curse.

Hosseini depicts the hardships of innocent people in general and the wretched condition of women in particular. Once riped in cultural heritage and natural beauty Afghanistan was damned brick by brick in the multitude of wars. Then Talibans came and made it difficult for men to breathe and they simply choked women. Today, they all have a horrendous story to tell which can rip your heart apart. Mariam, who once surrendered herself to life’s brutality stood up stronger than ever when it came to her loved ones. Laila, who knew how to rise from the ashes never stopped trying to get out of the dreadfulness of life and relentlessly chased hope. Men, like Tariq stood against the satanic idea that belittles women’s value and gives us a sigh of relief amid the exhausting gloom.

Many a times while reading this book my heart plunged deep into the smoky chasms of dark. I felt adrift and forlorn. In the end, my heart swelled inside of me, suddenly all pain washed away and a close lipped smile mixed with myriads of thoughts stayed for an excruciatingly long time in an unblinking way. There’s so much sensitivity side by side so much brutality going on in the world, I reckoned. And this book makes you look at both.

Hosseini’s narration is so heartfelt, eloquent and vivid, it keeps you hooked till the end. One of the best books I’ve ever read in every manner possible. When realism meets fiction it creates something majestic I believe.

“One could not count the moon’s that shimmer on her roofs
Or the thousand splendid suns that hide behind her walls”

Sab- e -Tabrizi’s these lines written in 18th century sums up the love and reverence of the innocent people in Afghanistan for their motherland which once saw a thousand splendid suns.

(Laying hands on this book was like finally unpacking the heavy bag loaded with some forgotten and some cherished memories. Memories of a journey I began years back. So to say, it was a wedding gift to me that I received from a friend who was then friend enough to know that only this book( and The Kite Runner by the same author) can be my gift. I treasured this book since the day I received it but I neither had the circumstances nor the courage to go through it then. Today, when I finally finished this book with teary eyes, quivering lips, a heavy chest and enlightened mind I can’t thank him enough. Because, once I hesitatingly picked up this book, there was no putting down.)

Surbhi Islam

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