‘The Kite Runner’ one of the most loved stories of our time is another phenomenal work by the reputed author of ‘A thousand Splendid Suns’, Khaled Hosseini.

Amir and Hassan, two little Afghan boys grow up under the same roof, except one sleeps under a lavish bedroom of his own, other in a mud hut. Amir’s whole life is about impressing his baba jaan who inwardly feels disappointed in him. Hassan’s life is more about Amir. By nature the boys are poles apart. But Amir a proud Pashtun and an insecure son is always neglecting Hassan’s devotion intentionally. Hassan on the other hand, a Hazara and the son of their servant is free from any insecurity and loves his friend with utter devotion. “For you a thousand times over Amir Agha” as he says over and over again meaning deeply and moistening our eyes every single time. He never loses a chance to stand up for Amir in any thick and thin. Hapless Hassan eventually had to face something that changes their lives forever in order to keep Amir’s head high. In return Amir full of gnawing guilt manages to get him out of the house. Although, the guilt expands.

In the wake of Russian intrusion in Afghanistan Amir and his father had to flee to America to save their lives, leaving their lives behind in Afghanistan. Years later an established writer Amir marries and lives his life with comfort, devoid of satisfaction and mental peace. Out of the blues Amir finds out about some harsh truths about himself and Hassan. Furthermore, now he needs to go to the Taliban oppressed Afghanistan reluctantly to save Hassan’s son.

This story is heart rendering sometimes gut wrenching but hauntingly beautiful out and out. The notion of Hassan’s friendship, his honesty, his loyalty makes you awfully sad but content. Amir’s quest for recognition in his father’s eyes, his complexed thinking, his bulging ego, his cowardice makes you angry and restless. But all in all this story is mostly about redemption. Hassan’s and his father’s. Hassan figures out that all those years he was only avoiding his guilt, only delaying it for sometime. Whereas he should have taken some real action to break free from his burdened soul. It’s really a high time to right all the wrongs he had done to Hassan and to himself.

This story makes you cry, makes you weep, puts a smile on your face at times, you get angry, you feel disgusted, throughout you are overwhelmed with one emotion or the other. This is the kind of a book that lives with you forever. The characters speak to you and indulge you. Amir adopts from Hassan in the end “For you a thousand times over” finally learning to give instead of receiving. Besides, this line haunts you in your wakefulness and in sleep.

If it wasn’t for Khaled Hosseini, Afghanistan would have just been an idea for me. Now it’s an exquisite land that has unimaginably endured a lot. It is it’s people who find pleasure in little things, and great values who never deserved such an uncertain life. The writing style is vivid, characters powerful and storyline intensely thought provoking. It’s a melancholic melody that soothes you. For me, it’s indubitably one of my best reads ever.

Surbhi Islam

One thought on “Book Review: The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini”

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