"It always hurts more to have and lose than to not have in the first place."
They say deathbeds are for regrets, but how does one seek redemption from his guilt if he waits that long? For Khaled Hossseini rightly says, "There are a lot of children in Afghanistaan, but little childhood."
The plot in a nutshell is the coming of age story of Amir, a 12 year old Afghani lad and his best friend Hassan. Although their friendship is fenced with the regulations of culture and caste they have their own reasons to be the best of friends that they are and with the twist of time the 'are' changes to 'were'. An event shatters their lives into soo many pieces that Hassan is made to leave the place and all that Amir would now treasure is repenting a mistake he committed and now seeks redemption for it. What happens when he finally makes up his mind to hold his head on his shoulder and for once do something for a friend who always stood by him like wall?
Here are a few reasons why you must glue yourself to this book this weekend:
"I asked her why she was afraid and she said that they only let you be this happy if they're preparing to take something from you".
Amir is in search of only one thing in his father's eyes - appreciation - and he knows he must prove himself to earn it. The traditional kite fight is his only chance and to his help comes his bff Hassan. They win the fight but does Amir finally win the appreciation and respect of his father? The situations of happy and sad moments put on platter by Hosseini keeps you wanting for more. The innocence of the two friends, the unfolding fate and the heart shredding twists puts you in the driver seat of the story and thus makes it a read easy to connect to.
"And that's the thing about people who mean everything they say. They think everyone else does too.":
We as audiences love the dramatic promises, the over the top jay, veeru friendship songs and the masala the story brings in, however Hosseini in his book offers a fresh and believeable take on friendship and that is what makes the reader fall in love with the book.
The characters are flawed and thus relateable. Amir makes a mistake of not sticking by his friend when he should, he lies, he is jelous when his father gives attention to his best friend, he is guilty of his actions and above all he wants to make things right. Hosseini sketches his character with such art that he generates sympathy for Amir not through his personality but through the upcoming conditions. Other characters like Baba, Soraya and Shorabh all put the pieces of the puzzle in the right place.
"There is only one sin and that is theft...when you tell a lie, you steal someone's right to the truth."
What draws you to the book is the simple language which stiches together many pieces of deep philosophies. What is a story that offers you no moral after all? You easily step into the shoes of these characters and thus the lessons learnt in the course are equally yours. The tears, smiles, goodbyes and welcomes are emotions you live through the book.
"There is a way to be good again..."
He ends the book with two words 'I RAN' and that sums the whole journey up precisely. Amir gathers courage to face the mirror of his past, to search justification for his doings and to make things right, if only fate had similar plans like his. Through the course of this story Khaled makes you believe that indeed past claws its way up and the only thing you can do is face it for once and for all. For life goes on unmindful of beginning or end, crisis or catharsis moving forward like a slow dusty caravan of kochis. Also in the end some things might not "end" well but you live with it.
The American Library Association reported that The Kite Runner was one of its most-challenged books of 2008, with multiple attempts to remove it from libraries due to "offensive language, being sexually explicit and unsuited to age group." Afghan American readers were particularly hostile towards the depiction of Pashtuns as oppressors and Hazaras as the oppressed.
The film generated more controversy through the 30-second rape scene, with threats made against the child actors, who originated from Afghanistan. Zakria Ebrahimi, the 12-year-old actor who portrayed Amir, had to be removed from school after his Hazara classmates threatened to kill him, and Paramount Pictures was eventually forced to relocate three of the children to the United Arab Emirates.
Title image: presto