Khalid Hosseini is one of my favourite authors. The pathos and poignancy that he brings to his novels is heart breakingly beautiful. I remember a friend of mine once telling me about ‘A Thousand Splendid Suns is’, that it will break your heart into a thousand pieces. She couldn’t have described it better. In fact, A Thousand Splendid Suns is probably the only book, which has been me weep like a child, but more on that later. This post is for his debut novel ‘The Kite Runner’
The story begins with Amir and Hassan’s friendship. Despite Hassan being his servant, they share a deep bond…
’Hassan and I fed from the same breasts. We took our first steps on the same lawn in the same yard. And, under the same roof, we spoke our first words.
Mine was Baba.
Hi was Amir, my name.’
Hassan tells Amir, somewhere at the beginning of the book, ‘for you a thousand times over’ when Amir wins the kite flying competition and Hassan runs to collect the last severed kite. And yet that day changes everything between the friends as Amir fails to stand up for his friend. But it’s not Hassan who despises him, it’s Amir’s own guilt at his own inaction and betrayal, that destroys their friendship. Unable to look Hassan in the eye, Amir even ends up framing Hassan for theft, a charge Hassan admits to and moves away.
As Amir grows up in America away from his homeland, he is haunted by this line repeatedly, the guilt threatening to overtake his life. That’s when he returns to Afghanistan and decides to adopt Sohrab, Hassan’s son. And right at the end when Sohrab flies the kite and severs another kite’s string, Amir asks him if he can run the kite for him, to which Sohrab nods…and Amir tells him ‘for you a thousand times over’ and life comes a full circle offering Amir a chance at redemption
A better book about loyalty and friendship has never been written. Its heart wrenching and painful to say the least but as Amir utters those words right at the end and runs after the kite you can almost feel the wind on your face, relived, even though, just a little bit, at the chance of atonement.
The book is a constant reminder that while we may have our reasons for what we do, when it comes to who love us, the reason should always be love and loyalty.
For this A2Z let F be for Friendship!