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The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
“Hassan and I 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.
His was Amir. My name.
Looking back on it now, I think the foundation for what happened in the winter of 1975- all that followed- was already laid in those first words.”
The Kite Runner is a book about loyalty, betrayal and most of all, undying love between a twelve year old boy Amir and his servant’s son, Hassan. Amir is always trying to gain the approval of his Baba, bringing home awards and trophies just to make his father pat his shoulder and say that he is proud of him.
But Baba barely nods his approval and pays less that little attention to Amir’s desperate attempts at being noticed.
Set in the background of post-war Afghanistan, this beautifully crafted book circles around the lives of these two little boys; Hassan and Amir and emphasizes the fact that ‘pride’ changes the mindset of people. Hassan was aware of the fact that he was a servant’s son and his best friend was also his master. But nevertheless, his world revolved around Amir. He fought with all those bullies who used to tease Amir for his short height and feeble built. He worshipped him and stuck to him like glue until the very end when Amir does something that he regrets all his life.
He simply stands there, behind the brick wall, watching. He doesn’t dare to come out and save his best friend. Maybe because he was too scared of those bullies. Maybe he was scared of losing his own life. He just stands there, watching it all happen.
He just stands there, watching Hassan get raped.
Hassan knows that Amir is out there, watching him. But he loves Amir too much; he doesn’t say a word.
Amir returns back home without him, unable to face his father. What would he say? Would he slap him or maybe punish him? Will his past attempts to please his father go in vain?
Amir doesn’t know. He is confused. And most of all, he is guilty. He puts an accusation on Hassan for stealing his expensive watch so that his father would dismiss Hassan’s father and they both move out.
What follows next is a story of indebtedness; realization and redemption. After about a time gap of twenty years, during which Russia takes over Afghanistan and most of the native families are forced to flee from the country, Amir sets out to look for Hassan, to make amendments, and to get back his long lost friendship.
The Kite Runner is a masterful and an honest story that will have you both weeping and smiling at the misery of the situation. The author has painted a beautiful picture with this book of his which will surely have you begging for more.