books, the kite runner, afgahanistan

The Kite Runner by Khaled Housseini

The Kite Runner is set in the 70s in Afghanistan. In Wazir Akbhar Khan District in the Northern parts of Kabul there lived two boys, Amir and Hasaan. They both fed from the same breasts, took their first steps and said their first words under the same roof, but had two different parents. Amir’s Baba (father) is an affluent shop owner in Kabul. Hasaan is the son of the servant of Amir’s household. The young lads both grew up without mothers.

Kite flying has been a sport practised for over 100 years in Afghanistan. In the winter of 1975 when Amir and Hasaan were about 12 years old, the kite flying tournament was going to be held in their district and was possibly the biggest tournament in 25 years; with Amir the Kite Fighter and Hasaan the Kite Runner. Little did they know that, that would be the last time they ever flew kites together.

Amir’s dreams was attained on that winters day, winning the Tournament. He made his Baba proud. Now his Baba would have something to boast about to his friends and at the lavish, generous parties he threw.

His loyal friend Hasaan ran for the kite that day and Amir ran behind him at a distance. He was stopped in his tracks. What he witnessed that day, and, his non-actions, has left him with a burdened secret that he carried with him most of his life.

In 1976, the Russians invaded Afghanistan and the family was forced to flee to America. In December 2001 Amir got a phone call from his friend Rahim Khan in Pakistan. The voice on the other side said, “There is a way to be good again”. Staring up at the San Francisco sky Amir saw 2 kites dancing and then he heard the wind carrying the whisper of Hasaan, “For you a thousand times over”.

This is a story of love, friendship, family, betrayal and so many more aspects of the human race that we encounter in our own environment, but in less harsher circumstances. Our perception is always conducive to our habitat and situations. It makes one feel the gratitude of how small our problems are compared to the obstacles the rest of the world experiences.

I have always known about Afghanistan and its struggles with the Taliban, receiving my information from social media, online news and sitting in the wonderful luxury of my own home watching the television. It was all great to sit here and feel all this anger and all these heightened emotions of how unfair the world is and how can people mistreat their own kind, the human race.

When I picked up this book to read, never had I expected to be transported right into the whole plight of this world. Opening the book was sitting in a time machine where every sentence was extra-ordinarily crafted to touch emotions that I didn’t even know existed and there are no words to describe how you felt. I literally (I am not exaggerating) cried through almost every chapter of the book.

This book harmoniously tugs at the emotional chords of your heart, wanting to desperately save every character in the book. I fell in love with every character in the story. The author portrayed each personality in such manner that there are NO villains but only humans shaped by their circumstances and environment. I have read many books of political and social dramas but none has moved me to the pits of my soul like this book.

This is the link to the Wikipedia page for The Kite Runner a #1 bestseller in the New York Times for two years.

A film was made based on this novel. This is the link to the trailer of the film.

This book was also produced in a graphics novel. Below find the links to the novel and the graphics novel on Amazon.

Pragashnie Naidoo