Book Review: The Kite Runner

Saima Jummah
An Afghan-American writer Khaled Hosseini, his first book “The kite Runner”, is all about betrayal, loyalty , redemption and child abuse in a conservative Afghan society. This book has given a glance on history of Afghanistan that in this destitute country from late 1970s to 1981 and the start of Soviet occupation then after them Taliban ruled.
Amir remembering something that happened in 1975, an unnamed event was an alley that made him who he was today . Amir, the son of a wealthy father Baba lived in Wazir Akbar khan district of Kabul. Amir’s best friend Hassan who was one year younger than Amir. Amir lost his mother during his birth and Hassan’s mother ran away after he was born. Therefore, both of them were nursed by same the woman. Amir’s first word to speak was Baba and Hassan’s Amir. Hassan’s father was a servant in Amir’s house who were Hazaras, an ethnic minority in Afghanistan that is looked down by the Pashtun majority. Amir and Baba were Pashtuns . Hazaras are Shia Muslim while the Pashtuns are Sunni.
Every winter , district of Kabul held a kite-fighting tournament. Hassan was a kite runner with a cleft lip. Before the day of kite- tournament, Hassan told Amir that he had a dream while both of them were swimming in a lake , a monster appeared but Amir consoled Hassan that there is no any monster. Amir and Hassan both were good kite runners and when the day came , that day was for them, they both won it. They both were delighted. By winning it , Amir was close to his father and he got all the love for which he was thirsty since childhood but after this he also lost his best friend Hassan and his father Ali. When Hassan was being raped by Assef. Amir couldn’t aid his friend , just he watched then he ran away from that place but every time Hassan took Amir’s blame on himself. Hassan was always loyal.
Amir and Baba both betrayed Hassan and Ali. Baba betrayed Ali and Hassan by marrying his savant’s wife and not accepting Hassan as his own son. Amir betrayed them by taking them out of his house. After doing all these Amir reminded himself that he was the monster in the lake. March 1981, Afghanistan was under the control of Afghan communists and Russian soldiers, Baba and Amir along with several others moved to Pakistan. From Pakistan they moved to America and settled in California. Baba worked in a gas station and Amir was a good writer by writing stories. In California , Amir liked an Afghani girl Soraya and wanted to marry her. He married hurriedly due to Baba’s illness. Soraya cared a lot of Baba but soon after marriage he died.
Amir sitting in his room a call came from his father’s business partner , Rahim Khan from Pakistan and he admitted the condition of Afghanistan that after Soviet, Taliban ruined the country. He mentioned Hassan and his family that Taliban killed Hassan and his wife because they were Hazaras and their son Sohrab was staying in orphanage. Now it was the time for Amir to redeem himself and take the responsibilities. For that he should go back in Afghanistan and bring Sohrab. When Amir went there everything was demolished just he could observe violence in every street. His own house was covered by Taliban. Amir could not find Sohrab in orphanage and someone informed him that he was in Taliban’s house.
When Amir went there he asked for Sohrab. Sohrab was exactly the duplicate of his father Hassan for that Amir recognized him. When the guru of Taliban enter the room and he removed his sunglasses, Amir tried to take a breath and couldn’t , his face was ashen and burning as if his past was infront of him. The guru was Assef. Amir demanded for Shorab and he succeed him after long struggling. Amir now wanted to do something good for Hassan for that he took Sohrab with him in America. Soraya was gleeful at arriving of Sohrab in America. Despite her parents had objection of bringing a Hazara in their house. However , Amir managed the situation and he remarked the hidden story that Hassan was his brother and Sobrab was his nephew. In all these arguments , Sohrab was hushed. As we know quiet is peace. Sluggishly Sohrab managed to live with them. And Amir did his best to care Sohrab and he succeed. If you are a Hindu , Christian, Muslim or a Hazara, we should respect all religions. All religions have self-esteem and disrespecting them , show no humanity in you.
DisclaimerViews expressed in this article are those of the author and Balochistan Voices not necessarily agrees with them.
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