April 8, 2017

The Kite Runner

I read this book after having read ‘A Thousand Splendid Suns’ and to be honest, I liked the latter more. Maybe because that one was women centric, driven by fate and had left me with a sense of loss.


To talk about this book, the story is again based on happy Afghanistan followed by Taliban, war and miseries. The story although, is not saddening because of the fate of Afghanistan. It is saddening because of the choices that the characters in the story make. It shows how irrespective of the situations around us, we are in total control of what our life looks like, almost always. They destroyed their and their loved ones’ life when Afghanistan was still a happy place. They found peace and relief in their lives once the whole country was taken over and looked nothing less than a graveyard. Choices destroyed and built their lives back.


The protagonist here is extremely relatable and insanely human. Amir is neither completely white, nor completely black, he is made up of layers of grey. The one who experiences every human emotion during the course of the story. Love, jealousy, forgiveness, regret, pride, helplessness, self-hatred and indifference. The character builds through the story as the reader begins with hating him and by the end, starts sympathizing with him.

The supporting character, Hassan, is the real star of the story. He has his morals and values sorted in life. The most genuine being in the whole plot who displays unconditional love for his friend and unquestionable loyalty towards his masters. I love these lines quoted by Amir for Hassan -

However, my favourite character in the story is Amir’s dad, Baba. He lived his life on his terms no matter how needy and broke he was. He kept his nang and namoos till the end! I would not talk about this one more and leave you with one of his advices that he gave Amir when he asked if drinking and smoking were sin -

There is only one sin, only one. And that is theft. Every other sin is a variation of theft. When you kill a man, you steal a life, you steal his wife’s right to a husband, rob his children of a father. When you tell a lie, you steal someone’s right to the truth. When you cheat, you steal the right to fairness. There is no act more wretched than stealing.

It is a good read for a lazy winter weekend when you are missing your people and longing to go back to the times when you used to run kites too. We are lucky to have had a childhood so good that we sometimes feel like going back to it. Not everyone is as previliged, especially not the ones living in regions at/affected by war. This reminds me of the authors sad remark from the book, ‘There are a lot of children in Afghanistan, but little childhood’

I would not ask you to show your love by liking this post. Instead, I ask you to be a little more loving and do random act of kindness; smile at a sad stranger, talk with an upset colleague, laugh with your aging parents, be generous, be humble, be forgiving 😊

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