Reading books is always a joy for me. When you read, you are not just turning random pages. It’s like an emotional roller coaster reading every line. When you become friendly with books, it’s rare to feel lonely or in need of any one’s attention. Though there are plenty of books I am fond of, my favorite is, ‘The Kite Runner’ by Khaled Hosseini.
The book takes place in Kabul, Afghanistan in 1975. It follows two major characters - Amir and Hassan. Growing up during the political upheaval in Kabul, a pivotal moment in the book changes their friendship forever. Amir and his father go to America, leaving Hassan and his father behind.
‘The Kite Runner’ explores the bonds of friendships, loyalty, and feelings of hatred, jealousy and being selfish. Reading along, you begin to understand that Amir is a dominating character; envious and sometimes brutally dishonest in his friendship. In stark contrast, we have Hassan who is like a ray of sunshine during winter. In Arabic Hassan (Hasuna) means to be good/beautiful.
We have been through the pain of a broken friendship. Reminiscing about those days with the best friend we have lost contact with clinches your heart. He/she was there for you during the school days, listening to your intimate secrets about your first crush, there to hold your hand and console you when no one was around. You wonder why you could not remain friends forever.
Amir is in a similar situation, he knows he has betrayed his one and only friend. He decides to go back to Afghanistan after 27 years in America to change the mistake he made towards Hassan and redeem himself.
It is tough to apologize when your action is not forgiven by your inner soul and you are too ashamed that you unravel in front of your own conscience. But Amir knows that one day he has to confront his mistake. He decides to go back to Afghanistan, which is now under Taliban rule, hoping to get a shot at redemption.
SPOILER ALERT ! When in Afghanistan, Amir finds out Hassan passed away, and that Hassan is his half-brother. There is someone Amir can rescue to clean his conscience, Hassan's son Sohrab; who is his nephew. This time, he does not betray Sohrab like he betrayed Hassan. Amir kept his promise to his nephew and saved Sohrab.
This is as brief as I can write about the impact 'The Kite Runner' had in my life. With this book, I realized that we all have some traits of Amir and Hassan. Either we're like Hassan; who means every word he says, and is sincere and devoted, especially when he said, "For you, a thousand times over" to Amir. Or we're like Amir, who when given the situation, is not able to stand up to anything and can betray his only friend. But like Amir, you can realize that when given a second chance in life, you have to take it, and make the wrong right again. It is within our power and ability to bring out the best in ourselves.
(Krity Jha has been flying the skies with Buddha Air since 2012. If you meet her on your flight, let her know your favorite book recommendations.)