Monday, February 1, 2010

"For you a thousand times over...

This for me, is the most memorable line in the book, The Kite Runner written by Khaled Hosseini.

I heard about the book when it was already being filmed and there was a controversy about the “rape scene” part since it is haram . One of my colleagues told me it was an emotional book. So when a friend asked me what book I want for my birthday, I said The Kite Runner (although I was thinking of Twilight saga that time). And I had no regrets of choosing this over Twilight.

Kite Runner described the age-old tradition of kite flying and running after the defeated kites in Afghanistan. It is a story about Amir’s childhood and his friendship with Hassan, the son of their servant. Amir and Hassan grew up together. Despite the differences in social status (second generation of master and servant relationship), religion (Amir’s a Sunni, Hassan’s a Shi’a), in education and almost about everything still, the two young boys developed friendship that goes beyond all of these. They also shared commonalities- they both have the same wet nurse since they both have lost their mothers.

I had a hard time reading it since the book is really too personal for the author that I could not help but stop those tears from rolling. Amir, though an only son of a businessman, yearns for his father’s attention. He thinks that his father even loves their servant’s son more than him. Because of his yearning to be recognized, he let down and gave up the person who is willing to give him more than what he asks.

On the day of the kite flying competition, Amir decided to beat everyone. He got what he wanted and wanted more. He also wanted to get the blue kite he defeated. And Hassan, the greatest kite runner on their neighborhood promised him to get the blue kite shouting, “for you, a thousand times over!”

Hassan disappeared for several hours. He was cornered by the middle-class bullies. They wanted to get the blue kite. But Hassan said no, and was severely beaten. Instead of giving up the blue kite, he gave up himself, his dignity and suffered in silence. Rape, here is oppression. Worse, Amir saw it all and decided to do nothing.

With my other books given by my benevolent friend. Super thanks!

What’s the best of this novel is usage of contrasts. To show what loyalty is, the author portrayed betrayal. To show bravery, he showed how Amir cowered in fear. To show remorse, he described the build-up of guilt and the way for repentance in the most difficult way.

I don’t expect the twist and it made me wanting to flip eagerly. Amir and Hassan are after all, half-brothers. The revelations alongside with the ‘flashbacks’ of their childhood, are very heartwarming. With the war and atrocities committed by the Taliban government to its people, Amir has to go back after fifteen years and save the only link to his past- Sohrab, Hassan’s son. He also has to face his greatest nemesis- Assef and to seek retribution of the latter’s crime committed to Hassan and to Sohrab.

What moved me is the difficulty that Sohrab has to go through. The children caught in war are very vulnerable. The psychological trauma of being used by pedophiles, and the added trauma he has to go through in the grueling process of adoption. The bureaucratic adoption process takes toll on him that at the young age he decided to commit suicide! Now that’s a very terrifying thought!

The ending is very promising. With Sohrab flying the kite and Amir running after the defeated kite, it’s a reverse picture of the past--A past that is slowly healing.

The Kite Runner is about friendship, of age-old traditions, hypocrisy, discrimination and cross-cultural adaptation. For now, I’m looking for the DVD of the movie adaptation.


Anonymous said...

basahin mo din ang A Thousand Splendid Suns.. women naman ang subject.. and its really heartbreaking...

May Che said...

i will..salamat for dropping by. :)


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