After endless procrastinating, I decided to get down to reading the Kite Runner. I was reading a lot of junk rom coms and decided to enlighten myself with a more serious book. I have no idea what took me so long! I should have read this book years ago. Then again, I find that books come at the times in my life when I can best understand and experience them. I suppose if I had read the book when I was younger I probably wouldn’t understand much of what was taking place. The book begins in Afghanistan in the 1970s. Honestly speaking, I didn’t know much about Afghanistan’s history but this book got me researching and looking at what Afghanistan used to be.
The story in the book is about friendship, it’s about character, it’s about betrayal and it’s about forgiveness. Hassan and Amir share a friendship that is deep and they are pretty much brothers from another mother even before they know the truth. Hassan is servant to Amir and Amir’s father and his integrity and character are unforgettable in the book. He is both humble and noble despite his low social status in life. Hassan is full of love and loyalty to his friend and even when he is better that Amir at some activities, he gives Amir much of the credit. If Hassan was a real person and I would really love to believe that people like him exist in the world, I would be blessed to have him as a friend.
Sadly, his world is shattered in more ways than one. Perhaps the pain that he suffered most is the betrayal of his friend. However, even when he was betrayed, he still stood by his friend, he still reached out to him. Even later when Amir was unkind to him and pushed him away, he still wanted to be friends. In the end, he had to leave because it all became too much and his honour was questioned.
The book for me, is really about how to love unconditionally. It’s about how to have inner integrity and confidence even though society considers you of little or no value. Sadly, it’s also about how mistakes in the past can haunt you for years if not for a lifetime. Taking responsibility and seeking forgiveness from others and from yourself is very difficult but not impossible. In the end, there’s always redemption.
Reading the book, I had to keep reminding myself that it was not a true story. However, it is heartbreaking to be reminded that millions of little boy and girls around the world are having their innocence stripped away from them and they have to live with the experience their whole lives. They are doomed with such a heavy burden at such a young age. I wish there was a way to erase the pain from the little kids who go through these horrible experiences or a way to shield them from the negatives effects that they endure in future. The book did show that these instances are life-shattering but with a lot of support, a lot of love and a lot of reassurance, the little kids can grow up to lead a normal life. With the pain felt, maybe they can help others who would be facing similar problems.
One other thing I got from the book, was how someone who you can look up to and who you think the world of can greatly let you down. Amir’s dad let him down by not telling him the truth. The truth which he always said was the most important thing human beings have. It reminded me how in life, we need to remember that we are all human and even the most ‘invincible’ person can make mistakes. This outlook is really essential when forgiving people who disappoint and let you down. There’s so much to this book and all in all, it was an immensely thought-provoking book and I would urge anyone who hasn’t read it to do so. (i haven’t really spoiled the story that much :-p ). I’m gonna look out for the movie. I hope it does justice to the book although I highly doubt it.