Tuesday, January 10, 2006

A Moving Beginning - Khaled Hoessini

A life that began in the cushioned strata of Afghanistan and ended in the growing society of America. A tale about the vine of emotions entwining through the ethos of class, caste and politics. Kite Runner, written by Khaled Hoessini tells the story of Amir and his friend Hassan. It brings out the reality of the present-day social situation in the backdrop of Afghanistan, where though the politically correct throw a veil over the customary thought of caste discrimination; it has percolated to the coming generations.
The intellects may shy away from it and the radicalists might run away, but the fact is that it exists and there are many who play it to their advantage.

Amir is brought up in an aristocratic family, where respect and discipline top the priority list. Though this timid boy enjoys a lively childhood in the company and shielding of Hassan, a street smart boy from the lower caste; for most part of his childhood he is perplexed by two primary situations that lay the foundation of his life. Firstly it is his relationship with his father, Baba, whose affection extends to a mere pat on the head. Secondly, it is the contradictory situation of Hassan’s life, where though this boy is his servant and belongs to the Hazara caste, not only is he Amir’s best pal, but he also enjoys a good proportion of Baba’s affection. While this situation remains the centre of Amir’s life and finally makes his existence meaningful, the political situation in Afghanistan takes Amir to USA, where he matures in age, experience and relationships and learns to take responsibility of his actions. Work, love and marriage follow a regular course until destiny brings Amir back to Afghanistan - the Afghanistan, now under Taliban - a country, no more the reflection of his memories. The trip is almost a twist in his fate as it unfolds the truth of his life - which begins from the day he opened his eyes to the world, until date when he is learning to stand his firm ground.

In the course of this book depression almost became an addiction. Hoessini has interwoven politics and love with such subtlety that is hard to draw the line as to when he switches from one to another and back. The personal touch to his story makes the unfolding of events extremely interesting. As you read on to know more about Amir’s life, you learn simultaneously about how religion can be the root of sadism and that there is more to this life than what just meets the eye.

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