The Kite Runner and the Loot

I have been toying with the idea of writing this post from a long time. Largely because it is about a book about which a lot has been written and said and accepted. It took me almost a year to pick up a copy and buy it. Its hard to describe this syndrome, when you know that a book is good, when you have heard everyone praise it to skies and you still don’t buy it. Its as if your brain is asking you to wait, wait for the right time…

I picked up The Kite Runner at the Crossword store at a mall in Delhi. I started reading it in a bus ride from Delhi to Kurukshetra, where I went to collect my degree. It was a six hour to and fro ride on the Haryana Roadways bus. As soon as I opened the book, I got a stare of disapproval from a “Jat” uncle sitting next to me. 😐

“Chora hoke Navel padhan laaag reya hai ( A boy reading novel!!!!)”. Good old Haryana. πŸ˜†

I completely ignored the stare and gave him an intellectual look while adjusting my glasses. As I turned the pages of the book, it completely sucked me in. The simplicity of the book amazed me. The story never feels make-believe, but seems like a true story. This could have happened to someone, I told myself. I grabbed my degree as soon as possible, jumped into a return bus to Delhi and jumped into the novel again. That’s jumping twice. 😐 Next day, I had a flight to Chennai, and I was again lost in the pages of this beautiful book. Lokesh, who was with me in the flight got bored to death, as even the air hostesses were not so patakha. πŸ™‚

The book left a deep impression on me. For days I could not think of anything else. Was Afghanistan actually so beautiful?? How would the sky look when so many kites fly in it?? How would one feel when he knows that he can’t go back and make everything right?? How would one feel when he goes back to his home and tries to find the reminiscence of the past in everything that is destroyed?? Can you really know where a cut kite will land beforehand, as Hassan always did?? The books just throws you in the realms of reality. You just can’t ignore it. Yes, it is a fiction, but its narration encompasses the prosperity, troubles and destruction of a nation. And that is no fiction.

In a way the book is more of a story of Hassan and Sohrab rather than Amir. Hassan’s death shook me more than anything in the book, because while reading the story you start believing that some day Amir and Hassan will meet and everything would be all right. Its the vulnerable, submissive and yet strong character of Hassan which leaves an impression for days. Sohrab’s suicide attempt was another point in the story where I stopped reading and stared at the sunset from my seat in the flight. The ending of the book left me smiling. The last page, at which Amir tells Sohrab – “For you a thousand times over”, is frozen in my mind. I think you can say this line only to someone you really really love.

The book was also a reality check fo me. For a while I was so glad of the kind of world I live in. I thanked God everyday. It also made me realise that time never remains the same. The turmoil which the character of Baba goes through is unimaginable. To work at a gas station after loosing everything you have built up over the years is something which only a strong willed person can do. The book also made me realise that there is no bigger insult than taking someone for granted, specially a person who loves you without any strings attached.

Now before this post gets toooo personal and sentimental I would end it with the news about the “loot”. Before dwelling into that I would like to recommend this book to everyone. Read it, if you still haven’t, you fools!!!

About the Loot :

A few months back I participated in an essay writing competition in my company. The topic was “Should I still be reading books?” and Surprise!!!! I won the second prize. πŸ™‚ You can read the essay here. Anyways, the post is not about the essay, but the aftermath. I won Crossword gift coupons worth 2500 Rs and I was dying to spend it on all the books which I was dying to buy. That’s dying twice. 😐 So I recently got a chance to rummage a Crossword store near my house and bought 8 books. I got quite a few looks that day.




God!!!-how-can-someone-waste-2500 bucks-on-books-look (This came from my sister)


Well, I ignored all of them except the second one. πŸ˜‰

So, here is a look at the LOOT. Ta!!!!Da!!!!


And incidently today is World Book and Copyright day. So, Happy WBCD!!! πŸ™‚

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38 comments on “The Kite Runner and the Loot

  1. Hey Amit

    Congrats on the well deserved prize….n happy WBCD 2u2!

    Regarding the “Anti best – seller” syndrome…I’m also of the many affected…

    Having bought “Love in the time of cholera” (mainly due to its reference in the movie ‘serendipity’), I haven’t opened it yet!

    Same with β€˜The Kite Runner’; coz a friend of mine cried after reading it…n I didn’t want to end up in sobs (given the fact that I’m a sucker for happy –endings)

    Reading ur post, I’ll at least start with β€˜The Kite Runner’

    Tc n Happy Reading!!

  2. Congrats on winning the prize. The book PS i love you is already a movie. It was screened in-flight on the Singapore airlines trip, but i chose to ignore it πŸ˜‰

  3. Amit, so happy to know that you enjoyed The Kite Runner. πŸ™‚ It’s a lovely book. The story of Sohrab, Hassan and Amir is really heart touching.

    Re: that Jat- How do you ever larn anything without picking up a book? Only illiterates can talk like this.

    I’ve read (The Inheritance of Loss) and you know my views on it. Love in the Time of Cholera is also a very good book. Have you read his other book?

    And funnily, even I have Orhan Pamuk’s book in my shelf right now. Will read it after I’m done with Unaccustomed Earth. No actually…I want to read a book by JM Coetzee next. After that, probably Pamuk. πŸ™‚

  4. I have a severe form of syndrome you described. Firstly I am late in buying most of the best sellers and even after buying them it takes a lot of time to pick up the book for reading. I think I’m a infected with book overload ( around 20 books in my bedroom screaming to be read ).

  5. Nice explanation but you grabbed the surprise from those who want to read it and how can you tell somebody to read a book after telling all the crucial points from the book… So I can expect some more reviews from you in near future πŸ™‚

  6. Sometimes u know Its very hard to digest the fact that we both in the same project, especially after seeing the amount of movies u get to watch and the time u get to spent on reading books~ πŸ™‚ Anyway, It was a very well written Review..I am a huge fan of emotion based stories and this seems to be tailor made for me! I will definitely give it a try!

  7. @Ashish : Thanks. And yes, you (must)*3 read it.

    @Deepti : Thanks Depo. πŸ™‚ Actually, The Kite Runner does not have a sad ending. It ends at a very positive note. Read and batao kaisi lagi? And thanks for the Congrats. tc. πŸ™‚

    @Xylene : Thanks a lot. πŸ™‚

    @Ruhi : Hehehe. That is typical Haryana. I was there for 1.5 years and believe me, it gets very funny after sometime. They have a very well defined things about what boys and girls can do. πŸ™‚ I had a friend(girl) who belonged to Haryana and who was engaged to a Jat. That guy was so insecure that he asked her to leave all her friends(because there were a bunch of boys also in the circle), and she did. She said sorry and left the group. Sad!!!
    You finally got your copy of Unaccustomed Earth?? Let me know how it was. And, yes I have read One hundred years of Solitude. It was great. You are having which book of JM Coetzee?

    @Lallopallo : Thanks a lot. And, thanks for adding me. πŸ™‚

    @Anand : Even I have a backlog of 10 books. 😦 Don’t know when I am going to finish them. And now a days I have stopped buying each and every bestseller. I am getting more inclined towards Prize winners. πŸ˜‰

    @Vijaya Bharat : Believe me, it dosen’t matter if you know a few points about the story. You will still love it. πŸ™‚

    @Karthik : Some day i’ll teach you how to enjoy your life. Hahaha πŸ™‚ Hey, it all happens on weekends. And don’t tell me you are working on weekends too?? Thanks about the review and do read the book. πŸ™‚

  8. That’s really sick man…typical Jat mentality. I think the women are to be blames too. Why do they listen to such insecure men? i wouldn’t even marry such a fellow. Haha.

    I finished reading Unaccustomed Earth today– it was all right. Has a lot of plus as well as minus points. I’ll probably write a detailed review tomorrow (already past midnight here πŸ™‚ Plus tomorrow have some imp. work…will let you know about it later). JM Coetzee– Age of Iron. Read Disgrace before that and Loved it πŸ˜€ You should check him out if you already haven’t. Won a Nobel sometime back too.

  9. (contd. last blog convo)Hi, Amit……I am a very regular visitor of your blog, its jus that at times I am unable to comment!!
    Well, my IQ on novels had been always low, but Thanks to you that atleast i get to know bout them.

    hmmm, so you been to Kurukshetra after long….n u still remember the language πŸ™‚ good!!
    I’ll try n catch up on the book, n do keep on posting about the loot books too.
    Can you suggest me some good, thriller kind’s story like 10th Commandement.

  10. True, this book is more Hassan and Shohrab’s story. The book was captivating. And last phrase is etched in mind because of the similarity in two situations. I did not like THousand Splendid Suns as much.

    And I would like to see a picture of your intellectual look? πŸ˜›

    I didn’t know there was a day like World Book and Copyright day?

    and why does your sidebar show that anxious mood look?

  11. The Kite Runner is amazing, as everybody has said. And I will again say what I’ve been saying so many times. I was really touched by the way they showed Baba’s fall from a great man to something so ordinary. The instance where Amir doesn’t save Hassan happens to almost everybody in life. All of us have betrayed somebody at one point in time. And it’s the guilt that makes us wanna go away from such people and not look into their eyes, like Amir did. And I’m very sure that whenever I read “For you, a thousand times over” again, I’m gonna start crying. I watched the movie version of the Kite Runner today and in the entire movie, this is where I cried. Watch it if you can find it somwehere. Isn’t as touching as the book but worth watching just for the Kite flying scenes and Baba’s fall from grace.

    I’ve been wanting to read A Thousand Splendid Suns. But right now I need to read The Life of Pi first. Everyone’s been saying it’s brilliant.

    And nice theme, and nice sidebar. Korbo, Lorbo Jeetbo Re! πŸ˜€

  12. @Ruhi : Sorry I forgot to tell you the best part of the story. It was a love marriage. I wonder at times, doesn’t such demands put a crack in the relationship? Won’t she always have this thing in the back of her mind?? Or are women really so generous? And I am hearing a lot about this Coetzee guy. Have to read a book of his.
    You know what, I am writing this comments and writing on your wall at the same time. This is called being at two places at the same time. πŸ˜‰

    @Abha : Thanks. And yes I went to Kurukshetra. Our dept building has changed, you must be knowing. And everything happened in a rush. Just in and out. The tenth commandment…hmmm..I remember that joke. πŸ™‚ Well, if you want fast thrillers you can go for any Jeffery Archer or Michael Crichton book. Hope this helps. πŸ™‚

    @Ashish : “Trying” is a negative word. Never use it in USA. Say – I would definitely find it. πŸ™‚

    @Poonam : I don’t have such a photo with me right now, but would take one and show you. And I sent you a friend request on Facebook. You can see some of my mindblowing pics there. πŸ˜† And even I didn’t knew about the World Book and Copyright day. I just read it on the wallpaper of my PC at my company. And about the anxious look….I’ll tell you on FB. πŸ™‚

    @Ish : Oh!! Is the movie good? I have heard that it deviated a lot from the novel, so didn’t watch it. Chalo, ab dekh lenge. πŸ˜‰ And about this “betraying someone” bit, yes, I have done that too and no one in the world knows about it. Wish I can go back and change it….
    Anyways, life of Pi good hai, one of my favourites. Aur ye theme Poonam se churai hai. I liked the light blue colour.
    And yes, Korbo, Lorbo Jeetbo Re! Anything for dear SRK. πŸ˜‰

  13. Hey Amit, happy WBCD to you too! πŸ™‚
    I’ve read the Kite Runner twice and both times, I never knew when I started crying!! I wanna watch the movie too… I’ve heard its amazing! They’ve deviated a little bit from the book, i’ve heard, but nonetheless, I wanna watch it!
    Nice collection, btw… Keep it up! πŸ˜€

  14. @Yaake : Thanks a lot Yaake. πŸ˜€ Now even I want to watch the movie. Earlier I thought that it won’t be that good but now I have heard positive comments, so I am looking forward to it too.

    @Prax : Oh yes sunburns!!! But I was never interested in flying kites. I remember once when I was a kid, there was this kite flying competition in my colony on 15 August and the sky was so full of kites…something very similar to what happens in the novel.

  15. Good to know that am not alone in buying books and just keeping them on the shelf and taking a long time in picking them and actually reading them. I have a couple of best sellers and some literature stuff lying in my bookcase but now I think I should take it out and start reading πŸ™‚

    I enjoy reading your blog and specially the reviews. Keep posting

  16. why ps i love you?? it’s, it’s… urgh, i really don’t like it. πŸ˜• but the rest of your loot looks good; i’d like to read the book thief and marquez’s book. and the kite runner is a great book, though i felt really depressed after reading it… a good kind of depressed, though, i think.

  17. @Maddie : Thanks a lot Maddie. πŸ™‚ Even I used to read a lot earlier but now there are too many things on my hand. Wish there were more than 24 hours in a day. πŸ˜‰

    @Sulz : Oh, I picked up P.S.I love you because I liked the cover. πŸ˜† I just wanted to have some light book to read inbetween the heavy ones. πŸ™‚ Yes, Kite Runner leaves me depressed even when I think about it. But I am not sure what a “Good kind of depressed” is?? πŸ˜€

  18. well, i’d be interested to see your review of ps i love you. πŸ˜‰ and a good kind of depressed means that you get sad, but you also appreciate what you have as a result of that sadness… makes you see what a terrible world we live in, how some people go through life in such a tortuous way, yet how lucky we are to have not experience that.

  19. @Sulz : I am reading it right now and its ok till now. And, Ok I got the definition of “Good kind of depressed” πŸ™‚ Yeh, the book made me feel that way to, as I have mentioned in the post too. I felt quite secure and blessed after reading the book but at the same time I felt sad and depressed too.

    @Sujoy : Thanks a lot for the link. I read your review and will surely see the movie. πŸ™‚

  20. @Ish: I did not like Thousand Splendid Suns. Somehow it talks less about Splendid Suns. If you read it, you will understand what I mean. It is not in same league as Kite Runner.

  21. @Amit: The cover of P.S. I love you does look nice. πŸ˜› But seriously, Mills and Boons have better covers. πŸ˜›

    @Poonam: I will read it now ’cause Dad bought a second hand copy from Chandigarh. Let’s see how it turns out. But I might read The Life of Pi before that.

  22. Just bumped into your blog….
    Ah ! Kite Runner, especially the scene when his BABA dies….it felt as if someone close to your heard died….well written…

    you must watch the movie as well. It is equally good….

    Which character did you like the most ??


  23. @Ish : Yes, Mills and Boons have better covers. Actually they don’t cover anything. πŸ™‚ Even I have to start A thousand Splendid suns. Hope its worth it.

    @theshowstopper : Welcome to the blog. πŸ™‚ Yes the scene was very touching. Even the scene in which Amir gets the news of Hassan’s death was very touching and shocking. I read it twice to make sure I was reading it correctly. I liked Hassan’s character a lot although he was not there for long.

  24. First u should put a warning ..”This post contains spoilers..Read at your own risk” πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ would like a review from u on A thousand Splendid suns before I read it but without any spoilers πŸ™‚ And btw What are Chokra log supposed to do on a long journey?

  25. @Reema : Yup, I’ll make sure to put spoilers the next time. πŸ˜€ I am reading A Thousand Splendid Suns right now. Will definitely write a review soon.
    And Chokra log are supposed to stare at the girls in the bus and drool. πŸ˜›

  26. Pingback: A Thousand Splendid Suns - Book Review « Mashed Musings

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