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. 😆
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. 🙂
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. 🙂 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. 😉
So, here is a look at the LOOT. Ta!!!!Da!!!!
And incidently today is World Book and Copyright day. So, Happy WBCD!!! 🙂
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