I start this post with a nagging worry about whether I would be able to do justice to the book I am going to write about.
My uncle (whom I call Jethu) visited us from the US on the occasion of my brother's wedding in early 2006. He was carrying Khaled Hosseini's The Kite Runner with him - I guess he was reading it on his flight. He left the book with me the day he returned.
The book engaged me from the first sentence itself. The highly dramatic and intriguing story unfolds step by step mesmerizing the readers with the tale of Amir and Hassan, Ali and Amir's Baba, Sohrab and Soraya. This enchanting story of friendship and betrayal, trust and loyalty, sacrifice and penance, fate and destiny engrossed me to its core and drifted my mind away from the real life around me.
For the first couple of days after I started reading the book, I became oblivious of the pangs of returning to the mundane everyday life after the boisterous wedding ceremony. While I toiled at work, my mind yearned to be in my bedroom reading The Kite Runner from where I had left it.
It can be called an epic - it can be named a saga. I do not think many readers have been able to race through this book. It is HEAVY. If you have to soak in this work of Hosseini in its entirety, you have to proceed slowly. Many a times, you would want to pause, go back and re-read a particular section. Many a times you would recite a particular sentence in your mind, allowing your mind to sip it with all its richness.
I could relate myself so much with Hassan - one who means every word he ever says - one who has utmost loyalty towards his friends and loved ones.The value that he attached to his friendship with Amir was more than that he attached to his life or to his honor. When he said, "for you, a thousand times over".. he did not need to exaggerate, or pretend, or try hard. He meant it and lived it with his heart and soul, with every bit of his self!!
People like Hassan, never get value for their commitment - people like Hassan are betrayed and hurt the most. Hassan was betrayed the most, but his love for his Amir Agha never decayed.
Khaled Hoseini is a writer of the highest quality who transforms the reader to a different world altogether. The tale is so haunting and poignant, that the essence remains with you for months and years to come. The story ties the reader in its cobweb, refusing to let go!
When I finished reading the book, it took me a lot of time to take myself out from its aura. I wondered whether I have ever read anything like this before.. whether I would ever read anything like this again!
"For you, a thousand times over" - kept echoing in my mind again and again!!