Monday, February 04, 2008
The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
“A single death is a tragedy but a million deaths is statistic.”
How true! Although I learned about Afghanistan and the Taliban from newspapers and television channels for so many years, it was with the detachment of a bystander watching the scene from a safe distance.
But reading the book made it a personal experience as it reinforced the tragedy of one family. I am still recovering from the experience.
The story is not so much about Taliban as it is about kinship between various people; two friends, a father and a son, a man and his nephew….
As you start reading, you find the story quite gripping.
The silent suffering of Hassan really moves you.
A quiet pain wells up in your heart, making it heavier and heavier as you read more. The “expression of the lamb just before slaughter” is perhaps one of the most beautiful analogies I have ever read.
If I were asked to give a broad classification of tragedy contained in this book, I would say “Melancholy and Goriness”. As far as my choice is concerned, melancholy is preferable to any other form of tragedy.
While melancholy touches you deeply, goriness makes you sick. The reading becomes difficult with every occurrence of cruelty, blood, violence, brass knuckles and stone pelting. I can’t take too much of it in one gulp and that’s when I put the book down to take a break.
“Half the world does not know how the other half lives“.
The book is not as great as I expected it to be but it’s definitely worth reading for it brings to your attention, life in another part of the world which is so full of misery, so full of wretchedness that you start counting your blessings at once and become grateful for what you have.