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Posts Tagged ‘Afghanistan’

Kite Runner is an intense book. It has been a best-seller across the world, and I might have been quite late to awake to the riches of Khaled Hosseini’s writing. But I have never been a fiction-reader either. Still this book kept me glued, and I had to complete it before it goes back and down the stack of books in my cupboard.

Much has already been written about Kite Runner book, there have been plenty of reviews and also a movie based on it. It’s a story of two kids who grew up together and were almost brothers – but couldn’t be because one was son of master and other was son of slave. Slave-kid is ready to take on anything in life for his master’s son, whereas master’s kid stands as a meek mute spectator when the slave-kid is being insulted. This guilt never allows master’s kid to live a normal life, but destiny gives him a chance to pay back the price of his meekness and get the burden of guilt off his chest.

Kite Runner

Story is beautifully weaved in the Afghan country of 1980s. The portrayal of Afghanistan and its culture is simply amazing. What beautiful country it must have been! How beautiful their culture has been! Khaled has very nicely crafted the character of Baba – father of the master-kid – a virtuous, god-fearing, respected, stern Afghan lord. You can feel the strength of his character in the story.

Khaled has also portrayed with full life the brutality of Soviet invasion and the destruction it caused to the whole of Afghanistan and its culture. The plight of the wealthy noble Afghan lord, his meek child, and the also the brave but unfortunate slave-kid is horrifying to read. While the heart keeps on saying that this is just a fiction and not to be believed, we all know what mess Afghanistan has been for decades now. I have been reading about the rich culture and life and history of that part of the world, and this novel gave me one very dreaded glimpse of how horrible life have been there since the cold-war days Soviet invasion.

The story of guilt of the key protagonist of the novel is also heart-touching. And it leaves me with a question difficult to answer.

I guess every sane mind and feeling heart will have some guilt or other that keeps pricking him every now and then. It is up to the heart and mind to decide what to do with it. Should the guilt be simply swept to a dark corner of life and heart and forgotten with an iron lid on it, or accept it as your destiny and live with that for your whole life. While forgetting the guilt behind that iron curtain would just turn heart into a stone that hundred more such “guilts” won’t matter to it; making an irony of the iron-lid heart it is. You may decide to live with it if you want to. If you have an option, you would want to go back and set things right, set the canvas back to blank and move ahead in life – hopefully becoming enough careful and concerned that you don’t ever get into any other guilt-trap. That’s what our master-kid does when he goes back to the troubled homeland to hopefully set the wrongs that happened of him in his childhood.

But what do you do if this is not an option… If there is no chance to go back and erase all the black letters that life happened to write on naïve white slate of life… If the guilt is something which is going to be like the sore thorn that neither can be pulled out, nor be just brushed off in the deep pit of forgetfulness of mind and heart… What if you have to live life with that dark ugly feeling of letting down someone who was counting on you, dreaded feeling of helplessness of not being able to do you bit when it was required the most, horrible feeling of being guilty of your own soul.

Guess there isn’t an escape out of this. Mind and heart has to come to peace with it and accept it as the resident sorrow of life. The guilty serpent will have to keep crawling on its belly; Adam’s apple is going to stay stuck in the throat. Souls guilty of guilt will remain slaves of the guilt forever… till the radiance of forgiveness and peace of being true to yourself don’t cleanse you off this blot of guilt.

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