Friday, April 12, 2013

The Kite Runner

Hasan and Amir grow up in the same mansion , while Amir is the resident of the bunglow, Hasan stays with his father in the outhouse. Amir is in the company of Hasan when he does not find any one else to play with.  Hasan's dad works as a house-help in Amir's house. apparently, Hasan's and Amir's fathers were childhood friends and this friendship continued to the next generation too. Amir's dad never forgets Hasan's birthday and always gets gifts for little Hasan. They grow up together in Afghanistan in a pretty atmosphere. Hasan belongs to the Hazara community, the less/under priveiledged class. Amir loves to write stories and shares his stories with Hasan. Hasan has a sharp intellect and inspite of not havinga  formal education, he picks up things quite well from what he hears from Amir.

Hasan and his father are very devoted to their masters that little Hasan protects Amir from the little fights that erupts between children. Amir always has a feeling that his dad likes Hasan more than him. Amir sees the difference in the way his dad talks to Amir and how he moves along with Hasan. He doesnt like this behavior of hid dad. So, he is looking out for ways in which he can impress his dad and win his heart. A kite flying competition is fast approaching and Amir sets his heart on winning the competition and delighting his dad. Amir and Hasan pair up and indeed they win the competition. Once gets to be a winner only when he brings home his kite . Hasan promises that he would return home with the kite only to be caught by a group of boys who wanted to take a revenge on Hasan for protecting Amir in an earlier tiff. As night draws close, Hasan does not return , so Amir goes in search of Hasan and sees that Hasan is being bullied and stones and beat by these young ruffians. Hasan also sees Amir while he lay down with the kite , but Amir stops himself from defending Hasan. Hasan comes back home with the kite and bruises all over him.

Hasan, being whom he is, doesnt complain, instead goes about his chores.But from then on, Hasan and Amir cease to play, Amir stops narrating stories to Hasan. Amir knew that he didnt stand up for Hasan on the day of the incident. He was a troubled self from then on , hence wanted to get rid of Hasan. he stealthily hid some money and a watch that was given as a birthday gift in hasan's house and complained to his dad that Hasan has stolen the same from him. When the money and watch were found in Hasan's hosue, Hasan's dad decided to leave the place. Everyone knew that Hasan has not taken it , but no-one spelt it out..Amir's dad cried and pleaded with Hasan's dad not to leave him alone, but Hasan's ada did not relent.

War breaks out and Amir and his dad flee from Afghanistan to Pakistan and then to America, where Amir finishes shcooling, falls in love with a girl, marries her . Amir's dad is bed-ridden and eventually passes away. The story continues with a phone call from Rahim Khan, a friend of Amir's dad asking Amir to come and meet him in Pakistan. The rest of the story deals with what Rahim tells Amir and how Amir goes back in search  of Hasan and how he returns to America.

The story beautifully captures the emotions and behavior of Amir. His possessiveness, the insecurity, the aching to be his fathers pet,the way he takes Hasan for granted, the way he takes advantage of Hasan   etc can be very much related to. Hasan on the other end makes you shed tears..As I read through the pages, tears invariably welled up..The story is set in the backdrop of the tumultuous years in Afghanistan.  A very moving story. A must read

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