Friendship and Atonement: Khaled Hosseini’s The Kite Runner

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The Kite Runner is Khaled Hossein's first book.

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I believe something magical can happen when you read a good book. However, I have always received comments like “novels are time-consuming. They are stories, bedtime stories. They waste your time.” But, there is a significance for everything that takes birth. Now, one might think, “philosophy huh?” The word philosophy sounds high-minded, but it simply means the love of wisdom. If you love something, you don’t just read about it, you hug it, you mess with it, you play with it, you argue with it.

I agree that a biography or an autobiography educates you about history, motivates you, makes you aware of reality and real heroes. I read them too. But, imaginative power, emotional quotient, moral situations, experiences from which we can make decisions, thinking ability, solving problems, vocabulary, writing skills, wisdom, the habit of reading and much more are the productive extract of reading novels. They are equally important. Depending on one’s perspective, people choose between alternatives. But we all understand that a wrong thing from my perspective can be right from yours (and, of course, vice versa!)

In the end, it is all about the new things we learn. I have read The Kite Runner thrice and I still find it interesting. I always read about the author of every book I read. That’s how I got to know about Khaled Hosseini. Hosseini is an Afghan-American novelist, born on 4th March 1965. He earned a bachelor’s degree in biology in 1988 from Santa Clara University. He entered the University of California San Diego School of Medicine where he earned his M.D. in 1993. He practised medicine for over 10 years. Probably his passion for writing made him write his first book The Kite Runner in 2003. By 2005, his novel was number one bestseller in the United States. Getting so much love on his first book is a real inspiration. 

Some reviews from renowned authors and journals are:

Hosseini is a truly gifted teller of tales…he is not afraid to pull every string in your heart to make it sing

The Times

This is one of those unforgettable stories that stay with you for years. All the great themes of literature and of life are the fabric of this extraordinary novel: love, honour, guilt, fear, redemption…. It is so powerful that for a long time after, everything I read seemed bland

Isabel Allende, Author of The House of the Spirits.

Khaled Hosseini gives us a vivid and engaging story that reminds us how long his people have been struggling to triumph over the forces of violence – forces that continue to threaten them even today.

The New York Times

The Kite Runner is one of my favourite novels. Hosseini has a very peaceful form of writing. The explanation, details of every experience is systematic and full of emotions. They tend to increase the emotional quotient of a reader. Like him, we too can relate to Amir, a 12-year-old boy who is desperate to win a kite-fighting tournament to win the heart of Baba, his father. We always desire something. He lost his mother, he couldn’t get love from her. He desired that love from Baba. He would do anything to get that. Hassan is my favourite character. I wish I could get a friend like Hassan in my life. He is a selfless, loving character. A loyal friend, a bag of joy that I always seek in my friend. Yes, when you give everything you can to please people, they take you for granted. Some people come in your life to tell you that there are good people out there. Don’t lose hope! Hassan was one such character. 

Mistakes are inevitable. We are humans. We make mistakes. We understand our mistakes with time. We feel guilty about them. We cannot go into the past to solve them. We can’t forget them. We can’t change them. We have to accept them. We need to learn from them and we need to change ourselves to prevent them in future. For every mistake, we need to pay a price, in different forms. Years later, the same guilt makes a home in our hearts and refuses to leave until we pay off the debt. 

The situations and experiences of the book look real, the reactions look natural and the consequences look authentic. The novel is written in such a way that it creates a connection between the characters and the reader. When you feel a connection, you become more interested. You want to know more and you explore and fall in love with them. The Kite Runner does exactly the same. 

The disturbed father-son relation grows into an enduring love with time. The true friendship that breaks with time, becomes one-sided. The distance between the two brotherly friends. Endless human mistakes. They can’t be confined to children. Adults make big mistakes. Everyone has their own role to play. You are just a part of someone’s life. Some mistakes hurt one more. But you need to give a second chance. You need to make efforts to solve the rest. There is always a way. Even in the toughest time, a small hope, some courage and the desire of redemption can redeem the mistakes of the past. We don’t have to live with the guilt, agony, constant fear, feeling helpless. There is always a Sohrab waiting to complete your family. Give you a ray of hope, happiness. The child can again awaken the kid in you, that wanted to win the same tournament to win the heart of Baba. But now the desires are big. The desires are to fulfil someone’s wishes, to make them happy, to make them feel loved. 

The best thing about adulting is you become mature enough to understand “Happiness is in giving, not getting.” Being a kid, we always want something. We desire many things, we make efforts to fulfil them. We always seek for the person who could fulfil our small wishes. But that person fulfilling them for us is our well-wisher may be a father, mother, brother or someone who simply loves us for being who we are. When Amir becomes a responsible adult, he realizes his mistake. He understands what he lost. He knew he couldn’t change that. But he tries to get redemption. The book is a journey of redemption that inspires one to have a heart that cares, that understands someone’s grievances. It makes one sigh and think about oneself. It makes one humble and gentle. It makes one love oneself and others. It makes one free.

Featured Image Credits: Ashmitgalav on Wikimedia Commons

Prachi Bhagat
Prachi is a B-Tech student at NIT-Trichy. She is interested in finance, psychology and philosophy. Dancing and singing are her hobbies.

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2 COMMENTS

  1. Loved this piece of writing. Honestly i feel that Kiten Runner is one book that has moved me entirely. Some nights i lay in my bed re-imagining the whole story and it comes as a vivid picture even after years of reading it. This book is my go-to comfort on bad days. Period.

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