Answer by Raakhee V. Menon:
Thank you for the A2A,.
If I were to start talking about any of Khalid Hosseini’s books, I’d have to sit and write pages and pages. The effect his writings have on me are one of a kind. No other author has been able to make me cry in my sleep, wake up weeping in the middle of the night and even lose sleep altogether.
Until I read ‘The Kite Runner’ and ‘A Thousand Splendid Suns’, I had little or no knowledge of the subject he talked about. For me, Afghanistan meant good food, good music, ‘Khuda Gawah’, and beautiful women. When I bought the books, I had minimal knowledge about what was in store for me.
To be honest, ‘The Kite Runner’ was one of the biggest literary shocks I have ever had, after ‘A Thousand Splendid Suns’, that is. I wasn’t prepared for what I read. With every page turned, I was actually living the life of Amir and Hassan as it happened.
Every smile they shared, every tear they shed, every pain they underwent, it felt like I was going through it all too. Although not to equal measure, but there have been times when even I have chickened out from doing something at the right time to help someone because I was afraid or whatever. And trust me, the guilt never ever leaves you. And then you have the beautiful account of a very raw and pure friendship that plays out as a main theme all through the background of the book. Anyone with a heart will feel like hugging those two children close and wanting to fiercely protect them from all the evils in the world.
‘The Kite Runner’ opened the doors to a new world to me. A world that was unknown to me, thanks to my protected and sheltered life. It felt akin to what Prince Siddhartha must have felt when he took that fated chariot ride through the city. It was a revelation that changed me forever. Today, when I see photographs of children in war-torn countries, my heart genuinely goes out to them. They did nothing to deserve the life they are living now. And every single time, this song plays over and over in my head…