I looked out on a very snowy day this morning when I woke up…the white stuff was whipping about and the ground was covered! Three bits of red shone in the whiteness; a bright Halloween decoration that covered one door across the street, my red tail light and a small tail light on a truck across the street. The three striking shapes of red created a visual triangle on a composition of white and silver vehicles. The branches scratched up against the window, blowing, and were brittle fingers in the icy cold.
A good day to curl up in flannels on my sofa and read. By end of day, I had read the Hosseini fiction, The Kite Runner. Truly, a remarkable book, rooted in a tradition that we all need to learn more about. I enjoyed the historical aspects and feel somehow more informed of a culture I knew little about before picking up this one.
From his own website, Hosseini shares these thoughts upon his own visit to Afghanistan.
“The line between Amir’s memories and my own began to blur. Amir had lived out my memories on the pages of “The Kite Runner,” and now I found myself living out his. When I was driven through the once beautiful, now war- ravaged Jadeh-maywand Avenue, past collapsed buildings, piles of rubble and bullet-pocked, roofless walls where beggars took shelter, I remembered my father buying me rosewater ice cream there one day in the early 1970s. And I remembered that Amir and his loving servant, Hassan, used to buy their kites on this same street, from a blind old man named Saifo.
I sat on the crumbling steps of Cinema Park where my brother and I used to watch free undubbed Russian films in the winter and where Amir and Hassan had seen their favorite Western, “The Magnificent Seven,” no fewer than 13 times. I passed with Amir by smoke-filled, tiny kabob houses where our fathers used to take us, where sweaty men still sat cross-legged behind charcoal grills and feverishly fanned skewers of sizzling chopan kabob. Together we gazed up at the sky over the gardens of the 16th century emperor Babur and spotted a kite floating over the city.
I thought of a sunny winter day in 1975, the day of Hassan and Amir’s kite-fighting tournament. That was the fateful day when 12-year-old Amir made a choice and betrayed his adoring friend Hassan, a day that would haunt him for the rest of his life; his choice would draw him back to Afghanistan and the Taliban as a grown man seeking redemption. And as I sat on a bench at Ghazi Stadium and watched the New Year’s Day parade with thousands of Afghans, I thought of my father and I watching a game of buzkashi there in 1973, but also of Amir, who had witnessed the Taliban stone a pair of adulterers in this same stadium, at the south end goalpost, in fact, where now a group of young men in traditional garments were dancing the atan in a circle.”