THE KITE RUNNER PDF
Full text of "The Kite Runner PDF". See other formats. THE KITE RUNNER by KHALED HOSSEINI Published -December _ I became what I am today. The Kite Runner by Khalid Hosseini (A Book Review) Pluto Ohanzee Panes nang and namoes (honour and pride) I ran. A grown man running with a swarm of. The Kite Runner. By Khaled Hosseini. About the book. An epic tale of fathers and sons, of friendship and betrayal, that takes us from Afghanistan in the final days.
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PDF | This article aims to describe the brotherhood reality in The Kite Runner, a novel by Khaled Hosseini. The reality of the close feelings as. PDF | Review of the novel, THE KITE RUNNER by Khaled Hosseini focusing on current events and events of past 3 decades in USA and Afghanistan. The kite runner. Home · The kite runner Author: Hosseini Khaled Khaled Hosseini's The Kite Runner (Bloom's Guides) · Read more · Runner. Read more.
I thought about something Rahim Khan said just before he hung up, almost as an after thought. I looked up at those twin kites. I thought about Hassan. Thought about Baba. I thought of the life I had lived until the winter of came and changed everything. And made me what I am today. We would sit across from each other on a pair of high branches, our naked feet dangling, our trouser pockets filled with dried mulberries and walnuts. We took turns with the mirror as we ate mulberries, pelted each other with them, giggling, laughing; I can still see Hassan up on that tree, sunlight flickering through the leaves on his almost perfectly round face, a face like a Chinese doll chiseled from hardwood: his flat, broad nose and slanting, narrow eyes like bamboo leaves, eyes that looked, depending on the light, gold, green, even sapphire I can still see his tiny low-set ears and that pointed stub of a chin, a meaty appendage that looked like it was added as a mere afterthought.
Hassan never denied me anything. And he was deadly with his slingshot. He would wag his finger and wave us down from the tree. He would take the mirror and tell us what his mother had told him, that the devil shone mirrors too, shone them to distract Muslims during prayer. But he never told on me.
The poplar trees lined the redbrick driveway, which led to a pair of wrought-iron gates. The house sat on the left side of the brick path, the backyard at the end of it. Everyone agreed that my father, my Baba, had built the most beautiful house in the Wazir Akbar Khan district, a new and affluent neighborhood in the northern part of Kabul. Some thought it was the prettiest house in all of Kabul. A broad entryway flanked by rosebushes led to the sprawling house of marble floors and wide windows.
One day last summer, my friend Rahim Khan called from Pakistan. He asked me to come see him. It was my past of unatoned sins. The early-afternoon sun sparkled on the water where dozens of miniature boats sailed, propelled by a crisp breeze. Then I glanced up and saw a pair of kites, red with long blue tails, soaring in the sky. They danced high above the trees on the west end of the park, over the windmills, floating side by side like a pair of eyes looking down on San Francisco, the city I now call home.
Hassan the harelipped kite runner. I sat on a park bench near a willow tree. I thought about something Rahim Khan said just before he hung up, almost as an after thought. I looked up at those twin kites. I thought about Hassan. Thought about Baba. I thought of the life I had lived until the winter of came and changed everything.
And made me what I am today. We would sit across from each other on a pair of high branches, our naked feet dangling, our trouser pockets filled with dried mulberries and walnuts.
We took turns with the mirror as we ate mulberries, pelted each other with them, giggling, laughing; I can still see Hassan up on that tree, sunlight flickering through the leaves on his almost perfectly round face, a face like a Chinese doll chiseled from hardwood: his flat, broad nose and slanting, narrow eyes like bamboo leaves, eyes that looked, depending on the light, gold, green, even sapphire I can still see his tiny low-set ears and that pointed stub of a chin, a meaty appendage that looked like it was added as a mere afterthought.
Hassan never denied me anything. And he was deadly with his slingshot. Sitting cross-legged, sunlight and shadows of pomegranate leaves dancing on his face, Hassan absently plucked blades of grass from the ground as I read him stories he couldn't read for himself. That Hassan would grow up illiterate like Ali and most Hazaras had been decided the minute he had been born, perhaps even the moment he had been conceived in Sanaubar's un-welcoming womb-after all, what use did a servant have for the written word?
But despite his illiteracy, or maybe because of it, Hassan was drawn to the mystery of words, seduced by a secret world forbidden to him. I read him poems and stories, sometimes riddles-though I stopped reading those when I saw he was far better at solving them than I was. So I read him unchallenging things, like the misadventures of the bumbling Mullah Nasruddin and his donkey.
We sat for hours under that tree, sat there until the sun faded in the west, and still Hassan insisted we had enough daylight for one more story, one more chapter. My favorite part of reading to Hassan was when we came across a big word that he didn't know.
I'd tease him, expose his ignorance. One time, I was reading him a Mullah Nasruddin story and he stopped me. I'll use it in a sentence for you.
The Kite Runner PDF
I would always feel guilty about it later. So I'd try to make up for it by giving him one of my old shirts or a broken toy. I would tell myself that was amends enough for a harmless prank. He liked all of the chapters, the shahs of old, Feridoun, Zal, and Rudabeh. But his favorite story, and mine, was "Rostam and Sohrab," the tale of the great warrior Rostam and his fleet-footed horse, Rakhsh. Rostam mortally wounds his valiant nemesis, Sohrab, in battle, only to discover that Sohrab is his long-lost son.
Stricken with grief, Rostam hears his son's dying words: And thou did'st it of thine obstinacy. For I sought to turn thee unto love, and I implored of thee thy name, for I thought to behold in thee the tokens recounted of my mother.
But I appealed unto thy heart in vain, and now is the time gone for meeting Sometimes tears pooled in Hassan's eyes as I read him this passage, and I always wondered whom he wept for, the grief-stricken Rostam who tears his clothes and covers his head with ashes, or the dying Sohrab who only longed for his father's love?
Personally, I couldn't see the tragedy in Rostam's fate. After all, didn't all fathers in their secret hearts harbor a desire to kill their sons? One day, in July ,1 played another little trick on Hassan. I was reading to him, and suddenly I strayed from the written story. I pretended I was reading from the book, flipping pages regularly, but I had abandoned the text altogether, taken over the story, and made up my own. Hassan, of course, was oblivious to this. To him, the words on the page were a scramble of codes, indecipherable, mysterious.
Words were secret doorways and 1 held all the keys. After, 1 started to ask him if he'd liked the story, a giggle rising in my throat, when Hassan began to clap. I laughed. I meant it too. This was He was still clapping. Will you read me more of it tomorrow?
Walking down the hill, thoughts were exploding in my head like the fireworks at Chaman. I had read him a lot of stories. Hassan was asking me something. Clutched him in a hug and planted a kiss on his cheek. I gave him a friendly shove. You're a prince and I love you. It took me thirty minutes. It was a dark little tale about a man who found a magic cup and learned that if he wept into the cup, his tears turned into pearls.
But even though he had always been poor, he was a happy man and rarely shed a tear. So he found ways to make himself sad so that his tears could make him rich. As the pearls piled up, so did his greed grow. The story ended with the man sitting on a mountain of pearls, knife in hand, weeping helplessly into the cup with his beloved wife's slain body in his arms. That evening, I climbed the stairs and walked into Baba's smoking room, in my hands the two sheets of paper on which I had scribbled the story.
Baba and Rahim Khan were smoking pipes and sipping brandy when I came in.
Blue smoke swirled around his face. His glare made my throat feel dry. I cleared it and told him I'd written a story.
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Baba nodded and gave a thin smile that conveyed little more than feigned interest. Then nothing more. He just looked at me through the cloud of smoke. I probably stood there for under a minute, but, to this day, it was one of the longest minutes of my life. Seconds plodded by, each separated from the next by an eternity. Air grew heavy damp, almost solid. I was breathing bricks. Baba went on staring me down, and didn't offer to read.
As always, it was Rahim Khan who rescued me. He held out his hand and favored me with a smile that had nothing feigned about it.
I would very much like to read it. Baba shrugged and stood up. He looked relieved, as if he too had been rescued by Rahim Khan. I'm going upstairs to get ready. Most days I worshiped Baba with an intensity approaching the religious. But right then, I wished I could open my veins and drain his cursed blood from my body. An hour later, as the evening sky dimmed, the two of them drove off in my father's car to attend a party.
On his way out, Rahim Khan hunkered before me and handed me my story and another folded piece of paper. He flashed a smile and winked. Read it later.
When they left, I sat on my bed and wished Rahim Khan had been my father. Then I thought of Baba and his great big chest and how good it felt when he held me against it, how he smelled of Brut in the morning, and how his beard tickled my face. I was overcome with such sudden guilt that I bolted to the bathroom and vomited in the sink. Later that night, curled up in bed, I read Rahim Khan's note over and over.
It read like this: Amir jan, I enjoyed your story very much. It is now your duty to hone that talent, because a person who wastes his God-given talents is a donkey. You have written your story with sound grammar and interesting style.
But the most impressive thing about your story is that it has irony. You may not even know what that word means. But you will someday. It is something that some writers reach for their entire careers and never attain. You have achieved it with your first story.
My door is and always will be open to you, Amir jan. I shall hear any story you have to tell. Your friend, Rahim Buoyed by Rahim Khan's note, I grabbed the story and hurried downstairs to the foyer where Ali and Hassan were sleeping on a mattress.
That was the only time they slept in the house, when Baba was away and Ah had to watch over me. I shook Hassan awake and asked him if he wanted to hear a story. He rubbed his sleep-clogged eyes and stretched. What time is it? This story's special. I wrote it myself," I whispered, hoping not to wake Ali. Hassan's face brightened. I read it to him in the living room by the marble fireplace. No playful straying from the words this time; this was about me!
Hassan was the perfect audience in many ways, totally immersed in the tale, his face shifting with the changing tones in the story. When I read the last sentence, he made a muted clapping sound with his hands. You will be great and famous," he insisted.
Then he paused, as if on the verge of adding something. He weighed his words and cleared his throat. I smiled, though suddenly the insecure writer in me wasn't so sure he wanted to hear it. In fact, why did he ever have to feel sad to shed tears?
Couldn't he have just smelled an onion? That particular point, so obvious it was utterly stupid, hadn't even occurred to me. I moved my lips soundlessly. It appeared that on the same night I had learned about one of writing's objectives, irony, I would also be introduced to one of its pitfalls: Taught by Hassan, of all people. Hassan who couldn't read and had never written a single word in his entire life.
He'll never be anything but a cook. How dare he criticize you? But I never got to finish that sentence. Because suddenly Afghanistan changed forever. FIVE Something roared like thunder. We sprung to our feet and raced out of the living room. We found Ali hobbling frantically across the foyer. What's that sound?
Ali wrapped his arms around us. A white light flashed, lit the sky in silver. It flashed again and was followed by a rapid staccato of gunfire. Don't be afraid.
Somewhere glass shattered and someone shouted. I heard people on the street, jolted from sleep and probably still in their pajamas, with ruffled hair and puffy eyes.
Hassan was crying. Ah pulled him close, clutched him with tenderness. Later, I would tell myself I hadn't felt envious of Hassan.
We stayed huddled that way until the early hours of the morning. The shootings and explosions had lasted less than an hour, but they had frightened us badly, because none of us had ever heard gunshots in the streets. They were foreign sounds to us then.
The generation of Afghan children whose ears would know nothing but the sounds of bombs and gunfire was not yet born. Huddled together in the dining room and waiting for the sun to rise, none of us had any notion that a way of life had ended. Our way of life. If not quite yet, then at least it was the beginning of the end. Just before sunrise, Baba's car peeled into the driveway. His door slammed shut and his running footsteps pounded the stairs.
Then he appeared in the doorway and I saw something on his face. Something I didn't recognize right away because I'd never seen it before: I was so worried! As it turned out, they hadn't shot much of anything that night of July 17, Kabul awoke the next morning to find that the monarchy was a thing of the past. The king, Zahir Shah, was away in Italy. In his absence, his cousin Daoud Khan had ended the king's forty-year reign with a bloodless coup.
I remember Hassan and I crouching that next morning outside my father's study, as Baba and Rahim Khan sipped black tea and listened to breaking news of the coup on Radio Kabul. Hassan considered this. No one's sending you away. That was another thing about Hassan. He always knew when to say the right thing--the news on the radio was getting pretty boring.
Hassan went to his shack to get ready and I ran upstairs to grab a book. Then I went to the kitchen, stuffed my pockets with handfuls of pine nuts, and ran outside to find Hassan waiting for me. We burst through the front gates and headed for the hill.
We crossed the residential street and were trekking through a barren patch of rough land that led to the hill when, suddenly, a rock struck Hassan in the back. We whirled around and my heart dropped. Assef and two of his friends, Wali and Kamal, were approaching us. Assef was the son of one of my father's friends, Mahmood, an airline pilot. His family lived a few streets south of our home, in a posh, high-walled compound with palm trees.
If you were a kid living in the Wazir Akbar Khan section of Kabul, you knew about Assef and his famous stainless-steel brass knuckles, hopefully not through personal experience. Born to a German mother and Afghan father, the blond, blue-eyed Assef towered over the other kids. His well-earned reputation for savagery preceded him on the streets.
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Flanked by his obeying friends, he walked the neighborhood like a Khan strolling through his land with his eager-to-please entourage. His word was law, and if you needed a little legal education, then those brass knuckles were just the right teaching tool. I saw him use those knuckles once on a kid from the Karteh-Char district.
Years later, I learned an English word for the creature that Assef was, a word for which a good Farsi equivalent does not exist: Come on, Babalu, give us a smile!
Tell us, you slant-eyed donkeyL Now he was walking toward us, hands on his hips, his sneakers kicking up little puffs of dust. Hassan retreated behind me as the three older boys closed in.
They stood before us, three tall boys dressed in jeans and T- shirts. Towering over us all, Assef crossed his thick arms on his chest, a savage sort of grin on his lips. Not for the first time, it occurred to me that Assef might not be entirely sane. It also occurred to me how lucky I was to have Baba as my father, the sole reason, I believe, Assef had mostly refrained from harassing me too much.
He tipped his chin to Hassan. Good riddance. Long live the president! My father knows Daoud Khan, did you know that, Amir? In reality, I had no idea if that was true or not. Kamal and Wali cackled in unison. I wished Baba were there. Baba's house was a good kilometer away. I wished we'd stayed at the house. Tell him what I told my mother. About Hitler. Now, there was a leader. A great leader. A man with vision. I'll tell Daoud Khan to remember that if they had let Hitler finish what he had started, the world be a better place now" "Baba says Hitler was crazy, that he ordered a lot of innocent people killed," I heard myself say before I could clamp a hand on my mouth.
Assef snickered. But then they want you to believe that, don't they? They don't want you to know the truth. I wished I hadn't said anything. I wished again I'd look up and see Baba coming up the hill. And my eyes have been opened. Now I have a vision, and I'm going to share it with our new president.
Do you know what it is? He'd tell me anyway; Assef always answered his own questions. His blue eyes flicked to Hassan. It always has been, always will be.
We are the true Afghans, the pure Afghans, not this Flat-Nose here. His people pollute our homeland, our watan. They dirty our blood. That's my vision. He looked like someone coming out of a good dream. To rid Afghanistan of all the dirty, Kasseef Hazaras. And I saw with a sinking heart what he had fished out of his pocket.
Of course. His stainless-steel brass knuckles sparkled in the sun. In fact, you bother me more than this Hazara here. How can you talk to him, play with him, let him touch you? Wali and Kamal nodded and grunted in agreement. Assef narrowed his eyes. Shook his head.
When he spoke again, he sounded as baffled as he looked. Had I really thought that? Of course I hadn't. I hadn't. I treated Hassan well, just like a friend, better even, more like a brother. But if so, then why, when Baba's friends came to visit with their kids, didn't I ever include Hassan in our games?
Why did I play with Hassan only when no one else was around? Assef slipped on the brass knuckles. Gave me an icy look. If idiots like you and your father didn't take these people in, we'd be rid of them by now. They'd all just go rot in Hazarajat where they belong. You're a disgrace to Afghanistan. Assef raised his fist and came for me. There was a flurry of rapid movement behind me. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Hassan bend down and stand up quickly.
Assef's eyes flicked to something behind me and widened with surprise. I saw that same look of astonishment on Kamal and Wali's faces as they too saw what had happened behind me. I turned and came face to face with Hassan's slingshot. Hassan had pulled the wide elastic band all the way back. In the cup was a rock the size of a walnut. Hassan held the slingshot pointed directly at Assef's face.
His hand trembled with the strain of the pulled elastic band and beads of sweat had erupted on his brow. He'd referred to Assef as "Agha," and I wondered briefly what it must be like to live with such an ingrained sense of one's place in a hierarchy. Assef gritted his teeth. Assef smiled. To an outsider, he didn't look scared.
But Hassan's face was my earliest memory and I knew all of its subtle nuances, knew each and every twitch and flicker that ever rippled across it. And I saw that he was scared. He was scared plenty. But perhaps you didn't notice that I'm the one holding the slingshot. If you make a move, they'll have to change your nickname from Assef 'the Ear Eater' to 'One-Eyed Assef,' because I have this rock pointed at your left eye.
Assef's mouth twitched. Wali and Kamal watched this exchange with something akin to fascination. Someone had challenged their god. Humiliated him. And, worst of all, that someone was a skinny Hazara. Assef looked from the rock to Hassan. He searched Hassan's face intently. What he found in it must have convinced him of the seriousness of Hassan's intentions, because he lowered his fist.
This doesn't end today, believe me. Someday, I'll make you face me one on one. His disciples followed.
They then turned around, walked away. I watched them walk down the hill and disappear behind a wall. Hassan was trying to tuck the slingshot in his waist with a pair of trembling hands. His mouth curled up into something that was supposed to be a reassuring smile.
It took him five tries to tie the string of his trousers. Neither one of us said much of anything as we walked home in trepidation, certain that Assef and his friends would ambush us every time we turned a corner. They didn't and that should have comforted us a little. But it didn't. The constitutional monarchy had been abolished, replaced by a republic, led by a president of the republic.
For a while, a sense of rejuvenation and purpose swept across the land. People spoke of women's rights and modern technology. People went to work Saturday through Thursday and gathered for picnics on Fridays in parks, on the banks of Ghargha Lake, in the gardens of Paghman.
Multicolored buses and lorries filled with passengers rolled through the narrow streets of Kabul, led by the constant shouts of the driver assistants who straddled the vehicles' rear bumpers and yelped directions to the driver in their thick Kabuli accent. Children opened gifts and played with dyed hard-boiled eggs. Early that following winter of , Hassan and I were playing in the yard one day, building a snow fort, when Ah called him in.
Hassan and I exchanged a smile. We'd been waiting for his call all day: It was Hassan's birthday. Will you tell us? His eyes were gleaming. Ali shrugged. Maybe a new pistol? Every year, he pretended not to know what Baba had bought Hassan or me for our birthdays. And every year, his eyes betrayed him and we coaxed the goods out of him. This time, though, it seemed he was telling the truth. Baba never missed Hassan's birthday. For a while, he used to ask Hassan what he wanted, but he gave up doing that because Hassan was always too modest to actually suggest a present.
So every winter Baba picked something out himself. He bought him a Japanese toy truck one year, an electric locomotive and train track set another year. That whole winter, Hassan and I took turns wearing the hat, and belted out the film's famous music as we climbed mounds of snow and shot each other dead. We took off our gloves and removed our snow-laden boots at the front door. When we stepped into the foyer, we found Baba sitting by the wood- burning cast-iron stove with a short, balding Indian man dressed in a brown suit and red tie.
There was no gift-wrapped box in sight. No bag. No toy.
Just Ali standing behind us, and Baba with this slight Indian fellow who looked a little like a mathematics teacher. The Indian man in the brown suit smiled and offered Hassan his hand. Kumar," he said. He gave a polite tip of the head, but his eyes sought his father behind him.
Ali moved closer and set his hand on Hassan's shoulder. Baba met Hassan's wary-and puzzled-eyes.
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Kumar from New Delhi. Kumar is a plastic surgeon. Hassan shook his head. He looked to me for help but I shrugged. All I knew was that you went to a surgeon to fix you when you had appendicitis. I knew this because one of my classmates had died of it the year before and the teacher had told us they had waited too long to take him to a surgeon.
We both looked to Ah, but of course with him you could never tell. His face was impassive as ever, though something sober had melted into his eyes. Kumar said, "my job is to fix things on people's bodies. Sometimes their faces. He looked from Dr. Kumar to Baba to Ali. His hand touched his upper lip. He licked his lips. Cleared his throat. Kumar intervened, smiling kindly. In fact, I will give you a medicine and you will not remember a thing. He smiled back with relief.
A little relief anyway. I knew that when doctors said it wouldn't hurt, that's when you knew you were in trouble. With dread, I remembered my circumcision the year prior.
The doctor had given me the same line, reassured me it wouldn't hurt one bit. But when the numbing medicine wore off later that night, it felt like someone had pressed a red hot coal to my loins. Why Baba waited until I was ten to have me circumcised was beyond me and one of the things I will never forgive him for. I wished I too had some kind of scar that would beget Baba's sympathy. It wasn't fair.
Hassan hadn't done anything to earn Baba's affections; he'd just been born with that stupid harelip. The surgery went well. We were all a little shocked when they first removed the bandages, but kept our smiles on just as Dr. Kumar had instructed us. It wasn't easy, because Hassan's upper lip was a grotesque mesh of swollen, raw tissue. I expected Hassan to cry with horror when the nurse handed him the mirror. Ah held his hand as Hassan took a long, thoughtful look into it.
He muttered something I didn't understand. I put my ear to his mouth. He whispered it again. Then his lips twisted, and, that time, I knew just what he was doing. He was smiling.
Just as he had, emerging from his mother's womb. The swelling subsided, and the wound healed with time.The house sat on the left side of the brick path, the backyard at the end of it. And why not? Robert Tull, and Dr. He just looked at me through the cloud of smoke. But I was pathetic, a blundering liability to my own team, always in the way of an opportune pass or unwittingly blocking an open lane.
My father knows Daoud Khan, did you know that, Amir? The surgery went well.