The Kite Runner…

28 04 2008

“Now there is a way to be good again…

For you, a thousand times over.. “

And so those words sang in my head when I spent my time with Amir, Hassan, Baba and Sohrab. It been some time after ‘Gone With The Wind’ since a book has deeply stirred my emotions and swirled tears in my eyes.

‘The Kite Runner’ is in a way, a celebration of human spirit and life in all its totality. Filled with human vices and touching emotions like love, sacrifice, selfishness, envy, rivalry, guilt, loyalty, betrayal, cowardice, love-hate relationships, lies and redemption, this little work of fiction feels so much human in its element that it strikes a chord and leaves lasting impressions.

This book is about two brothers Amir and Hassan, who share a unbreakable binding vine of kinship and love despite their ethnic, social and religious differences, being reared by a father who loved them differently. Though the story is narrated by Amir in first person, its that idealistic sacrificial and loyal love that Hassan showers over Amir that tenderly tugged my heart. While wadding through Amir’s guilt and his escapist choices, somehow my bitterness and hatred towards Amir effaced into thin air towards the end of book, as he tries to live up to Hassan’s love and atones for his sins. I was enraged at Amir for his betrayal of Hassan, yet I couldn’t stop myself from forgiving him when he redeems himself from his fallacies by running for Sohrab’s kite. Made me wonder, if deeply moving love can make one raise up to its worth. Is that cosmic justice, or is it the flow of life? Aptly titled, this inherently beautiful tome left me aching for more and I am sure I would treasure this forever in my private collection.

Here are some Phrases/Quotes from the book that I enjoyed…

““… I wondered if that was how forgiveness budded, not with the fanfare of epiphany, but with pain gathering it things, packing up, and slipping away unannounced in the middle of the night.”

“She said, ‘I’m so afraid.’ And I said, ‘why?,’ and she said, ‘Because I’m so profoundly happy, Dr. Rasul. Happiness like this is frightening.’ I asked her why and she said, ‘They only let you be this happy if they’re preparing to take something from you,’ and I said, ‘Hush up, now. Enough of this silliness.'”

“Because when spring comes it melts the snow one flake at a time, and maybe I just witnessed the first flake melting”

“”He knew I’d betrayed him and yet he was rescuing me once again, maybe for the last time. I loved him in that moment, loved him more than I’d ever loved anyone…”

“”I actually aspired to cowardice, because the alternative, the real reason I was running, was that Assef was right: Nothing was free in this world. Maybe Hassan was the price I had to pay, the lamb I had to slay, to win Baba. Was it a fair price? The answer floated to my conscious mind before I could thwart: He was just a Hazara, wasn’t he?”

There is only one sin, only one. And that is theft. Every other sin is a variation of theft… When you kill a man, you steal a life. You steal his wife’s right to a husband, rob his children of a father. When you tell a lie, you steal someone’s right to the truth. When you cheat, you steal the right to fairness. ”

“I thought about Hassan’s dream, the one about us swimming in the lake. There is no monster, he’d said, just water. Except he’d been wrong about that. There was a monster in the lake. It had grabbed Hassan by the ankles, dragged him to the murky bottom. I was that monster.”

“A boy who won’t stand up for himself becomes a man who can’t stand up to anything.”

“I throw my makeshift jai-namaz, my prayer rug, on the floor and I get on my knees, lower my forehead to the ground, my tears soaking through the sheet. I bow to the west. Then I remember I haven’t prayed for over fifteen years. I have long forgotten the words. But it doesn’t matter, I will utter those few words I still remember: La illaha il Allah, Muhammad u rasul ullah. There is no God but Allah and Muhammad is His messenger. I see now that Baba was wrong, there is a God, there always had been. I see Him here, in the eyes of the people in this corridor of desperation. This is the real house of God, this is where those who have lost God will find Him, not the white masjid with its bright diamond lights and towering minarets. There is a God, there has to be, and now I will pray, I will pray that He forgive that I have neglected Him all of these years, forgive that I have betrayed, lied, and sinned with impunity only to turn to Him now in my hour of need, I pray that He is as merciful, benevolent, and gracious as His book says He is. I bow to the west and kiss the ground and promise that I will do zakat, I will do namaz, I will fast during Ramadan and when Ramadan has passed I will go on fasting, I will commit to memory every last word of His holy book, and I will set on a pilgrimage to that sweltering city in the desert and bow before the Ka’bah too. I will do all of this and I will think of Him every day from this day on if He only grants me this one wish: My hands are stained with Hassan’s blood; I pray God doesn’t let them get stained with the blood of his boy too.”





A Testimonial Of Love…

26 04 2008

Sometimes I wonder that’s what love in life is. Love and its longing weaves a lilting yearning in my life that I seldom pause to wonder at the magic of love that I subconsciously indulge in. Love that’s giving, love that can make a prophet, martyr or a seer out of a self centered person. Yet, at times I cant help but ponder if love is selfish. When those really close loved ones ask for a testimonial of love. I feel like saying that love is not a piece of cake where each may lay their claim. Yet, its that obligation of relationship that makes me play along. Especially when I really believe in the strength of their affection. Something in that mental makeup of mine votes for that obligation that springs from love over privatism(or the joy that results from celebtrating my individuality). May be, its true. We all change for the ones we love. 

True to my stars, I can seldom differentiate between love and friendship, as I think one feeds on another. Sometimes, I tilt much towards the latter, as it taught me how to give without expectations and about being there in times of need. Yet, if I have to sum life in a few words, its always family, friends and a chance of self-expression.





On Possessiveness and Love…

7 12 2007

There is once a popular song in Hindi that sings that ‘Life Is A Song Of Love’.. Always made me pause and reflect. In our attempts to discover and reinvent life through the journey of love, guess many have been tugged by this emotion of possessiveness sometime. I hear many times about this rolling out as a candid confession in conversations. Guess everyone might have heard of this perspective, but when I came across it in my mail box, I couldn’t resist posting it. Coz, there are certain lessons and learnings in life, that demand conscious effort from our side to put them to practice.

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I once had a friend who grew to be very close to me. Once when we were sitting at the edge of a swimming pool, she filled the palm of her hand with some water and held it before me, and said this: “You see this water carefully contained on my hand? It symbolizes Love.”

This was how I saw it: As long as you keep your hand gently open and allow it to remain there, it will always be there. However, if you attempt to close your fingers round it and try to posses it, it will spill through the first cracks it finds. This is the greatest mistake that people do when they meet love. They try to posses, own, demand, and expect… and just like the water spilling out of your hand, love will retrieve from you. For love is meant to be free, you cannot change its nature. If there are people you love, allow them to be free beings.

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Sounds such a simple perspective, but how difficult to internalize! I have seen relationships collapse due to a possessiveness overdrive and power struggle. Well, we can never reason out our actions in relationships, but awareness always helps in defining our perspective. Love like joy and cheer is meant to be shared and isn’t limited like a piece of cake. Still, we feel as if we own the person and haggle for our share, how strange!





Reasoning With Life..

16 11 2007

Sweetheart.. Reason it out.
Be Sensible. Apply Logic.

Does these terms sound familiar? I guess many of us prudent individuals have heard or said this quite often at times, however so futile the situation may seem. Let me be a candid confessor here. I have given up on logic in personal space. However mature I may feel or behave, I know that nothing works on reason or logic especially in relationships. Emotions stand for no reason and love heeds to no advice. Somehow I enjoy that drama that unfolds whenever we deal with relationships. Guess that sheer touch of madness is what makes us sane otherwise.

I have seen many individuals make a fool of themselves in their pursuits. And many more who build ego walls based on false premises to battle their affections. I wonder how many would ponder over this fact.. But when the judgment day arrives, we still count the number of lives we touched or the lasting bonds that we built as our accomplishments. Guess being on the top holds no worth if there are no one around to share the joy.. Yet, I guess our typical tendency is to pursue unworthy things with all fervor with disregard to those pursuing us. Hmmmm.. Reasoning with life never works..





In A Glass Paradise, I Shed..

15 11 2007

all those miseries that I have seen for the future through those unspoken tears rolling over my eyes..

What hurt me was not the indifference of the world but the misinterpretation of my pal. Or is it that I am afraid to face the truth? Why do I feel the need or urge to justify myself, or explain myself that I am not what they think. Yet, I gave up.. Silence is the best answer for all those judgments that are meted out and those expectations that are set on me.

Coz, still I don’t have an easy answer to the mystery called me. Yet, its nice to have people around to whom I can be as nasty when I want to and pass all my moody zingers whenever I like..

Dunno why, yet its nice to to feel that I can still cry. I guess its ok to cry even when there is no reason. Its okay to bare one’s heart for those little disappointments and soul shattering experiences in life. They make me feel more human, especially when am tired of playing the big girl. Thank you tears, for being there when it mattered most. Hear me out, oh Mr. Gloominess.. You can visit me anytime, but only for a moment. Only to show me how wonderful the blue sky or the rosy tinted glasses are.. So do remember when u drop by my door for a brief hello.

Everyone thinks I am at a tricky phase of life. When it isn’t so? Things would seem as dark or light as I want them to be. Nothing shatters a dream than a compromise. I believe, hope and pray everyday to not see the light of a day when I had to negotiate with my life. I guess its tough life being a dreamer. 🙂 Even in a glass paradise, my eyes seek the vision of limitless blue sky and a bright rainbow. I can’t really help myself. That eternal optimist survives!





Skeletons in The Cupboard..

8 10 2007

This is one of those persistent echoes from one of those intellectually stimulating conversations that I relished and indulged in grandeur. How do we deal with broken dreams, unrequited love, and breach of trust? How do we handle with that muted voice of the Maverick that lies with in us? We all have our own little skeletons in our cupboards from past. Everyone emerges different from similar experiences depending on how they chose to deal with them.

One of friends’ shared with me his perspective one day. Since I know he wouldn’t mind, am quoting him verbatim.. “Heard “Ekla chalo re?” All of us are individuals, responsible for the fruits and pitfalls of our individual actions. Ever since I was a young, I hardly remember a time when I didn’t suffer from crush pangs. Grew up like that, got ditched a couple of times, but picked up the remnants and carried on. Anyway, you never know who is trustworthy and who is not. I trust everyone and no one. Even if I get ditched, I’m not affected, and if I am not, I’ll have won over someone. Life doesn’t play safe. You’d either be endangered or as safe as in Fort Knox.“

Some choose to live in profound confusion and conflict quagmire, finding it hard to let go of past and some are able to pick up the pieces and move on savoring life moment by moment. Whatever that we choose to do and how would we deal with the skeletons in the cupboard in the end is our personal choice. It’s about being comfortable with our thoughts, value systems and ourselves. What’s life if it’s not spiced with joy, mirth, sorrows, complexities, love, fun and friends? We all have our own wars to fight, storms to rage, dreams to conquer and dragons to slay. Sometimes we may end up with terrible wounds, raw pain, and shattered dreams. I heard someone saying Pain is Gain. How true! Life is a learning process for sure. Hold on to that inner spirit and enjoy the ride.





Embracing Imperfection..

27 09 2007

These days I seem to be on a forwarding spree. Yet, I found it quite relevant to ponder upon. Some relationships are for keeps and they indeed effect us in many ways. I see many people going through some crisis or another on that front and unfortunately there is no degree to help you around that corner. Some balance, acceptance, semblance, accommodation and sensibility is demanded from us in such situations. Yet, often thats what we miss in an emotional situation. I like the idea of ‘accepting imperfections’ that resonates in this article by Deb Graham. Do enjoy.

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THE SECRET TO A LASTING MARRIAGE: EMBRACE IMPERFECTION

By Deb Graham

When I was a little girl, my mom liked to make breakfast food for dinner every now and then. And I remember one night in particular when she had made breakfast after a long, hard day at work.

On that evening so long ago, my mom placed a plate of eggs, sausage, and extremely burned toast in front of my dad. I remember waiting to see if anyone noticed! Yet all my dad did was reach for his toast, smile at my mom, and ask me how my day was at school.

I don’t remember what I told him that night, but I do remember watching him smear butter and jelly on that toast and eat every bite! When I got up from the table that evening, I remember hearing my mom apologize to my dad for burning the toast. And I’ll never forget what he said: “Baby, I love burned toast.”

Later that night, I went to kiss Daddy good night and I asked him if he really liked his toast burned. He wrapped me in his arms and said, “Debbie, your momma put in a hard day at work today and she’s real tired. And besides, ­a little burnt toast never hurt anyone!”

In bed that night, I thought about that scene at dinner and the kindness my daddy showed my mom. To this day, it’s a cherished memory from my childhood that I’ll never forget. And it’s one that came to mind just recently when Jack and I sat down to eat dinner.

I had arrived home late… as usual… and decided we would have breakfast food for dinner. Some things never change, I suppose!

To my amazement, I found the ingredients I needed, and quickly began to cook eggs, turkey sausage, and buttered toast. Thinking I had things under control, I glanced through the mail for the day. It was only a few minutes later that I remembered that I had forgotten to take the toast out of the oven!

Now, had it been any other day — and had we had more than two pieces of bread in the entire house — I would have started all over. But it had been one of those days; and I had just used up the last two pieces of bread. So burnt toast it was!

As I set the plate down in front of Jack, I waited for a comment about the toast. But all I got was a “Thank you!” I watched as he ate bite by bite, all the time waiting for some comment about the toast. But instead, all Jack said was, “Babe, this is great. Thanks for cooking tonight. I know you had a hard day.”

As I took a bite of my charred toast that night, I thought about my mom and dad… how burnt toast hadn’t been a deal-breaker for them. And I quietly thanked God for giving me a marriage where burnt toast wasn’t a deal-breaker either!

You know, life is full of imperfect things and imperfect people. I’m not the best housekeeper or cook. And you might be surprised to find out that Jack isn’t the perfect husband! He likes to play his music too loud, he will always find a way to avoid yard work, and he watches far too many sports. Believe it or not, watching “Golf Academy” is not my idea of a great night at home!

But somehow in the past 37 years Jack and I have learned to accept the imperfections in each other. Over time, we have stopped trying to make each other in our own mold and have learned to celebrate our differences. You might say that we’ve learned to love each other for who we really are!

For example, I like to take my time, I’m a perfectionist, and I’m even-tempered. I tend to work too much and sleep too little. Jack, on the other hand, is disciplined, studious, an early riser, and is a marketer’s dream consumer. I count pennies and Jack could care less! Where he is strong, I am weak, and vice versa.

And while you might say that Jack and I are opposites, we’re also very much alike. I can look at him and tell you what he’s thinking. I can predict his actions before he finalizes his plans. On the other hand, he knows whether I’m troubled or not the moment I enter a room.

We share the same goals. We love the same things. And we are still best friends. We’ve traveled through many valleys and enjoyed many mountaintops. And yet, at the same time, Jack and I must work every minute of every day to make this thing called “marriage” work!

What I’ve learned over the years is that learning to accept each other’s faults – and choosing to celebrate each other’s differences – is the one of the most important keys to creating a healthy, growing, and lasting marriage relationship.

And that’s my prayer for you today. That you will learn to take the good, the bad, and the ugly parts of your married life and lay them at the feet of GOD. Because in the end, He’s the only One who will be able to give you a marriage where burnt toast isn’t a deal-breaker!

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