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Sunday, March 2, 2008

A Thousand Splendid Suns!

...if you ask me the author whose books that i read recently, then it has to be Khaled Hosseini. Here, ofcourse, i have to discount the books that i read anew (I do have this habit of going back to a book, reading it in a differnt way, from the first time), and here when i talk of Hosseini, I must mention, the u-turn that has happened to me regarding Hosseini, from the time i heard about 'Kite Runner' and the time i finished 'A Thosand Splendid Suns'

..."One could not count the moons that shimmer on her roofs
And the thousand splendid suns that hide behind her walls..."

One can see many things corresponding to Hosseini's earlier novel 'Kite Runner'. Two things united Afghanisatan, in its pre-70's era - Kite flying, and Kabul's Cultural space consisting of its Musicians and Poets.

...Khaled Hossieni, predictably, obviously for his second novel, goes to this umbilical cord, and takes out the title from this poem...'A Thousand Splendid Suns". Continuining from where he left in Kite Runner, the winter chill and the dry windes are harsher here...Kite Runner was all about two children, torn by the russians and the war after. This novel is about two women torn first by their own men, then, the soviets, the warlords and finally the Taliban. Their marital sufferings are pretty grotesque, and so is the social one that prevails outside their homes. Like Kite Runner , the theme of underlying guilt, Paralles can be seeb in the guilt Amir lives with all along his life with that one act of Cowardice in Kite runner with Mariam's guilt in abandoning her mother and in laila's guilt towards her own children. Kite Runner was all about two kids, and their fathers, Here its two women, attached to their mothers, but had to leave them due to the circumstances that prevailed, two women who at first couldnt stand the sight of each other, but finally gets united when they finally finds out that their lives are not much different afterall. All the while, we are made to go through brutal images of marital abuses, rape, violence and grotesque descriptions on the way Taliban ran the country.

Hosseini recreates the Hero out of Ahmed Shah Moussoud, emphasises the villians in Taliban, Rabbani and Doustum, doesn't even leave the late Najibullah alone - by etching the details of his execution so badly - and towards the end, reveals the reclaimed heavan called Kabul under Hamid Karzai. ...This made me wonder! Is Khaled Hosseini an American Agent? Having escaped to USA via Peshawar, when the soviets invade afghanistan, no one else can he be! And here he returns, to salvage a lost war... coming out with a propaganda that is part of an INFORMATION WARFARE that american agents are unleashing, so that Bush can finally win his war on Terror. A War that american badly wants to win, having lost it on ground.

A book wherein guilt and supreme sacrifice become a Hosseini Trademark, is all quite readable. Kite Runner was written in a more simple language, and as the theme grew from two kids, to two women, the language grows up too, to reveal a more mature and subtle one. But, everything about the book should stop therein...the language..and the trauma of the two women characters and their personal lives, and the moment one starts thinking and goes beyond their personal lives to one that involves the whole, one is taken for a ride...!

So having read about soviet occupation, the waging warlords, and the taliban, i wonder, why isnt anyone writing about the occupation of American forces in afghanistan or Iraq? Or is it that there are plenty of such books, but they never see the light outside Iraq or afghanistan? Or will Hosseini be planning his next novel on the travails of Iraqi and Afghani people unleashed by the US Marines?