Bibliophilia: (1) The Kite Runner


The Kite Runner, by Khaled Husseini is one of the few books that had really  touched my heart.. I don’t remember a chapter that hasn’t moved me into tears, but here’s my favorite part; where I really cried!

“… 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 Al-laah, 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 has 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 will 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 everyday 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.

I hear a whimpering and I realize it is mine, my lips are salty with the tears trickling down my face. I feel the eyes of everyone in this corridor on me and still I bow to the west. I pray. I pray that my sins have not caught up with me the way I’d always feared they would…”


It goes on..


Threads of sunlight had quietly snuck in; throwing golden shadows all over the window when the old woman had moved her chair to face the scene. Her heart had always been so attached to that view; beating lively every time she looked through the window, that she’d never missed a morning… However, that very morning, her heart was beating slowly, painfully; something had changed…

She broke into tears for grasping how things had turned upside down without any earlier warnings. Few days back, she could watch the singing birds and the spirited butterflies, but that day, she was watching the same view through the same window without really seeing!

She let a sigh, sensing the light morning breeze infusing her hair tufts. It was a sign, alerting her that life goes on; she had lost her sight, but she needed a reminder of everything else she had gained…