Sunday, July 29, 2012

The Illegitimacy of life

Mariam was five years old when she first heard the word harami. The novel opens with these lines and throughout its progression highlights the illegitimacy of the life of women in the troubled land of Afghanistan.  How illegitimacy shapes life and who decides what’s legitimate and what’s not.

A woman is born to endure – brutalities and the patriarchal society. In Afghanistan today there are still talks of liberating women. The country needs their women.  The same clan who suffered bombings, humiliation and torture. Who were not allowed to step out of their houses without being accompanied by a male member.  They were victims of forced marriages, they were sold off as slaves, raped, killed, compelled to prostitution. They had to be burqa clad even while operating on their own kind. Children were delivered via caesarean without the administration of anesthetic. 

What touched me most about this book was the dual nature of man. There is Rasheed who is self centred. An extremist. Who thinks women are sex toys and machines to mint children. Whose violence knows no bounds. And there is Tariq, who respects women. Who is loyal to his childhood love with a faith so strong that it knows no bounds. They are both courageous men of caliber. But courage means different things to different people. This novel makes you hate men, but adore them as well. 

Adversities can bring strangers together. Laila and Mariam are separated by a generation, they share the same husband. But the common thread of adversity unites them. And the unity goes beyond physical death, blossoming to a spiritual presence. 

A Thousand Splendid Suns is a powerful portrait of female suffering and endurance under the Taliban and although we are miles and generations away from that violence, it still pinches the heart. 

(my thoughts on Khaled Hosseini's A Thousand Splendid Suns)

3 scribbling(s):

Anonymous said...

Doesn't seem like my kind of book but sounds interesting, or at least you make it sound interesting!

cOnFuSeD sOuL said...

I totally love this book and Khaled Hosseini's style of story telling which captivates the reader till the end. The way he fleshes out his characters is as if they are dancing in front of you, in those pages. Deeply moving and so real. Have you read 'The Kite Runner' penned down by him? Perfect portrayal of the human spirit and myriad of emotions.Its my favourite novel till date.

The Wanderer said...

Kite Runner in a way inspired me to read his next :)

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