Sunday, January 04, 2009

A thousand splendid suns

A thousand splendid suns a novel by Khaled Hosseini. It follows the story of a woman on the backdrop of probably the worst time in Afganistan's history. Brilliantly written but utterly sad. The courage and conviction of the leading woman shows us that Guns and wars always fall short than love and hope.

An armed man approached her and told her to walk toward the southern goalpost. Mariam
could sense the crowd tightening up with anticipation. She did not look up. She
kept her eyes to the ground, on her shadow, on her executioner's shadow trailing hers.
Though there had been moments of beauty in it, Mariam knew that life for the most
part had been unkind to her. But as she walked the final twenty paces, she could not
help but wish for more of it. She wished she could see Laila again, wished to hear the
clangor of her laugh, to sit with her once more for a pot of chai and leftoverhalwa under
a starlit sky. She mourned that she would never see Aziza grow up, would not see the
beautiful young woman that she would one day become, would not get to paint her
hands with henna and tossnoqul candy at her wedding. She would never play with Aziza's
children. She would have liked that very much, to be old and play with Aziza's
Near the goalpost, the man behind her asked her to stop. Mariam did. Through the crisscrossing
grid of the burqa, she saw his shadow arms lift his shadow Kalashnikov.
Mariam wished for so much in those final moments. Yet as she closed her eyes, it was
not regret any longer but a sensation of abundant peace that washed over her. She thought
of her entry into this world, theharami child of a lowly villager, an unintended
thing, a pitiable, regrettable accident. A weed. And yet she was leaving the world as a
woman who had loved and been loved back. She was leaving it as a friend, a companion,
a guardian. A mother. A person of consequence at last. No. It was not so bad, Mariam
thought, that she should die this way. Not so bad. This was a legitimate end to a life
of illegitimate beginnings.
Mariam's final thoughts were a few words from the Koran, which she muttered under
her breath.
He has created the heavens and the earth with the truth; He makes the night cover the
day and makes the day overtake the night, and He has made the sun and the moon subservient;
each one runs on to an assigned term; now surely He is the Mighty, the Great
"Kneel," the Talib said
O my Lord! Forgive and have mercy, for you are the best of the merciful ones.
"Kneel here,hamshira And look down."
One last time, Mariam did as she was told.

One could not count the moons that shimmer on her roofs, Or the thousand splendid
suns that hide behind her -walls.

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