I just finished reading another book, adding another one to the “already read” list. But, this book had a profound effect on me.
A Thousand Splendid Suns – by Khaled Hosseini. Another good book describing the latest years in Afghan cities such as Kabul and Herat. I have read Kite Runner (another book by the same author), but I was more moved by A Thousand Splendid Suns.
The book is named after some lines of poetry, describing the love that one feels for one’s country, the beauty of Kabul and the respect one’s homeland always holds on one’s heart no matter where we may be. The author quotes –
“One could not count the moons that shimmer on her roofs,
Or the thousand splendid suns that hide behind her walls.”
This book describes the times of war and gives me a lot to be thankful for. I am thankful that my life is so different from people who went through the various political and religious uprisings in Afghanistan. I am thankful that I am not the girl who had to watch her father’s torso ripped out by a blast and that I am not the boy who’s parents died in refugee camps. Life would be different in a world where living was only a day-to-day struggle to follow the strict rules of a certain group… where the ancient relics are destroyed in the name of religion and where places where our memories created over the years, are ruined in a ball of fire. People’s hometowns turned into a place where the streets of our childhood were turned into nothing but rubble, where the people we loved are left as nothing but a distant memory, where parents find solace in running panicked through streets finding the bits of pieces of their blown up children and where little kids find their friends sock-clad foot around the corner of the street they once played in. It hurts to read of innocent families and their huge losses over something they hear only over the radio. It pains me to feel even so distantly, the apprehensions they felt every time they heard the whistling sounds of a rocket in the air – holding their breaths and awaiting to find out if it was their turn to die.
We complain about the small things in life forgetting that there are people out there suffering way more than we are. I sit here and complain about waking up too early or being sleep deprived, about being in pain some days or about not being able to go out one evening… without realizing that there are people who spend months in their houses, eating bare rice with salt to survive and hoping that the next minute does not bring their death.. people who grieve the deaths of their loved ones without having to even look at them one last time and people walk the beautiful streets of their childhood stricken with fear listening for the sounds of close gunshots, whistling of rockets and shatterings of windows…
I am grateful for the life I have and for my wonderful friends and family.