Last night I turned the last page of A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini.
WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD
During the three days that I spent reading it, I was transported to war torn Kabul, I was a silent spectator to Tariq and Laila's love story and I so desperately wanted to reach out to Mariam for all that she goes through. No matter what I write in this space, it will never do justice to the book. I can go on for pages as to how fantastic I thought it was, but you really have to read it, experience it, to understand. Khaled Hosseini is a brilliant writer. In simple language that you and I use every day, he tells a story of epic proportions. He reminds you to be grateful that you live in a country where you don't have to worry about rockets whizzing past your ear, threatening to blow off a limb or consume loved ones in its fiery path. It makes you grateful to be able to crawl into bed at night and sleep in peace without fear that someone much stronger than you might just snuff the life out of you, while you lie wrapped in slumber. You count your blessings for your body not having to undergo brutal torture at the hands of a person whose eyes sparkle with perverse joy in watching the metal clasp of a belt buckle get embedded and entangled in your skin, before coming loose, leaving a mass of mangled flesh at the point of contact, having caused injury and blood to gush forth from more than just your physical form. And your heart goes out to the characters - to Laila for having to live a lie for so many years, to Aziza for being deprived of a father's love for so long, to Tariq, most definitely to Mariam and Nana and a mix of anger and sympathy to Jalil. Here was a man who wanted to be a good father, but failed miserably, torn between moral obligation and societal embarassment. The story couldn't have ended any better. This was the first book that made me cry - actually cry. I had tears streaming down my cheeks as I went through parts of the text. I grew, I changed, I was inspired as I read this book. On the back of the paperback copy that I was reading, Glamour Magazine had written, 'Only the hardest of hearts could fail to be moved'. I'm most grateful to be alive from within.