“You never told me …,” I say.
“Why, that day, you took the blame on yourself. And Baba’s beating. For stealing his money.”
“You’d have broken his heart,” he says, smiling.
He caresses the scar on his chin. A testament almost. To the days he stood by me, for me. My brother, my friend, my partner in crime. And now, he’s leaving forever.
“For you, a thousand times over,” he says, our own version of the Chinese red thread, since Kite Runner. From the overhead speakers, the airline authorities announce their final boarding call for the flight.
Khaled Hosseini’s debut novel, (and my first read of his, followed by yet another solid one – A Thousand Splendid Suns) – simple yet powerful, people-based dramas set against backdrops of political wars and coups, invasions and the subsequent events that follow – like exodus of refugees and rise of certain regimes. Another recommended book, around similar settings/contexts is the Stationery Shop of Tehran, by Iranian writer Marjan Kamali.