It may be unfair, but what happens in a few days, sometimes even a single day, can change the course of a whole lifetime...
There is only one sin. and that is theft... when you tell a lie, you steal someones right to the truth.
I wondered if that was how forgiveness budded; not with the fanfare of epiphany, but with pain gathering its things, packing up, and slipping away unannounced in the middle of the night.
When you kill a man, you steal a life. You steal his wife's right to a husband, rob his children of a father. When you tell a lie, you steal someone's right to the truth. When you cheat, you steal the right to fairness.
It was only a smile, nothing more. It didn't make everything all right. It didn't make ANYTHING all right. Only a smile. A tiny thing. A leaf in the woods, shaking in the wake of a startled bird's flight. But I'll take it. With open arms. Because when spring comes, it melts the snow one flake at a time, and maybe I just witnessed the first flake melting. - Amir.
She said, 'I'm so afraid.' And I said, 'why?,' and she said, 'Because I'm so profoundly happy, Dr. Rasul. Happiness like this is frightening.' I asked her why and she said, 'They only let you be this happy if they're preparing to take something from you.
Not a word passes between us, not because we have nothing to say, but because we don't have to say anything.
Quiet is peace. Tranquility. Quiet is turning down the volume knob on life. Silence is pushing the off button. Shutting it down. All of it. - Amir.
I want to tear myself from this place, from this reality, rise up like a cloud and float away, melt into this humid summer night and dissolve somewhere far, over the hills. But I am here, my legs blocks of concrete, my lungs empty of air, my throat burning. There will be no floating away.
there is only one sin, only one. And that is theft. Every other sin is a variation of theft. When you kill a man, you steal a life... you steal his wife's right to a husband, rob his children of a ather. When you tell a lie, you steal someone's right to the truth. When you cheat, you steal the right to fairness... there is no act more wretched than stealing.
One time, when I was very little, I climbed a tree and ate these green, sour apples. My stomach swelled and became hard like a drum, it hurt a lot. Mother said that if I'd just waited for the apples to ripen, I wouldn't have become sick. So now, whenever I really want something, I try to remember what she said about the apples.
I opened my mouth, almost said something. Almost. The rest of my life might have turned out differently if I had. But I didn’t.
I'm so afraid. Because I'm so profoundly happy. Happiness like this is frightening...They only let you this happy if they're preparing to take something from you.
Men are easy,' he said, fingers tapping on his mahogany desk. 'A man's plumbing is like his mind: simple, very few surprises. You ladies, on the other hand...well, God put a lot of thought into making you.
The problem, of course, was that [he] saw the world in black and white. And he got to decide what was black and what was white. You can't love a person who lives that way without fearing him too. Maybe even hating him a little.
Life goes on, unmindful of beginning, end…crisis or catharsis, moving forward like a slow, dusty caravan of kochis (nomads).
I became what I am today at the age of twelve, on a frigid overcast day in the winter of 1975. I remember the precise moment, crouching behind a crumbling mud wall, peeking into the alley near the frozen creek. That was a long time ago, but it’s wrong what they say about the past, I’ve learned, about how you can bury it. Because the past claws its way out. Looking back now, I realize I have been peeking into that deserted alley for the last twenty-six years.
And this is what I want you to understand, that good, real good, was born out of your father's remorse. Sometimes, I thing everything he did, feeding the poor on the streets, building the orphanage, giving money to friends in need, it was all his way of redeeming himself. And that, I believe, is what true redemption is, Amir jan, when guilt leads to good.
It's wrong to hurt even bad people. Because they don't know any better, and because bad people sometimes become good.
And suddenly, just like that, hope became knowledge. I was going to win. It was just a matter of when.
I didn't remember what month that was, or what year even. I only knew the memory lived in me, a perfectly encapsulated morsel of a good past, a brushstroke of color on the gray, barren canvas that our lives had become.
A part of me was hoping someone would wake up and hear, so I wouldn't have to live with this lie anymore. But no one woke up and in the silence that followed, I understood the nature of my new curse: I was going to get away with it.
I brought Hassan’s son from Afghanistan to America, lifting him from the certainty of turmoil and dropping him in a turmoil of uncertainty.
You're gutless. It's how you were made. And that's not such a bad thing because your saving grace is that you've never lied to yourself about it. Not about that. Nothing wrong with cowardice as long as it comes with prudence. But when a coward stops remembering who he is... God help him.
He knew I'd seen everything in that alley, that I'd stood there and done nothing. He knew that I'd betrayed him and yet he was rescuing me once again, maybe for the last time.
For you, a thousand times over." Then I turned and ran. It was only a smile, nothing more. It didn't make everything alright. It didn't make anything all right. Only a smile. A tiny thing. But I'll take it. With open arms.
I think that everything he did, feeding the poor, giving money to friends in need, it was all a way of redeeming himself. And that, I believe, is what true redemption is, Amir jan, when guilt leads to good.
As far as I know, he never asked where she had been or why she had left and she never told. I guess some stories do not need telling.
America was different. America was a river, roarng along, unmindful of the past. I could wade into this river, let my sins drown to the bottom, let the waters carry me someplace far. Someplace with no ghosts, no memories, and no sins.
Was there happiness at the end [of the movie], they wanted to know. If someone were to ask me today whether the story of Hassan, Sohrab, and me ends with happiness, I wouldn't know what to say. Does anybody's? After all, life is not a Hindi movie. Zendagi migzara, Afghans like to say: Life goes on, undmindful of beginning, en, kamyab, nah-kam, crisis or catharsis, moving forward like a slow, dusty caravan of kochis.
Some days, I listen to that clock ticking in the hallway. Then I think of all the ticks, all the minutes, all the hours and days and weeks and months and years waiting for me. All of it without you. And I can’t breathe then, like someone’s stepping on my heart. I get so weak. So weak I just want to collapse somewhere.
I loved him in that moment, loved him more than I'd ever loved anyone, and I wanted to to tell them all that I was the snake in the grass, the monster in the lake. I wasn't worthy of this sacrifice; I was a liar, a cheat, a thief. And I would have told, except that a part of me was glad. Glad that this would all be over with soon. Baba would dismiss them, there would be some pain, but life would move on. I wanted that, to move on, to forget, to start with a clean slate. I wanted to be able to breathe again.
Not a word passes between us, not because we have nothing to say, but because we don't have to say anything - that is how, it is between people who are each other's first memories.
When you kill a man, you steal a life," Baba said. "You steal his wife's right to a husband, rob his children of a father. When you tell a lie, you steal someone's right to the truth. When you cheat, you steal the right to fairness. Do you see?.
A creative writing teacher at San Jose State used to say about clichés: 'Avoid them like the plague.' Then he'd laugh at his own joke. The class laughed along with him, but I always thought clichés got a bum rap. Because, often, they're dead-on. But the aptness of the clichéd saying is overshadowed by the nature of the saying as a cliché.
And one more thing...You will never again refer to him as 'Hazara boy' in my presence. He has a name and it's Sohrab.
After everything he'd built, planned, fought for, fretted over, dreamed of, this was the summation of his life; one disappointing son and two suitcases.
Hassan couldn't read a first-grade textbook but he'd read me plenty. That was a little unsettling but also sort of comfortable to have someone who always knew what you needed.
I wanted to tell them that, in Kabul, we snapped a tree branch and used it as a credit card. Hassan and I would take the wooden stick to the bread maker. He'd carve notches on our stick with his knife, one notch for each loaf of naan he'd pull for us from the tandoor's roaring flames. At the end of the month, my father paid him for the number of notches on the stick. That was it. No questions. No ID.
There was brotherhood between people who had fed from the same breast, a kinship that even time could not break. - Amir.
Panic. You open your mouth. Open it so wide your jaws creak. You order your lungs to draw air, NOW, you need air, need it NOW. But your airways ignore you. They collapse, tighten, squeeze, and suddenly you're breaithing through a drinking straw. Your mouth closes and your lips purse and all you can manage is a croak. Your hands wriggle and shake. Somewhere a dam has cracked open and a flood of cold sweat spills, drenches your body. You want to scream. You would if you could. Cut you have to breathe to scream. Panic.
Hassan returned the smile. Except his didn’t look forced. And that’s the thing about people who mean everything they say. They think everyone else does too.
The shootings and explosions had lasted less than an hour, but they had frightened us badly, because none of us had ever heard gunshots in the streets. They were foreign sounds to us then. The generation of Afghan children whose ears would know nothing but the sounds of bombs and gunfire was not yet born.