Salman Rushdie's Influence On The Kite Runner

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Even as I read the Afghan-American writer Khaled Hosseini’s debut novel The Kite Runner I just couldn’t ignore the so many ways in which Hosseini’s text draws upon Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children. At the very outset, it is interesting to note that Rushdie published his book not very long after India’s Emergency Period and Hosseini published his not long after 9/11. As such they hold within their pages the pain and the poison produced by the churning of their nations (with no mythical god now able to curtail its ill-effects and effect rescue). Well it’s true that Rushdie’s novel changed the imagination of the world and any writer would want to create an effect of that scale. But that is not what Hosseini’s intention seems to be; at least…show more content…
At the same time like the knock-kneed Shiva, Hassan is physically strong and protects the meek hearted Amir from being bullied by the violent Assef and his gang, the more affluent lads in the street. Hassan, the best kite runner in all of Kabul ran kites for Amir. “For you, a thousand times over,” he would say to Amir (Hosseini 1). (Kite runners compete to collect the last kite that has been cut.) Baba himself, “a force of nature, a towering Pashtun specimen,” and famously nicknamed Toophan agha, “Mr Hurricane” for having once wrestled a bear, secretly takes pride in Hassan. This begins to trouble young Amir and he pledges to win the admiration of his father by bringing home the last kite at the next kite flying event. Hassan runs the kite for his young master but before he can bring it home he must allow Assef and his friends to sodomize him, just so he can keep the kite, which he does. This is Hassan’s ultimate sacrifice for his master. Amir silently bears witness to the entire episode from the end of the alley: At the moment he prized the kite, his “key to Baba’s heart” more than anything else in the…show more content…
It always has been, always will be. We are true Afghans, the pure Afghans…. Afghanistan for Pashtuns, I say. That’s my vision.”(Hosseini 35) This very kind of hostility is the cause for friction between Hindus and Muslims, between Shivas and Saleems in post-partition India that Rushdie so painfully highlights in his book. I’m specially reminded of the instance where Saleem’s father Adam Aziz gives a Hindu name to his cycle shop but even that doesn’t help save his shop from being gutted during one of the communal

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