Books that touched me.

I hope you have read this and this.

The past fifteen days had seen me go through a lot of emotions, just because of two books I read. If you doubt that books can have such an impact, ask me…I am totally in tune with the emotions raging through the book.  Yes, I am talking about Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts and Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini.

Read Shantaram’s story and review by Smitha….here.

Shantaram was intriguing, interesting and made the inner me feel happy, sad, angry, desperate, choked with tears, so touchy, romantic – it was a helluva lot of emotions to handle through the many pages of the book….

– First of all, I liked the spirit with which he learnt Marathi and Hindi…its amazing for a foreigner to feel so much at home, in Bombay.

– I was happy that Lin stayed in the slum next to the World Trade Center – even though he cringed at first, he learnt to live there and where he touched many people’s lives as a Medicine Man…I use this term because he was no doctor himself.  How each and every person’s life in the slum is interlocked with that of the others is an amazing eye-opener to me. The simple judgments by the Zophad basti’s leader on a few occasions tell about the simple yet profound life in the slum, which we avoid like hell.

– I was sad when Lin tries to deal with the death of Khader and the truths which materialise after that. It’s terrible to know that your whole life has been planned by someone else.

Also its saddening to know that when Karla understands Lin perfectly and has a lot of fondness for him, it’s not love, as Lin wanted it to be. Lin is a convict, yes, but that doesn’t make him less human.

I was shocked to know that both Karla and Khader perfectly knew the time he was in Arthur Road Prison, and allowed him to be there, just to finish a matter of their importance. The father’s love Lin saw reflected in Khader’s eyes…..the love which Lin felt during the wonderful times with Karla…..seem to have no consequence, when they allowed Lin to suffer. I felt so bad. The days spent in the prison by Lin….OMG – totally devastated me.

And its only when he forgives both Karla and Khader, he gets his peace of mind and there by, I felt in peace. I’ve always thought it very difficult to forgive, when ppl so close to you, try to hurt you or ignore that you are hurting. But to do that….that forgiveness, is certainly a great thing – a lesson to learn for me.

– I laughed with Vikram, Didier and the rest !!! I loved the play of words by Karla !!! The bonding between Lin and Abdullah was fantastic !!!

– I almost cried when Lin did the turkey, when he had to leave off his addiction to dope.

– I adored the strong man Lin, who came back from the war-wrecked Afghanistan and who stood for Abdullah during their Mafia war !!!

– The final pages of the story ends in the Zophad basti, where Lin feels like himself !!!! Isnt it an irony ??? He has money, has Mafia influence, has a lot of friends – but finds PEACE in that basti.  It’s the simplicity of life, which we need to come to terms with and thats what we’ll love forever.

I highly recommend this book…..don’t be scared off by the volume of this book….every page will keep u hooked to it. 🙂


I finished reading Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini in just one day….Because I just couldn’t put the book down. Such simple writing, yet profoundly wise on many things.  Pl read the story here.

The amazing way the truth hits you finally to explain the bonding between Amir and Hassan….OMG !!!

The boy who never stood up for anything in life….Amir….I’ve never sympathised with anyone who cannot stand up for himself, for his ideals, for his words…but for the first time, I understood whats it like to be in their shoes. It doesn’t mean its right for me…I just understand thats all.

The cleft-lipped Hassan…the true and loyal friend….who is able to love Amir even after all those happenings in his life.

Oh those horrible Aseef and his friends….I am still quivering at the shameful incident in the dark alley, when Hassan runs for the Kite, so that Amir can win the competition !!!  I feel sorry for that little boy Hassan….I cried for him….I was angry with Amir…I wanted to punish that Aseef and his frnds….I wanted to hug Hassan, for such an awful experience.

It’s strange that in this life, whatever you don’t want might sometimes come back to you in double dose.  How much ever Amir tried to forget the incident of Hassan’s abuse by Aseef, he is unable to. He tries to stay away from him…but his heart doesn’t find peace in those things.  Its only finally, when he stands up to the abuse of Sohrab, against the same Aseef, does he find release to his pent-up emotions !!! Amir didn’t want Hassan then….but waited patiently to take Sohrab back with him.

That line by Rahim Khan, which called out to Amir….”Theres a way to be good”…..I prayed and prayed for him to take that way to goodness.

Among all these, I am torn at the war-wrecked Kabul. I’ve read more abt it in the other book by the same author, but those visions seems to torment me totally – how there’s no value for human life ??? Is the power to rule and run a country, more important than human lives ???? Massacre of human lives is the route to power ???? It saddens me all the more, to know more abt the Russian Invasion of Afghanistan and how the Taliban treated the land and the people later !!!

Read this book !!! Its brilliant narrative keeps you going on and on… 🙂


44 Replies to “Books that touched me.”

      1. An emotional journey, which is worth the read. 🙂 Go on, Swaru, read them. 🙂

        I totally understand that…exactly what I felt…I was happy he finally became the one-eyed Aseef….


  1. I have heard so much abt kite runner…These kinda books always give such a different feeling….makes me sad that how human are treated like things with no emotions….
    will try to pick this up soon..


  2. Uma- I read The Kite runner like a mad woman on a mission! I think after my school days that is the only book I have found un-put-downable (my own word) ! Shake hands we both seem to have done the same thing! 🙂

    As for Shantaram it is abt Mumbai when I was growing uo there and so I loved it so so much, as it brought back glimpses of the city that I was raised in, as it was back then! And yet, having said all that, I an ashamed to say, I did not manage to complete it yet! Half way my eldest borrowed it and I think now it is with him at his Uni! Must grab it back and get down to reading it!!!


    1. Hi-5 Indy…I totally relate to that feeling of yours…glad to have done that too. 🙂 🙂

      Oh…you’ll love it…the places he describes makes a non-Bombayite like me, to fall in love with that city…. 🙂

      Now, go on a mission and read that book, ASAP. 🙂 🙂


  3. I never could move past the first few pages of Shantaram….but Kite Runner. Oh man! That book affected me like no other. I was in depression for a couple of days.

    The I began writing a review…and realised I can’t put those feelings into words (‘ll never be able to write a book! :D) and gave up. That incident where Aseef rapes Hassan… I was reading those pages while travelling home from office by bus. I was so overcome with rage, nausea and pain all together that I forced the driver to stop the bus midway between two stop, jumped off and almost puked!

    Then i just sat in front of a store for a long while, before I walked all the way home.

    A Thousand Splendid Suns didn’t touch me all that much, though.


    1. The first few pages are like that Priya…any book, movie needs an intro….just have patience for the first 100 pages or so…then it’ll be a difficult thing to put the book down. 🙂 Shantaram will get u hooked on to it. 🙂

      Exactly what I felt – I cant put those feelings into words – even now, I feel that I’ve not written enough abt that book, Kite runner.

      Oh God…you did that ??? I know its a terrible feeling, to read abt what Aseef did to Hassan….its so cruel…so totally heartless. Did u see the movie ???

      I loved Thousand Splendid Suns too. 🙂


  4. Both these books are such wonderful reads, Uma! They touch you so much, don’t they? Different emotions, different pains..

    Kite Runner had me crying so much.. It broke my heart and yet the way it ended was so beautiful.. Another book which I would re-read without a question..

    Shantaram, You already need how much I like it 🙂


    1. Yes, different emotions, different pains…yet there is a thread of connection between us and the book and the author keeps up the connection throughout…its damn good. 🙂 🙂 Every page of Kite Runner kept me glued to it. Even I would re-read it again.


  5. The Kite Runner is one of my moooost favourite books ever. Like you so perfectly described, I cried for little hassan. I trembled in fear, at the thought of evil Aseef! I was angry at Amir’s cowardice. I hated Amir’s father’s shameful act! Altogether, a brilliant read.

    And since both you and Smitha have recommended Shantaram so highly, I will gather enough courage to start reading the book again 🙂


    1. Better start with Shantaram…Pal, you’ll love it. 🙂

      I understand those feelings perfectly Pal…its what I also went thru. BTW, did u happen to see the movie ???? Now, I so badly want to see it. 🙂


  6. Yet to read Shantaram… but read kite runner and loved it much 🙂

    When I read the part of Hassan leaving Kabul by a car it will be raining in the book and the same happened while I am reading it.. I was so sad while reading that part..


    1. Oh yeah Kanagu…some parts of the book, certainly breaks us down…and we let the tears flow. Its a magical relation between us and the books.

      Pl do try Shantaram. 🙂


  7. Wow! I liked these 2 books too!!
    But, but – I would enjoy reading the Harry Potter series or Enid Blyton series again! 😀
    somehow, these days – haven’t done a lot serious reading!! :mrgreen:


  8. After reading Smith and now you, I’m definitely going to pick ‘Shantaram’. Kite Runner is another one in my must-read list. Had read Thousand splendid suns long back and had loved the author’s work immensely.

    Thanks for the reviews, Ums 🙂


    1. Go for it, Deeps…Shantaram is damn good. 🙂 🙂 I too read the Thousand Splendid Suns first…damn good writing… 🙂 🙂 I am sure you’ll enjoy these books. 🙂


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