Silence | Screeches | Khalid Hosseini's World | 08th July 2022 | Virtual Wire
Silence is labelled as the golden time, when the mind gets to think, the soul gets to retrospect and the heart starts to recount. Being silent is considered an ideal state for building up concentration. However, at times this silence screeches. It screeches when the silence is forced.
It screeches when silence is conveniently used as a shield to hide crimes and sins. Khalid Hosseini's Mountains book "And the Mountains Echoed" though a work of fiction compelled me to think about these silences and how they scream. Literature at times leaves gaps, certain voids which the reader has to fill themselves. Hosseini creates these gaps quite artistically and it is here that we understand what the characters really have to say. It is much like reading between the lines. The mountains echoed is a book neither about the mountains nor the properties of sound. It is about human issues and emotions. Written back in 2013, it happens to be a book with stories of multiple people, in multiple settings, not wishes, tied by the bonds of love, duty, responsibility, sympathy and at times rage. These bonds seem very much known, no matter where the reader lives.
The story begins somewhere in Afghanistan with two children- Pari and Abdullah. The novel transverses through myriad landscapes, right from Greece and Italy to India and introduces many characters. Each character has a story to tell. Each character is imperfect and therefore close to reality. Each character, with its own faults and errors, makes up the storyline even more heartbreaking and beautiful. At times, the characters co-exist with conflicting ideas; exactly as we do in the real world. He creates a character of uncontrollable spirit of freedom, who can completely destroy everyone for her freedom- Nila and at the same time let her marry, a person who has forever chained himself behind his false identity- Wahdati.
There are multiple narratives. At some point, one may be confused- whether it is the story of Parwana, the sufferer or was it Nabi, the real sufferer? Is ignorance justified by the rich or is it the poor who do not wish to level up? Do people find solace in masking up their bruises or is it right to give your everything to not with unattainable goals? The book delves deep into the questions and the silences which surround them. It talks of how being lonely is different from being alone. It explains that our life is simply the sum total of all lives, we are surrounded
with. The mountains here, are symbolic of strength and sorrow. They hold inside them the deepest darkest secrets. They are symbolic of the relationships which stand unshakable in the face of time. The universe of Khalid Hosseini isn't an imaginary parallel universe. It is the very universe we are dwelling in. It is the very story- tragic, action, romantic, thriller, unpredictable- we are living. Unwillingly, unknowingly and most of all Silently.