Tag: heartbreak.

Of football matches and heartbreaks

Of football matches and heartbreaks

Last week, one wet morning I found myself driving down a pathetically potholed road to the twin’s school to watch a foot ball match. All I know about football can pretty much be summed up as follows:
– World Cup matches happen at ungodly hours
– Players wear knee-length socks
– Said players are violent and often get hurt
– It is dangerous to referee a football match

The only players I know of are:

– Messi (not Messy, I just discovered)
– Ronaldo
– Maradona
– And Black Pearl, Pele (that one I learnt that from an Amol Palekar film)
However, with the son all over me to come watch ‘his’ match I had little choice. I wasn’t even sure he was on the team – he was a substitute. Does that count? I had no idea. For him it certainly did. It was a big enough deal for him to strut about for days bragging about how ‘cool’ his team was.
On D-day there I was – on the off chance that he would get to play AND manage to strike a goal AND win the game for his team! Yet I was there because since the twins came along I’ve learnt to believe in miracles.
It wasn’t too bad. The light drizzle was pleasant and I got to see first-hand how H managed to come home each day with mud-caked shoes and grubby clothes. The match turned out to be a draw with none of the sides scoring. The teams then took on penalty shootouts. Wonder of wonders H was called upon to play and to take a turn at the penalty kick (the last final deciding one at that) as the teams stood equally matched. He put all his might into that one kick. 

The ball sailed across, hit the goal post and bounced right away – far far from where it was supposed to go. Even as the claps sounded for the winning team I watched his face crumple. I watched him walk away dejected, shoulders down. I saw the tears he was trying hard to hold (This son of mine cries only too easily). I felt what he felt – that he’d let his team down. I wanted to run to him, to give him a hug. But I stayed put.

Finally the teams shook hands and it was all over and I could go to him. “We lost, mama,” he said in a small voice. I didn’t say ‘It’s okay,” because clearly it wasn’t. So I said the next thing I could think of, “You’ll do it next time.” And with that I had to be satisfied.
I was glad I went.
K is for Khaled Hosseini

K is for Khaled Hosseini

Born 1965

Each morning as you pick up the paper over your cup of tea you read about the happenings in a far off country. They might disturb you sometimes, but you start your day and it’s all forgotten. Then along comes an author who tells a story so powerful, so stirring he makes the country come alive in a way that you can never get it out of your mind.

That’s what Khaled Hosseini’s books did for me.  Not only does he weave a perfect story, the setting brings alive Afghanistan, his country of birth, in an I-saw-it-happen kind of way.
Hosseini was born in Afghanistan but his father, a diplomat, moved to France when he was 11. He never got back to Kabul until much later when he was 38. However his connection with the country remained strong through his friends and family back home.
A doctor by profession, he gave it up after the success of his debut book ‘The Kite Runner’ to become a full time writer.

His books

Kite Runner
The Kite Runner was born when Hossieni heard the Taliban had banned kite flying. Since he had plenty of happy memories of this childhood sport he found the dictat exceptionally cruel. He did a short story on it but it was rejected. Years later he found the draft and decided to expand it into a novel.
That the book tells the story of a father and a son, a story of friendship, of betrayal and of redemption is what makes it universal. Although the political upheaval in Afghanistan is a story in itself, in the book it is a backdrop that adds beautifully to the heartbreaking narrative.
After getting into a young boy’s mind Hosseini explored the relationship between two women Mariam and Laila bound together by a strange bond in his next A Thousand Splendid Suns.
His third book, And the Mountains Echoed, is yet again about relationships.. between a brother and a sister, a mother and a daughter.

What I like best …

…about his books is the way he explores the connection between people – relationships are central to his tales. I love that his stories allow for redemption. I love that despite the dark narrative they end with a ray of hope, however tiny. And I love the way he weaves in the political background so that it becomes a part of the story.

So what do you love about Khaled Hosseini?
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Tomorrow’s clue will be an easy one if you studied at a conservative Convent school like I did. It’s a lady again… a lady of my childhood who wrote stories about good little girls for good little girls. Come on ladies – come up with the name.
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This post is part of the April A to Z Challenge, 2014 for the theme AMAZING AUTHORS.

Also linking to the Ultimate Blog Challenge.
Of Best Friends and Heartbreak

Of Best Friends and Heartbreak

Hrit cried before he went to sleep today. Not wailed like a baby but cried softly like a grown up. It absolutely broke my heart. His best pal, Y, is moving. Yes, right he’s the one Hrit wanted to marry and live happily ever after with.

When Y’s mum first told me about the move I didn’t worry. He’s just a child, I’d thought, he’ll forget. But now, as the day of departure dawns, I find myself worried sick.

The BFF
Hrit is not a gregarious child. He has always had just one friend. Each time we’ve moved he’s made a single friend and stuck with him. All his emotional ‘eggs’, he keeps in a single basket and I’m beggining to think that’s not such a good thing.

Digital bonding
Hrit and Y spend hours at the comp without a fight.. rare for any two kids and even more rare for two super active kids like these two. “They understand each other,” said Y’s mum laughingly one day. If Y gets upset Hrit runs after him calling him back.

Wired together
“Mama today Y and I said the same thing, together,” gushed Hrit one day. “Funny na?” “I think there’s a wire between us.. him and me,” said Hrit touching his heart. “Wire?” I queried taken aback. “Yes .. the kind that are at the back of the computer,” he clarified. Oh he knew exactly what he was saying. Never had I hear such a filmi line uttered with such innocence and such sincerity.

The FAQs
“Mama may I go to Y’s house/call Y over?” are Hrit’s most frequently asked questions. One day fed up with those two questions I said, “Fine, you go to Hyderabad with Y when he shifts,” and regretted it soon enough when after mulling it over Hrit queried back, “May I? Really?” Of late his question has changed to, “May I stay in Lucknow forever?” At least he has his cousins there. Then today it was back to, “May I go to Hyderabad?”

Each time I’ve tried to prepare Hrit for Y’s departure he has only said, “I know he’s going but when is he coming back?” I’ve chickened out of saying, “Never” sticking with, “after a long long time.”

As I write this, I’m hoping fervently and telling myself for the nth time, “He’s just a child he’ll forget.”

Afterthought: MM (Mushy Mum) says maybe that idea of  not letting kids make ‘best friends’ wasn’t so bad after all.