First 655 words of the document:
"Imagine that Amir returns to the forever altered Kabul and he has a brief reunion with Hassan"
No amount of warning could have prepared me for the change I would witness in Kabul. I found
myself thinking about Baba. Would his pride have been damaged, seeing his country in such a
desolate state? Or would he have been quick to criticise the `self-righteous monkeys' of whom he
would `piss on the beards of'? I found myself giggling, as I was a child again in Baba's office- realising
that if it wasn't for Baba's strong opinions of Afghan's and religion, the process of returning probably
would have been much harder. Tashakor Baba. Tashakor.
Everything looked different from my childhood. I remembered why I was reluctant to return. For you
a thousand times over. Suppressed memories were rising. For you a thousand times over...
A homeless man had suggested as I was walking that I could be told apart from a `real' Afghan a mile
away. With the stories of the Taliban and their ruthlessness I followed the crowd ahead of me, who I
assumed to be heading towards the old market place. It must have been Afghan instinct, because
though nothing looked the same, not more than ten minutes later I arrived at the market place. It
didn't look the same, but it felt the same. The same Afghan cultural atmosphere. Suppressed only by
the occasional appearances of bearded men with beady eyes poking around. I was walking around,
looking for some more traditional, nay more acceptable clothing. I now had no idea what that meant.
As I was walking, a beautiful woman caught my eye. She reminded me of Soraya. How I missed her. I
watched her as she smiled at a young child whom was firmly attached to her side, no older than
Hassan and I were when we used to watch western films and sit under our tree. His face indifferent
to Hassan's, a Chinese doll. Just as I was wondering why such a beautiful young lady was not being
chaperoned, a man approached her. A tall sign obscured my view of him. I walked on.
As I approached a stall being run by a shabby old Pashtun man, I turned around and saw the beautiful
woman with the child and the man running, being chased by a heavily bearded and heavily armed
man. No one in the market place reacted. No one even flinched. A part from me.
I felt compelled to running, but was foolish enough to recognise that running in the same direction
would cause me nothing but trouble. So I casually strolled out of the market place-not drawing
attention to myself and as I reached the edge of the market I sprinted in no particular direction. As I
ran I realised I could now easily be lost. I heard shouting approaching. Looking around I saw an alley
with a small place to hide. I slid into the wall and peered out at the outside world. As the shouts grew
louder so did my heart beat. Why was I being chased? Was the homeless man right?
The armed men ran straight past the alley where I was hiding. I closed my eyes and breathed a sigh of
relief. I looked around at my surroundings: w here I was standing and the alley behind me. My heart
stopped. This is the alley. In a matter of seconds my suppressed memories were being forced up
through my body and out of my gut. I was being sick. All I could think about was that winters day in
1975. For you a thousand times over...
Other pages in this set
Here's a taster:
I straightened my back and tried to retain some dignity for myself, when I heard the wails of a
woman. I looked around. Out of a small opening in the alley was a child. The child I had seen with the
beautiful woman. I slowly approached. He slowly emerged from the opening; following behind him
was the beautiful woman. She was bleeding from beneath the traditional Afghan clothes she wore.…read more