A thousand Splendid Suns

| | 2 min read

This is the story of two Afghan women; Mariam and Laila, born 20 years apart. Fate tore their families apart, they lost their loved ones and both of them become the wives of Rasheed.

Normally I am a fast reader, I complete reading books within two or three days or worst case, a week. But this time it was hard to complete. Its not because of the book or the author, but because of the agony and sadness each page delivers. When I travel with Mariam and Laila in their journeys, my heart is heavy all the way, because it is the story of two Afghan women, Indian women, mine, yours, all helpless women all over the world. Mariyam, born as a harami, illegitimate child of a successful businessman, Jalil.
“Learn this now and learn it well. Like a compass facing north, a man’s accusing finger always finds a woman. Always. You remember that, Mariam.” Nana, Mariyam’s mom told her.

Laila and Mariam, once they find themselves together, slowly love each other, depend on each other to face their daily challenges; abuses from their cruel husband and an even more cruel Taliban government.

The novel reveals the history of Afghan from early 1960 to 2000; The cruel face of the war. The story tells us how cruel the world has been to women. Laila undergoes her c section without anesthesia, because there were not enough hospitals for women and children over there.

It is definitely one of the most sad stories, but a must read and a clear picture about the plight of women in not just Afghan but most Islamic/muslim countries.

“She remembered Nana saying once that each snowflake was a sigh heaved by an aggrieved woman somewhere in the world. That all the sighs drifted up the sky, gathered into clouds, then broke into tiny pieces that fell silently on the people below. As a reminder of how people like us suffer, she'd said. How quietly we endure all that falls upon us.”