Hello! How have you been? You must have grown to be 30 by now. I hope time has been kinder to you. Honestly, there is so much I want to talk to you about, so much to ask that I doubt it will fit within the space of this letter. I met you through a story of two brothers and their different worlds. The last time I heard about you, you had left one world and was trying to settle in another. Although it isn’t in anyone’s control, I hope you found your peace even when the world is struggling for it.
For me, you haven’t grown a day since that day in March 2002 when you let that small ray of hope seep into yourself. I hope that 12-year-old finally learned to place himself within a world that wronged him so brutally. I think about you whenever I find myself at the crossroads of life. It’s amusing that I know your story, but I don’t know you. What are your interests? What movies do you watch? Do you still love to read? Is Shahnamah your favourite book too, like your father’s? Maybe I just want to know what helped you in reconnecting with yourself. Amidst the darkness and turmoil that reality presents, what were the little ounces of hope and escape that kept you going?
You were Hassan’s new start, Amir’s atonement, but what are you in your eyes? What do you mean to yourself? Whenever the world haunts me, making me overwhelmed with its ability to shift and uproot every possible space for peace and harmony, I think of you. I try to understand what it must be for you, a 10-11-year-old kid, to experience the world’s darkest horrors. I marvel that you still fought, for Amir against Assef, for yourself against life— over and over. I draw courage, resilience, and strength from you. I know it is unfair of me to do so because you didn’t have a choice. You had to be strong and stand straight in order to survive; it was this or death, or something much worse than that.
Do you sometimes let your mind wander off to Kabul? In the darkest times, when it all comes crashing down, do the thoughts of playing with Sasa, or going to the zoo with Hassan, reading with Rahim Khan bring you peace? Looking at the world right now might sometimes be too overbearing for you; I hope memories of Kabul winters, kite running with Hassan, and dried Mulberries calms your nerves. Memories of places and people have a peculiar way of working. You have to be cautious around them.
I learn a lot from you, Sohrab, every day you teach me something new. Your story made an impact on me, which is incomparable to anything else that I have encountered. Perhaps because I met you during a time when I found myself unable to grow out of the confines of my brain, you made it possible. When you looked at that kite, when you took the thread from Amir, when you let your strings loose, when you let yourself rejoice over Amir cutting the green kite — I knew the worst was over. That was the beginning of growth for you and me. I realised it’s not a big leap, but small victories which make us alive again, which gradually connects us back to reality, chasing one kite at a time.
It wasn’t Amir chasing the kite— it was us lunging for what little hope we had within ourselves, holding it as near to us as possible. I promise that I’ll keep fighting it, keep looking for new trinkets of hope and warmth until I find my peace. “Because when spring comes, it melts the snow one flake at a time…”
Here’s to keep fighting until the last flake melts!
With love and warmth,
The girl who caught the green kite.
Written by Lavya Joshi for MTTN
Edited by Radhika Taneja for MTTN
Featured Image by Akshay Dhansoia for MTTN