This line of the text conveys the central idea of the novel in which the idea of sacrifice has been beautifully portrayed. The author tries to draw our attention towards the agony and misery of the father and brother of Pari who send her away for her better future and also the better future of their family. The story that is told by Abdullah’s father holds a very big significance and is symbolic of the love and affection coupled with deep sense of separation and helplessness.
Abdullah’s father makes him aware of the striking reality of their lives through the story and the central idea of the whole story finds its place here. Abdullah who shares a tight bond of love and affection with his sister sacrifices her belongingness for her better future and life of prosperity. Just like Baba Ayub in the story gets separated from his beloved son, Abdullah was also to part with his sister. The journey of Abdullah from Shadbagh to Kabul holds upon him a test; a test to make him strong enough to leave Pari at his Uncle’s place.
The Div of the story signifies the difficulties that one has to face in one’s life and once these difficulties are surpassed, there exists satisfaction and peace in one’s mind believing that his loved ones are happy and enjoying their lives to the fullest. Parwana in the story once says “It had to be her. I am sorry, Abdullah. She had to be the one. ” And soon after this the author doesn’t fails to mention “The finger cut, to save the hand. ” Abdullah tries very hard to bring a smile on Pari’s face and feels pleased in even exchanging his shoes for the peacock feather for her sister’s collection.
The story in the beginning of the chapter is symbolic of pain and suffering that one experiences, when he has to part with his beloved ones and also signifies that the need of basic amenities is fundamental to the existence of humans. If the much adored ones are to be separated from one self so as to ensure these fundamentals to them then the pain and suffering is nothing at their cost. Journeys depicted in the novel:- The novel involves a lot of journeys that are symbolic of time which passes on covering the darker and the lighter shades of one’s life.
This is evident from a line of the story that Baba Ayub tells to both his children “He walked until the sun was a faint red glow in the distance. Nights he slept in caves as the winds whistled outside. Or else he slept beside rivers and beneath trees and among the cover of boulders. He ate his bread, and then he ate what he could find¬- wild berries, mushrooms, fish that he caught with his bare hands from streams- and some days he didn’t eat at all. But still he walked” .
This he says in context with the fact that one has to face a lot of hardships and difficulties to find his loved ones back and in the end everything is fine to Baba Ayub as he accomplishes his goals and finds his son safe and sound with the Div. Abdullah travels from Shadbagh to Kabul to drop his sister at his uncle’s place and this gives hint to the readers that someday, the time will bridge all the gaps between him and his sister and also the pain and misery will go away.
Pari goes away with her ‘Mamman’ and travels a long distance to reach France but the memories of her father fade away gradually with time. Pari loves her brother very much and shares an inseparable bond with him but with the passage of time, she leaves him behind and feels it difficult to remember the lullaby that was sung by him. These journeys also signify the changes that take place in one’s life that makes the individual develop new relationships with people surrounding him and leaves the older ones. NILA: THE SYMBOL OF DYNAMISM
Nila or Pari’s ‘Mamman’ is a symbol of dynamism. The author very clearly depicts a contrast between her and the other women of Afghanistan. On one hand he shows Parvana, who wore clothes that cover her body completely and then on the other hand he describes Nila who exposes her legs and hands. For the society Nila is not an ideal woman as her ways are carefree and she is confident and self centered. But the author never fails to point out that she was admired and loved by the Afghani people at the Wahadati’s house because of her poems that were about love, lust and passion.
In Nabi’s words “Nila’s poems defied tradition. They followed no preset meter or rhythmic pattern. ” Nabi used to be pleased to spend time with her and this, the author mentions in the line “I was happy enough to be the vessel into which she poured her stories. ” Nila was such a charming lady that no one could remove their eyes from her and she was always talked about in public. This shows the development and change in the mindset of the people in Afghanistan. Desires Couples with Suffering:
The story of Roshi depicts a clear example of desired coupled with suffering. At one point the character of Chacha Idris is brought about as a savior but the author never drifts away from the realities of life and explicitly explains how desires of Roshi later turn into suffering. The bond of love between them though is never shaken. The promise that he makes to her is out of the bond of love but when he moves to his own life, he couldn’t keep his promise as the situations of his personal life coil up around him. THE MOUNTAINS ECHOED:-
They are symbolic of the give and take relationships prevalent in the present world. The echoing in the mountains signifies that whatever may any individual does or receives is an outcome of his deeds that he has already done in the past. The echoing mountains also signify the nature of love and hatred that is; the more you give the exponential you receive. The echo from the mountains also signifies the memories of man that are lost in the conditions of life and as the time passes they become fainter and fainter. THE MUD HOUSES:-
These are symbolic of the hard work and toil of people in Afghanistan, who in order to earn their daily ‘Naan’ have to do a lot of work. In winters the mud houses are the only shelter to poor and in the summers they are the only medium of defense from the scorching sunrays. People at Shadbagh were very laborious and so was Abdullah’s father who once said to Mullah Shekib “If I had been born an animal, Mullah Sahib, I swear I would have come out a mule” . Abdullah’s father had taught him how to make bricks and they had made bricks for a mosque in other town.
The author has very well brought the idea of presence of a web of right and wrong in which every individual is coiled. He has very aptly explained the fact that mere existence of humans is based on the society and this society is the one which recognizes the powerful people as their leaders and the poor as the ones who strive for their livelihood. The helpless have to do away with their loved ones and ensure their safety and this is the fault of the society that it overlooks such sufferings of the people. Why a father had to leave her daughter at her uncle’s house?
This was because he knew that his daughter would be safe with those rich people who were respected by the society and had a position. But the author is concerned about the emotions of the children who are parted at a very young age, also he is concerned about the inner voice of the father who wants to find his child, also the affection of Roshi with Chacha Idris and Pari with her father and mother; and so the author gives a small Rumi poem at the starting of the novel: “Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. I’ll meet you there.
” With this poem the author conveys the emotions of every individual of the society who sometime or the other wants to leave all the complexities of his life and reach the level where no situations of helplessness and sorrow would bind him and he would not have to make any sacrifices to live his life. The author through the stories of Parwana and Masooma brings about the idea of complexity and jealousy that come in the lives of two twin sisters who were treated differently by the society due to their behavior that the society has divided into good or bad.
Parwana also wanted to share the pure feeling of love with her sister but could not do so because the society had created a rift between the two. Gholam and Adel who belonged to strikingly different backgrounds used to meet secretly because the friendship between the rich and poor or high status people with low status people was not recognized as good by the society and this poem by Rumi fits in here as well.