Is memory a boon or bane in the absence of a loved one?
The question is reflected through the stories of Baba Ayub and of Abdullah and Pari. Both of the stories had characters who are estranged due to life’s cruelties. In both the stories, while one of the characters long for the other, the other has fallen to the routine of new life and has forgotten the memories of childhood and relationship. After Baba Ayub drinks the potion to forget Qais, he is relieved from the pain and suffering of separation. But at the same time, he wouldn’t have willed to forget Qais had Qais not been in better surroundings at the div’s palace. Abdullah faces the same predicament. He longs for Pari and wishes to forget her, but ironically when he does she finds him.
How stereotypes can define someone’s life?
Human societies around the world follow a set of standards as defined by their culture. It’s a wish to preserve ethnicity but can hinder individual growth. Nila is shunned as a promiscuous woman in Kabul which is the reason she decides to leave with Pari so as to avoid a similar fate for her. Pari, Abdullah’s daughter, suffer from stereotypes even when she is not in Afghanistan as a bid to preserve her culture among her people. She begins to resent her parents’ beliefs and begins to wish for an outlet for her repressed mind.
Discuss how cultural appropriation lengthens the gap between parents and children.
Abdullah and Idris, both Afghans living in US, get conflicts arousing from cultural appropriation. Abdullah won’t let his daughter Pari to engage in extra-curricular activities but has her go to Farsi and Quran lessons. Idris finds a discontentment with his children. They appear to hate their Afghan names and dislike a majority of things about their culture. Idris is unable to deal with his children’s western attitudes.
Comment on Parwana’s action on deserting her sister.
Parwana had been taking care of his sister Masooma since her accident either as a penance or guilt, as Parwana was responsible for the accident. Her decision to desert Masooma arises partly from her sister’s will to escape an invalid’s life and partly from her own struggle to escape from the bond with her sister. Parwana has struggled with beauty issues and develops a resentment against her sister. She begins to regret that after her accident. Masooma’s decision to commit suicide is respected and trusted by Parwana. To desert her sister to live a new life, feels like being born to her.
Compare privilege and prison in terms of Adel and his mother.
Adel learns that his father is a criminal of war and has forced his mother into marriage. However, given the situation of Afghanistan, his mother doesn’t object to the marriage, and subsequently lives a lavish life. Adel has all the luxury he could want except for companionship. But, bondage in privilege rules over freedom in death. They are used to the lives they have and can’t imagine themselves without it.
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