The Kite Runner

How was Hassan changed since leaving Baba's house?


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Rahim Khan went searching for Hassan in 1986 because he was dreadfully lonely, so many of his relatives and friends having been killed or fled since 1981. He was managing to take care of the house and himself despite his age and arthritis, but when the news of Baba's death reached him, he felt the weight of it all was too much. He drove to Hazarajat, where Ali and Hassan had been living, and was directed to a village outside Bamiyan. He found Hassan, now in his early twenties, and his pregnant wife, Farzana, living in a small hut. Hassan was overcome with joy when he saw Rahim Khan. He told him that Ali had been killed by a land mine two years before. He asked many questions about Amir. Initially, Hassan and Farzana refused to move to Baba's house, but then Rahim told him of Baba's death. Hassan cried all through the night and in the morning he agreed to move in with Rahim Khan.

Despite Rahim Khan's protestations, Hassan and Farzana stayed in the servants' hut and did all the chores. Hassan also wore black for forty days in mourning for Baba. In the fall, their daughter was stillborn; they buried her and Hassan placed a flower on her grave every day. Then in 1990, Farzana became pregnant again and Hassan's mother, Sanaubar, came to find him. She collapsed at the gate of the house; when they carried her inside and removed her burqa, they discovered that the former beauty was malnourished, had no teeth, and had grotesque scars all over her face from being cut. Hassan ran out of the house and was gone for hours, but when he returned he accepted Sanaubar as his mother. She became healthy and a part of the family; she even delivered Farzana and Hassan's son. Hassan named him Sohrab, after the hero in his favorite story from the book Amir used to read him. Sohrab became inseparable from Sanaubar, whom he called Sasa. Four years later, Sanaubar died peacefully. Hassan tried to give Sohrab a good childhood despite the constant fighting and danger in Kabul. He even took him kite running in the winter. When the Taliban took over, most people celebrated, but Hassan knew Hazaras' lives were in peril. He was right; in 1998 the Taliban "massacred the Hazaras in Mazar-i-Sharif."