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The "Lafz" or the ceremony of "giving word" takes place in the General's house, with Baba formally requesting that the two families be united and the General declaring, "we are honoured that your family and ours will be joined." The "Shirini-Khori" or the "Eating of the Sweets" ceremony is cancelled and the engagement period is curtailed because of Baba's sickness. Consequently Amir and Soraya never go out alone before their marriage. For the "awroussi" or the wedding ceremony Baba spent $35,000-almost all his savings. During the wedding ceremony Amir wonders whether Hassan was also married. By the time the celebrations are over it is almost daybreak. Amir remarks "that night, I discovered the tenderness of a woman."
Soraya moves in with Amir and Baba because Baba is so sick. She takes responsibility for Baba’s care and nurses him devotedly. He dies one month later in his sleep. At Baba's funeral Amir is desolate and remarks, "Baba couldn't show me the way anymore. I'd have to find it on my own. The thought of it terrified me." Fortunately for him, Soraya hugs him and comforts him when he begins to cry.
After Baba's death they move to a single bedroom apartment in Fremont. He sells Baba's old VW bus and stops going to the flea market. The General presents Amir with an IBM typewriter as a housewarming gift. The couple settles into a routine. Both of them enrol at San Jose State University. Amir as an English Major student and Soraya in the teaching track. Her father objects to her becoming a teacher but she determinedly remarks, "teaching may not pay much, but it's what I want to do."
Amir finishes his first novel ("a father-son story set in Kabul") in 1988. The book is released the following year and Amir becomes "a minor celebrity in the Afghan community." Amir remembers Hassan’s belief in his talent and ability for creative writing.
The couple try to conceive for one year. They are unsuccessful and try in-vitro fertilization but to no avail. They consider adoption but Soraya's father does not approve saying, "blood is a powerful thing, Bachem, and when you adopt you don't know whose blood you are bringing into the house," and so they decide not to adopt. However, the childlessness affects their intimacy: "it had seeped into our marriage, that emptiness, into our laughs and our lovemaking."
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