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During the icy winter months, the schools of Kabul are closed. Kites and kite flying are popular recreations which keep the school children busy during this holiday season. Kite flying is the chief interest that Amir shares with Baba. Kabul holds many kite-fighting tournaments during this season that are greatly anticipated by everyone in Kabul.
The aim of the kite flying contest is to cut down your opponent's kite with your kite's string. In order to do this, the kite strings are coated with glue and powdered glass so that the opponent's kite string can be cut down easily during the kite fight. Initially, Amir and Hassan would themselves make the 'tar' -the glass coated string, but later they realised that they were better kite flyers than kite makers. So,Baba would take the boys to Saifo, an almost blind shoe repairman and the city’s most famous kite maker and buy them both equally priced kites. Once a kite is cut the kite runners chase them until they land. The runner who grabs the fallen kite gets to keep it. However the grand prize is the last cut kite.
Hassan was the greatest kite runner who had collected many a fallen kite. He seems to have a sixth sense about where the kite will land and often doesn’t follow it with his eyes, but with his ears and his feel for the wind. Once, Hassan just stopped and told Amir to sit down and wait, and that the kite would come. Amir thinks he is lying, but then, before his very eyes the Hazara boy stands up and the kite that they had been waiting for literally drops into his open arms.
In the winter of 1975, Amir sees Hassan run for a kite for the last time.This was the biggest tournament ever and Amir is very keen on winning it to impress Baba so that he would could call him affectionately as 'Amir Jan.'
Amir promises to buy Hassan a television and Hassan says he will put it on the table with his drawings. Hassan tells Amir that he is content to live forever in the mud hut behind Baba's house.
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