Dr. Rasul is an old man, begging on the street, when Amir encounters him. Amir learns that Dr. Rasul taught at the same university as Amir's mother, Sofia Akrami. Dr. tells Amir that they often sat and talked after class. He relates that on the last day they did this, they shared
...a marvelous slice of almond cake....with hot tea and honey (250).
Amir learns she was pregnant on that day, with Amir, and very beautiful, and that she told Dr. Rasul that she was afraid because she was
....so profoundly happy....They only let you be this happy if they're preparing to take something from you (250).
Of course, Amir knows that she will die in childbirth, having him, after having said this. But he is grateful to Dr. Rasul for having had this small glimpse of his mother. He makes Dr. Rasul promise to try to remember more, but sadly, he never sees Dr. Rasul again.
Amir had been a guest lecturer in Tehran in 1971. While there he was talking to a man and had explained to him that his mother had taught at the university. The man asked him who his mother was and he told him Sofia Akrami. The man is an old beggar.
He states " The desert weed lives on, but the flower of spring blooms and wilts.' Such grace, such dignity, such a tragedy." (249)
The man's name is Dr. Rasul. He tells Amir that he used to sit and talk with his mother after class. They had shared a piece of almond cake the last time he had seen her. She was pregnant and beautiful. On that day she had said to him:
"I'm so afraid."(250)
Happiness like this is frightening."(250)
She had felt like she was only as happy as she had been because she was about to lose something. For Amir, learning that his mother liked almond cake and honey tea was an important detail. He had no other details about his mother.
Amir never saw the doctor again.