Again, an extract from “A thousand splendid suns”:
That summer, Titanic fever gripped Kabul. People smuggled pirated copies of the film
from Pakistan- sometimes in their underwear. After curfew, everyone locked their doors,
turned out the lights, turned down the volume, and reaped tears for Jack and Rose
and the passengers of the doomed ship. If there was electrical power, Mariam, Laila,
and the children watched it too. A dozen times or more, they unearthed the TV from behind
the tool shed, late at night, with the lights out and quilts pinned over the windows.
At the Kabul River, vendors moved into the parched riverbed. Soon, from the river’s
sun baked hollows, it was possible to buy Titanic carpets, and Titanic cloth, from bolts arranged
in wheel barrows. There was Titanic deodorant, Titanic toothpaste, Titanic perfume,
Titanic pakora, even Titanic burqas. A particularly persistent beggar began calling
himself “Titanic Beggar.”
“Titanic City” was born.
It’s the song, they said.
No, the sea. The luxury. The ship.
It’s the sex, they whispered
Leo, said Aziza sheepishly. It’s all about Leo.
“Everybody wants Jack,” Laila said to Mariam. “That’s what it is. Everybody wantsJack to rescue them from disaster. But there is no Jack. Jack is not coming back. Jack is dead.”