Connection #1: Text to Self
Chapter 31: Pg. 253-254
The author has provided a powerful description of the subway station Sami travels through when following Tariq Hasan’s compliance, the unknown women.
“We hurry down a few steps, turn right into a tangle of underground shops bursting with crowds, smells, lights, noise. I squeeze my way through. A quick glance back. Andy and Marty are top of the steps, scanning the mob…
We’re at a set of glass doors. The subway entrance. We go through…
The doors close behind us. The women’s at a row of turnstiles. She drops her token, gets to the other side. I follow. We turn right, to a set of stairs going down to the tracks…
A new train’s pulling in. The women reaches back, grabs my hand, and pulls me down the last few steps onto the platform.
The train doors open. A heave of bad air; people spill out. We press against the current and force our way in, the last on board.
A whistle blows to clear the doorways.”
Personally, I was able to very vividly visualize this scenario in my head. Each summer, I visit New York City and predominantly commute using the subways. The image that the author has painted is familiar, one that I have seen multiple times in real life. When going on the subway with my family, I often glance behind me in order to confirm that my siblings are following. In addition, multiple times, I have pushed through the current of people trying to get off in order to guarantee that I catch the train. By connecting to this moment, I was able to feel Sami’s anxiety and confusion, to smell the bad air as well; fumes and body odour. Naturally, I found the atmosphere of the moment realistic and was able to enjoy it simply because I have experienced it and was able to relate to it, I further felt that the author described the scene perfectly.
Connection #2: Text to Self
Chapter 33: Pg. 273
After meeting Tariq Hasan, hearing his story and finding out that they are related as half-brothers, Sami ponders upon the recent events. “And I think of Eddy’s video, and all the other stuff in my life that looks one way but isn’t, or the way things have looked with Andy and Marty and they weren’t.” He acknowledges that often, things are distorted, they are not seen the way they actually are. I was able to relate to Sami’s thought and connect it back to my own life. Multiple times, I have gotten into trouble by my parents, been punished for things I have never done, lies I never told. I have fought with my siblings, blamed and questioned them for actions they didn’t commit. However, at the time, I was convinced to think otherwise. Friendships and relationships have been broken, accusations hurled, secrets kept, lies told, all over things that were not true. I was able to understand and sympathize with Sami’s thought. We, as imperfect humans, have faced numerous consequences, some positive, but most negative, for things that we never did. By connecting to this thought, I was able to feel Sami’s frustration, embarrassment and determination to repent.