Mr Malik has a secret. In fact, he has several that the narrator reveals only when we need to know them. Generating compassion and even concern for him, each new revelation tells us more about this unassuming, gentle man. Our appreciation of his worth grows through the pages of an entertaining and endearing story. There must be a happy ending - but who for?
It is a little-appreciated truth that a bad hairstyle neither reflects nor affects the heart within. Passions burned as fiercely in Mr Malik's breast as in those of other men.
For the last three years Mr Malik - brown, short, round and balding though he may be - has been passionately in love with Rose Mbikwa.