Amolak

Outer characterization

Amolak is one of the most important characters in Sarfraz Manzoor’s autobiography Greetings from Bury Park. He meets Sarfraz in 1987, during sixth-form college, and they become best friends. Amolak’s nickname is Roops (Blood Brothers, 3%), but Sarfraz always calls him by his name. 

Amolak is a Sikh and his appearance reflects his religion that demands men to wear turbans and not shave their facial hair. Consequently, Sarfraz describes Amolak as “Chewbacca in jeans” (Blood Brothers, 3%). Because of his passion for Bruce Springsteen’s music, Amolak tries to emulate the singer’s look: “Amolak, as well as the waistcoat and belt, had cultivated long sideburns, and wore a variety of chains and a silver dog tag engraved with ‘Born to Run’ and a pair of black cowboy boots” (Blood Brothers, 34%).

Encouraged by Springsteen’s music, Amolak decides to get rid of his turban and facial hair: 

It was only when he referred to his appearance that Amolak’s supernatural confidence disappeared; the turban, beard and moustache were a constant reminder of the chasm between how he saw himself and how others saw him. (…) Springsteen’s songs were about being true to yourself and being the best you could be and yet it was only fear that was forcing my friend to retain his turban. (Blood Brothers, 38%)

When he travels to America with Sarfraz, Amolak ...

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