BY Harsimran Kaur ON Oct 28 , 2021 IN BOOK REVIEWS, THE FORTUNE MEN/NADIFA MOHAMED/FICTION
“The Fortune Men” is about the protagonist Mahmood Mattan’s tryst with plagiarized discrimination and incorrigible perceptions abrasive enough to fracture an individual’s sanctimonious belief in humanity. A sailor who fortuitously lands in Cardiff and marries a Welsh is oblivious to the incongruous turn of events that claim his destiny to be witchcraft of the insouciant watch dogs.
The author Nadifa Mohamed opens a can of worms denuding the despotic vandalism of the colored race, by the imperium, plummeting them straight to a hole fraught with loathe and disgust. As proud as one can be, Mahmood wears a badge of a Somali with pride and presents himself as a pious Muslim with condescension of Allah as forgiving and merciful. Incriminated for the murder of Miss Violet Volacki, a shopkeeper, which is unflinchingly denied by Mahmood, leads to a never-ending round of accusations and false testimonies making him squeal like an ant struggling under the load of a matchstick.
Mahmood can’t undo what has been heaped on him. The final indictment leaves him initially shattered but he straightens his toes and opens his clamored fist to soak in the ray of light—a light personified of his honesty and virtue. He seeks solace in the incarceration of treachery and ambiguity shoved down his throat charging him for a murder he did not commit. His bellowing of his innocence remains bereft of impunity and puts him on reclusive radar of joys and sorrows portentously shared with his wife and three sons.
Racism and depriving a person of his identity is like a heated caldron emanating bubbles likely to purge the emollient skin. To counter the insolent war of discrimination, we need to seek refuge in the compassion residing within us and inclining ourselves to the pain and dejection the world faces, which would eventually justify every existence to be important and subject to fair living.
Nadifa Mohamed’s eloquent expressions of one’s bereavement, dismay and perfidy are a call to humanity to exfoliate the pores of prejudices and stop insinuating to protect the edifice of an individual’s belief and identity.
Poignant and introspective!!