Namesake

Namesake, as my tiny-winy lexicon lets me think of, means someone with whom you share the name.The book, Namesake, by Jhumpa lahiri- her first ever novel, revolves around a North American bumpkin : Gogol Ganguly, who by happenchance has got a testy first name. The series of incidents that leads to such an absurd christening is out of scope of the review, nonetheless believable and perfectly logical. One cannot keep singing paens for the author, not believing that such a consummate work can be someone’s debute. No wonder, it got the best first novel award. The writer through her petty details, lets reader conjure up every single nook of Massachusetts, NY and places like Cleveland and New Hampshire.I could not avoid noticing time and again the resemblance of the sudden twists in story to which we, the denizens of Bollywood empire are quite familiar. The inebriated nights spent by Gogol, his failing affairs, the piecemeal rise of realisation of loss of identity, everything slowly starts reaching peak, as you proceed through the not-so-bengal-ish snippets from the book. My personal favorites have been the tacit relations emerging between Gogol and Moushmi,  and Gogol’s parents, the metaphorical dullness in the evenings in the Pemberton road house, spent alone by Gogol’s mother.

Well, as the book and movie adaptation both happen to be outmoded, I can indulge myself with a detailed explanation of the plot without fearing for any spoilers. If there are any -you may feel free to shoot your imprecations in the comments 😛

 Gangulis, have just moved on to Massachusetts, for the new job Prof. ganguli has got in MIT.Along comes Ashima Ganguli, only to find her totally lost in a country full of hippies, skyscrapers, and reckless outlaws. As they fumble during the first few years in the States, a nice marriage product comes along, unfortunately, not having his grandparents around to christen him, as per the bengali tradition. In  a moment of haste, to fullfil the formalities for birth certificate, the father naively names his son after Nikolav Gogol, the famous Russian author he is a fan of. As the child grows up, he starts feeling his name itchy and tries to slough the name like a snake’ s skin. Not only the name, but also the bengali traditions start making him itch every now and then when he tries to portray himself as a cool-american-dude.He wants to have an identity of his own—free from his bengali background, free from his parents’ antiquated notions.Thus, he goes, out, alone in the ocean full of hostility only to find him far too light to stay put in the stormy winds of the cosmopolitan world. His love life is an utter mess, with every girl leaving him for one reason or the other. In the end, he comes to a point of introspection, finding that in an attempt to create his new identity, he has lost his prior one too, and is currently just a living creature creeping on the roads of NYC. The rest is the end which I prefer not to disclose.

A decent book in all, made  me finish off in one go.Hoping to watch the movie soon.

(Finally a not-so-personal -post, Hussh!)

Ciao.

Rohit.

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One thought on “Namesake

  1. Pingback: Namesake « Aarewah Blog For COEPians - College Of Engineering Pune Blog

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