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The Namesake
The Namesake
by Jhumpa Lahiri
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The Namesake Chapter 8 Summary

Chapter 8

  • Fast forward a year. Gogol is still working as an architect in Manhattan, but he is no longer dating the lovely Maxine. It turns out that they broke up after she complained that he spent too much time with his family. And now she is engaged to another man. Well, it was fun while it lasted.
  • Gogol visits his mother and his sister, who now lives at home, every weekend. Sonia has a job as a paralegal in Boston.
  • The family celebrates Ashoke's birthday and commemorate the day of his death, too, by draping a garland of rose petals over his picture, and anointing his forehead with sandalwood paste.
  • At a review group for his architect's registration exam, Gogol meets Bridget, whose husband teaches in the Boston area. We hate to say it, but the two of them have an affair.
  • In an attempt to find him a more suitable match, Gogol's mother convinces him to call the daughter of a family friend, Moushumi Mazoomdar, whom he vaguely remembers. We vaguely remember her, too – from the birthday party, right? Gogol's memory is not quite as good as ours.
  • Gogol and Moushumi, who is now a grad student in French at NYU, meet up for a drink. Then they go to dinner and have a nice enough time.
  • The next week they meet for lunch by his office, where a waiter mistakes them for siblings. Awkward.
  • On the way back to work, Moushumi helps Gogol pick out a hat. She ogles an expensive one for herself, so after they part ways, Gogol goes back to the store and buys it for her.
  • The next time he goes home to Massachusetts, Gogol looks up Moushumi's picture in the family photo album. He finds her in a picture from one of his birthday parties. Oh so that's who she is – the girl who read in the corner the whole time.
  • The next weekend, Gogol goes over to Moushumi's place for dinner, after which they wind up sleeping together. And over the next three months, they begin dating.
  • Telling Gogol about her life up to this point, Moushumi says she remembers her childhood in England, and moving to America. She double-majored in French and chemistry at Brown, and after graduation, left for Paris, where she had a lot of affairs with men. Paris is also where she met Graham.
  • Uh oh. Who's Graham? As it turns out, he is her former fiancé. In fact, he's the whole reason she moved back to New York City. She proposed to Graham, and he was all for it. He even gave her his grandmother's diamond. They couple had visited Calcutta together, and planned a summer Hindu wedding in New Jersey.
  • But then, Graham showed a darker side. A few weeks before the wedding, he made some not-nice comments about her family in Calcutta, which sparked a whopper of an argument. She threw his grandma's diamond in the street. Ouch. He slapped her. Serious ouch.
  • Needless to say, those two crazy kids called the wedding off.
  • So a devastated Moushumi moved in with a couple in Brooklyn for a while, and then she got her own place, and became determined to study her butt off at NYU.
  • It turns out all of this happened the summer before she met up with Gogol. Hmm. Is that enough time to have gotten over a heartbreak? Guess we'll find out.
Next Page: Chapter 9
Previous Page: Chapter 7

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