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The Namesake

The Namesake

by Jhumpa Lahiri

The Namesake Chapter 9 Summary

  • Within a year, Gogol and Moushumi are married in a Hindu ceremony in New Jersey. The wedding is organized by their respective families, and the couple themselves have very little input.
  • On the day of the wedding, Sonia gives Gogol a belated birthday present.
  • During the ceremony, they dress traditionally. Gogol wears his father's Punjabi top; Moushumi wears a sari.
  • There was no rehearsal, so, during the ceremony, Gogol and Moushumi have to be told what to do at each step. It all goes off without a hitch.
  • For the reception, Gogol changes into a suit, and Moushumi into a red Banarasi gown. In the midst of the festivities, the thought occurs to Gogol that two years ago, he might have been watching Moushumi get married to Graham. The dress she is wearing, and many of the preparations, were for her wedding to Graham. Honestly, it's a little awkward.
  • Gogol and Moushumi head off to the honeymoon suite, where Gogol remembers how he asked her to marry him in the spring, on her birthday. He had given her a gift of the hat he bought months before, and included in the box a smaller box with an engagement ring.
  • In the suite, they make love, and afterwards, they count up the cash gifts they received at their wedding, a whopping $7,035. That's a lot of dough.
  • Moushumi decides to hold on to her maiden name, and they move to an apartment together and settle into a routine. Wedded bliss?
  • Not so much. Gogol finds all sorts of reminders of Moushumi's life with Graham. He even spots the wedding dress she was planning to wear at a second ceremony at Graham's father's house.
  • In March, Gogol accompanies Moushumi to a conference in Paris. While Moushumi prepares a paper for her conference, Gogol goes sightseeing. Then, after she gives her paper, they meet up at a café in the Latin Quarter.
  • Gogol wants to take Moushumi's picture, but she refuses; she doesn't want to look like a tourist.
  • Fast forward to a Saturday evening in May. They are at a party thrown by Moushumi's friends, Astrid and Donald. Gogol isn't having fun because it turns out Moushumi had met Graham through Astrid and Donald. There are some seriously bad vibes at this party.
  • Astrid is pregnant, and the guests discuss baby names. But Gogol has issues with the whole name thing, so he wanders around their place instead of chiming in the conversation.
  • Then Gogol helps Donald cook, and Donald makes a comment about Moushumi and Graham that makes Gogol uneasy.
  • Done playing sous-chef, Gogol returns to the other guests, who are still debating baby names. Moushumi tells everyone how Gogol changed his name, and Gogol is ticked off that she shared his secret.

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