by Jhumpa Lahiri
The Namesake Family Quotes
How we cite our quotes: (Chapter.Paragraph)
Being rescued from that shattered train had been the first miracle of his life. But here, now, reposing in his arms, weighing next to nothing but changing everything, is the second. (2.15)
Ashoke is delighted with the birth of his son, which he associates with his miraculous rescue from a train wreck. For Ashoke, family will continue to be a source of happiness, no matter how much Gogol tries to muck it up in the future.
Instead he tells her what Rana told him a few minutes ago, what Rana couldn't bear to tell his sister, over the telephone, himself: that her father died yesterday evening, of a heart attack, playing patience on his bed. (2.96)
There is a certain reserve, even between family members, that makes it difficult for Rana, Ashima's brother, to tell Ashima that her father has died. Only Ashoke is able to do so, because he and Ashima are so close.
In some senses Ashoke and Ashima live the lives of the extremely aged, those for whom everyone they once knew and loved is lost, those who survive and are consoled by memory alone. Even those family members who continue to live seem dead somehow, always invisible, impossible to touch. (3.58)
Ashima and Ashoke feel cut off from the families they left behind in India. Of course they have their children with them in America, but the network of their extended family is thousands of miles away. They have no support system, and that's one of the things that makes life difficult.