Study Guide

The Namesake Chapter 10

By Jhumpa Lahiri

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Chapter 10


  • Just to warn you guys, in this chapter, Gogol will be called Nikhil, after the more formal name that his parents tried to give him all those years ago.
  • Nikhil and Moushumi are all set to celebrate their first anniversary, and the fact that Moushumi has just passed her oral exams for graduate school.
  • Moushumi also finds out that she received a research grant to work on her dissertation in France, but she rejects it and throws it away since it would mean living away from Nikhil for a year.
  • Despite all she and Gogol have to celebrate, Moushumi often sneaks out to eat alone or have lunch with her friend Astrid, just to assert her independence.
  • It's a Sunday night, and Moushumi and Nikhil walk to a restaurant to have dinner. Moushumi is not a fan of the restaurant, or of the food. Nikhil doesn't get why.
  • Two days later, Moushumi begins teaching the fall semester at NYU, and on her first day of class, she arrives at work to discover that the departmental assistant, Alice, died suddenly of an aneurysm that morning. Yikes.
  • Stunned, she finds herself sorting the mail, which is usually Alice's job. She discovers a cover letter and CV for a former flame, Dimitri Desjardins.
  • She flashes back to her high school days, when she and her friends had visited Princeton, pretending to be college students. They wound up going to Washington D.C. for a protest with the Princeton crowd.
  • On the bus ride to DC, Moushumi sat next to a guy who introduced himself as Dimitri. Dimitri started to put the moves on her, and Moushumi was not complaining. But then he abruptly stopped.
  • Dimitri and Moushumi went out on a date, but Moushumi made the mistake of asking him to her prom. Um, Moushumi, the dude is 27. He politely declined.
  • Later, she saw him around town with another girl. He told her he was headed to Europe, and while he was over there, he sent her postcards at Brown, where she was in school.
  • Snap back to the present. Moushumi writes Dimitri's phone number down. That is so not a good idea.
  • In her and Gogol's apartment, Moushumi finds a gift Dimitri had sent her. It's Stendhal's The Red and the Black, which she reads from cover to cover. Shmoop smells trouble.
  • And trouble comes knocking. The next week, she calls up Dimitri. They start having an affair, meeting at his place on Mondays and Wednesdays after she teaches class at NYU.
  • Poor Nikhil doesn't suspect anything. One night Moushumi can't sleep because of the noisy rain, and begins to cry. She tells Nikhil she is crying because the rain has soaked through part of the ceiling. Yeah, like that's believable.
  • In Dimitri's apartment, Moushumi looks at a book of Atget photographs while Dimitri picks up some groceries. She puts the book back on the shelf when she hears him enter.

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