with the death of Ashoke, his father. He thinks about how "they were already drunk from the book party, lazily sipping their beers, their cold cups of jasmine tea. All that time, his father was in the hospital, already dead." As Gogol takes the train from Boston back to his life in New York, he thinks of the train accident his father had been a victim in so long ago. As the novel progresses, the characters begin to feel more and more nostalgic about earlier times in their lives. Gogol feels nostalgic when his mother and Sonia come to the train station to see him off. He remembers that the whole family would see him off every time he returned to Yale as a college student; "his father would always stand on the platform until the train was out of sight." A year after Ashoke's death, Gogol is studying for his registration exam that will allow him to be a licensed architect practicing in New York. He has broken up with Maxine a few months after Ashoke's death, and now she is engaged to someone else. Sonia is still living in the house on Pemberton Road with their mother, who spends her nights awake and lonely, watching TV in bed. One night, Gogol agrees to go out with the other students in the class he is taking to prepare for his registration exam. He ends up having a good time with a woman named Bridget, who is his age and married. Her husband lives in Massachusetts, and she begins to have an affair with Gogol. They never exchange numbers and he never goes home with her; she always comes to his apartment, just to have sex, not a relationship. Gogol ends the affair when he begins to feel guilty about Bridget's betrayal of her husband.
17 Gogol's mother encourages him to call Moushumi Mazoomdar, the daughter of family friends whom Gogol has grown up around at family parties. He doesn't really remember much about her, but he calls her anyway and they meet at a bar. They reminisce about their childhoods, which overlapped but not in a way that is significant to either of them. She tells him that she moved to Paris to study French literature, and moved to New York to follow her ex-fiancé, an American named Graham. They go into a French restaurant for a bottle of wine and dessert and decide to see each other again. A week later, Gogol goes out with Moushumi again, this time for lunch. After lunch, they go for a drink at a place Gogol frequents and the waiter mistakes Moushumi for Gogol's sister. They go into a hat shop so Gogol can buy a hat, since he is not dressed for the cold weather. Moushumi tries on an expensive, fancy hat and Gogol decides to return to the shop to buy it for her later. The next weekend, she invites him over for dinner. They have sex and the dinner she was cooking burns, so they order Chinese food. Moushumi confides in Gogol that she never liked any of the Indian men who courted her; because she is a woman, the encouragement to get married had been more intense for her.
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- The Red and the Black, Kolkata, Nikolai Gogol, gogol