For the first week after Gogol returns home the house is always full of Bengali

For the first week after gogol returns home the house

This preview shows page 17 - 19 out of 20 pages.

pooed the vermillion from her hair’s part and removed her iron wedding bracelet. For the first week after Gogol returns home, the house is always full of Bengali visitors, there to comfort the grieving family. Calls of condolence come from friends all over the country. They observe the traditional ten days of mourning, eating only rice and dal. Gogol re- members being annoyed by this custom as a child, but now these meals in their regu- larity are the only thing that makes sense to him. Although most of the day is spent with the sympathetic guests, for these meals it is only the three remaining family members who eat together. On the eleventh day there is a religious ceremony, a gath- ering of Bengali friends which feels like so many other gatherings that have come be- fore. Maxine drives up from New York, but feels out of place. She asks Gogol whether he still plans to go with her to the lake over New Year’s Eve. Calling him Nikhil, she tells him that getting away could do him good. Gogol is cold and distant, feeling how different they are, and angered by her suggestion that he “get away.” For the next few weeks, the family lives together on Pemberton Road, completing many small and necessary tasks—changing the name on the mortgage, driving to town to shop for groceries or to visit Bengali friends. In January, Gogol returns to New York while Sonia stays in Massachusetts with Ashima . The two women come to see Gogol off at the train station. It feels strange for him to leave, and to return to Maxine . A sharp turn in the tracks reminds him of the train accident that nearly killed his fa- ther. As the train hugs the coastline, Gogol remembers a past journey to Cape Cod, and walking with his father all the way to the tip of a breakwater, despite Ashima’s worried calls. He recalls every detail, like the way his father’s footprints in the sand turned outward because of his slight limp. When they reached the end, surrounded by sea, Ashoke realised he had forgotten the camera. “We will have to remember it, then,” he
Image of page 17
says, telling the young Gogol to always remember this journey “to a place where there was nowhere left to go.” Chapter 8 It has been a year since Ashoke ’s death. Gogol and Maxine are no longer together— the argument that ended their unraveling relationship had to do with him opposing her desire to accompany his family to India for the funeral. He returns home now ev- ery weekend, drawn to the framed photograph of his father on the wall, the closest thing Ashoke has to a grave . Ashima’s mourning has caused her to age quickly, and Sonia now lives with and takes care of her. Gogol is enrolled in a course at Columbia again, preparing to take the registration exam that will make him a fully-licensed ar- chitect in his own right. Out for drinks with his classmates one night, Gogol begins talking with an architecture student named Bridget . She is married, and her husband is a professor in Boston.
Image of page 18
Image of page 19

You've reached the end of your free preview.

Want to read all 20 pages?

What students are saying

  • Left Quote Icon

    As a current student on this bumpy collegiate pathway, I stumbled upon Course Hero, where I can find study resources for nearly all my courses, get online help from tutors 24/7, and even share my old projects, papers, and lecture notes with other students.

    Student Picture

    Kiran Temple University Fox School of Business ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    I cannot even describe how much Course Hero helped me this summer. It’s truly become something I can always rely on and help me. In the end, I was not only able to survive summer classes, but I was able to thrive thanks to Course Hero.

    Student Picture

    Dana University of Pennsylvania ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    The ability to access any university’s resources through Course Hero proved invaluable in my case. I was behind on Tulane coursework and actually used UCLA’s materials to help me move forward and get everything together on time.

    Student Picture

    Jill Tulane University ‘16, Course Hero Intern

Stuck? We have tutors online 24/7 who can help you get unstuck.
A+ icon
Ask Expert Tutors You can ask You can ask You can ask (will expire )
Answers in as fast as 15 minutes