ABCD’s have always been a good subject to write about & also a good species to laugh upon & also to feel proud about them (Viz many of the Biz magnates & IT spearheads). I can feel little Nostalgic because few months back I had written about Inscrutable Americans by Anurag Mehta, a story about a desi boy’s life in the far west. I wanted to read Namesake but didn’t find time to go buy the book, while traveling last month I brought a paperback edition of Jhumpa Lahari’s Namesake on Pune Railway Station. Seriously, I never heard about Namesake until I got to see the Promo’s for Namesake-the movie by Mira Nair. Weeks back I was done with the book, a good piece of work & a detail peep into the Bengali families, lifestyles & some typical Indian mannerism & the usual Parental ideas versus the new generation “Always question why?” attitude. I was sure that I’ll turn into a Bengali by the time I complete reading it coz I my Bengali Vocabulary was increasing with every single page I read.
As far the movie goes, a commendable performance by Irfaan Khan, Tabu & Kal Penn. This novel couldn’t have fit into a 3-hour movie; only if it could have been made a sitcom every detail of the novel could have been active. The movie is finely made, but traces of work of a Student who has just slogged the whole night for next day early morning exams can be easily found. What else? I got to know about a new author who plays an important role in Namesake-Nikolai Gogol, a Russian & author of Overcoat & several other short stories.
So the verdict? Namesake-the book or Namesake-the movie?
For obvious reasons: NAMESAKE, written by Jhumpha Lahari.
About Namesake, The Movie:
Director: Mira Nair
THE NAMESAKE is the story of the Ganguli family whose move from Calcutta to New York evokes a lifelong balancing act to meld to a new world without forgetting the old.
Though parents Ashoke and Ashima (Irfan Khan, Tabu) long for the family and culture that enveloped them in India, they take great pride in the opportunities their sacrifices have afforded their children. Paradoxically, their son Gogol (Kal Penn) is torn between finding his own unique identity without losing his heritage. Even Gogol’s name represents the family’s journey into the unknown.
Cast: Kal Penn, Tabu, Irfan Khan, Jacinda Barrett, Zuleikha Robinson, Glenne Headley, Brooke Smith.