Diasporic Experiences In 'The Namesake' By Jhumpa Lahiri

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India constitutes a large number of diaspora all over the world. Migration of people in various countries is no longer a surprising issue. Immigrants endeavour to settle in adopted land. Though they adapt foreign way of life and culture yet the pull of past intervenes in their life. They become nostalgic and feel alienated. If out of these immigrants some choose writing as their profession, they consciously or unconsciously give vent to their diasporic experiences in their writings. They attempt to focus on pains, dilemma, discrimination and conflicts they have to face there. Through their imaginary characters they catharsise themselves. In the fleet of diasporic writers Jhumpa Lahiri is one such name. She can be acclaimed as one…show more content…
She herself has undergone from the trauma of a strange name as her good name Nilanjana Swedeshna was rejected by her teacher because it was very difficult to pronounce again and again and preferred to call her Jhumpa Lahiri. In an interview with Arun Aguir, she admits that she never felt comfortable with her name she asserts, “When I entered the American world as a child, I endlessly had to explain to people how to say my name and how to spell it and what it means”(n.pag).The novel deals with the same distress and discomfort that lies there in a name. Ganguli parents, forced by authorities to name his newly born son, in the state of hurry and confusion, offer the “second” name, Gogol, never meant for use as the child’s public, or formal, name. ‘Gogol is a Russian name and seems irrelevant to the boy as it is neither American nor Indian. Like the novelist, Gogol also has hard time explaining to his friends and others as to why such a name was given to him in the first place. He fails to understand who actually is he- American or Indian or someone else? Throughout the novel, Gogol is haunted by his name; even when he changes it to Nikhil he realizes that he cannot get away from it. The oddness of his name strikes him time and again. The name of Nikhil Ganguli is problematized at length in the novel and suggests how…show more content…
Now they are adapted to the foreign land. On the other hand Ashima and Ashoke want them to retain their Indian heritage. They force them to learn the lesson of Bengali language and culture. Ashima, like Lahiri’s mother make every possible effort to keep their children in touch with Bengali culture but children don’t take interest in it. Both children Gogol and Sonia show little interest in Indian heritage. They feel more at home in host county in contrast to India. Gogol always considers himself as an American not an Indian. But other Americans do not take him as an American, they always treat him as an Indian living in America due to his colour and culture. This American attitude brings Gogol in ‘no-where’ situation which aggravates his sense of alienation. Jhuma lahiri has also suffered same sense of exile and outsider in all country. Despite being product of three countries - India by heritage, U.K by birth and United States by immigration; she feels homeless. While growing up she often visited Calcutta with her parents because her mother wanted her children to know everything about her Bengali Culture, language and inheritance. But she does not feel at home in that country either. In her interview with Barbara Kantowitz to News Week, she told, “I’ve often felt that I am somehow illegitimate in both cultures. A true Indian does not
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