Reads and Beats: The Namesake and Need You Now

Reads: The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri

I bought Jhumpa Lahiri’s Pulitzer-winning Interpreter of Maladies a number of years back during a warehouse sale in Atria Damansara Jaya. I am not proud to say that I have yet to read that book. Just before Chinese New Year, I gave up on a relatively thick thriller on a wife with secret identity and in return, I rented The Namesake.

Reading the story of Gogol Ganguli reminds me of Wang Lung in The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck. They do not share any resemblance at all in terms of story line and setting, but both authors made me want to slap these two characters’ face (if they have one, physically) at one point in the books respectively. Jhumpa Lahiri has a way of drawing the readers into the world she has created for her characters, in this case the two distinctly different worlds of Calcutta and Boston (at some point, New York City). Perhaps being a Chinese abroad, I could relate to some of Gogol’s thoughts yet at the same time, reading them has created an awareness of my own culture and belonging.

I just found out that it has been made into a movie in 2006. Check out the trailer below. If you listen carefully, the saddest part of the book is when Ashoke (Gogol’s father) talked to Gogol for the first time on the origin of his name. Gogol asked him, “Do I remind you of that night?” And Ashoke replied, “You remind me of everything that followed. Every day since then has been a gift.” Beautiful.

Beats: Need You Now by Lady Antebellum

I love the tune of this song. I love the piano part, and in the music video, I love the last shot of the balloon on the floor. And I love the fact that it won the Grammy’s, and I didn’t know it before loving this song.


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