The story begins when Gogol receives a phone call from his mother announcing the birth of his nephew Ashoke. Happiness has once against surfaced the life of the Ganguli’s. Ashoke’s advice is the account of Ashima’s life after moving back to India, Sonia’s son, who is the namesake of his grandfather, and the happenings of Gogol’s European travels.
Thirty days from Sonia’s due date Ashima comes back to America to assist her daughter. Ashima thinks about the first time she gave birth and the idea of bringing life into a place where most people came to suffer or die was puzzling to her. She realizes that for Sonia, America is not a strange country and that giving birth in a hospital will be the norm for her so Ashima decides to bring a little bit of Bengal to her. Ashima brings bagfuls of chatpata achar’s that she tried to concoct while she was pregnant. Ashima spends this time with her daughter and son in law and tells them about her time in India in flashbacks.
Ashimha tells them that India has become a little more modernized and the streets are looking a little cleaner. Sonia and her husband laugh out loud and it is understood that Ashima was joking. She tells them about how her music skills are improving and that she was part of a neighborhood concert.
The Ganguli children visit India twice in this book. Their first visit is due to the death of their grandfather and their second visit is for the marriage of their uncle. When Sonia has her son, Ashima names him Ashok and it’s the first time she has uttered his name. Soon after, Gogol comes back from his European endeavors with a new fiance. The entire Ganguli family is sitting on a dinner table with baby Ashoke and the Sonia and Gogol’s significant others. The family is happy but soon this interrupted with a phone call from India. Ashima picks up the telephone and receives news that her father has passed away. Immediately the entire Ganguli family packs up and heads to their first Indian trip ever since the death of their father. This time Gogols brings hid fiancé with her and considers her a part of her family.
When they reach India Ashima finds her mother devastated and asks that Ashima not go back to America ever. At the funeral, the family spills the ashes in the Ganga they are reminded of Ashok’s death. Baby Ashok starts crying and they are reminded how Ashok has always remained in her heart and now he will be here physically too because day after day baby Ashok resembles his grandfather more. Earlier at the ceremony of lighting fire to the dead’s soul Gogol goes into a flashback when he is reminded of the ruins of his first marriage.
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