This book/movie is close to my heart for several reasons. First of all, the family the story portrays in a Bengali family from East India. That's the same city where my family is from and the earlier parts of the book/movie pretty much depict my parents' early years in the U.S. down to the T.
Also, this is a story by an Indian-American author which has done phenominally well and I hope to touch even 5% of that kind of success one day :)
Third, I really loved the book and the movie...which is rare. Usually the movie sucks if the book is good, or the book is boring if the movie is good.
Without further adiue, I present to you THE NAMESAKE: This is the poignant love story of Ashima and Ashok, two immigants from Calcutta, India who fall in love after their arranged marriage during the '70s in New York City. They have a son, Gogol, named after the famous Russian writer, Nikolai Gogoal, Ashok's favorite writer--the man he credits to have saved his life.
Gogol fights his way through his teenage years between his parents' world of tradition and the East, and the western world he lives in. Only after a tragedy touches their family, does he understand what needs to be done.
Both book and movie are touching, funny, sad, and extremely honest. I would highly suggest you check out the movie...and if you like it, grab the book. Or the other way around. Both stories are independent yet related but each stand on their own as complete.
In the movie, the role of Gogol is played by the immensely talented Kal Penn, formerly known as Kumar in HAROLD AND KUMAR GO TO WHITE CASTLE. Kumar is gone in this movie and he is replaced by a strong, handsome young man who does justice to his role.
So, check it out! And if you've seen it, let me know what you think!
HOW TO SALSA IN A SARI -- January 2008 release from Harlequin's Kimani Tru