The Namesake — Nishta Mehra

This Movie Changed Me

Dec 3 2019 • 33 mins

The Namesake, an adaptation of Jhumpa Lahiri’s novel, is a moving exploration of the immigrant experience told through the story of the Ganguli family. The parents, Ashoke and Ashima, marry in India and emigrate to New York state, where they raise their two children, Gogol and Sonia. In tracing the lives of two generations of a family, the movie examines not just the opportunity and promise gained from immigrating to a new country, but also all that is lost from one generation to the next. The wholeness of this depiction offered solace to writer Nishta Mehra after her father’s death. For her, the movie mirrored back the parts of her parents’ lives she did not understand as a young person.

Nishta Mehra is a parent, partner, teacher, and writer. Her books include “The Pomegranate King” and “Brown White Black: An American Family at the Intersection of Race, Gender, Sexuality, and Religion.” She serves on the board of Just City, a non-profit organization working to build a more humane justice system in Memphis, Tennessee.

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