The Namesake

Moushumi Mazoomdar Character Analysis

The Bengali woman who marries Gogol, Moushumi was one of the children present at the many gatherings of Bengali friends in their childhood. She grew up in London, and had a British accent when she and Gogol first met, always preferring her books to the television that the other kids were watching. Their parents set them up after Moushumi breaks off an engagement to Graham just before their wedding. She is a PhD student at NYU during her brief marriage to Gogol, having lived in Paris after college. Moushumi and Gogol share the experience of having a complicated connection to their family and history, which brings them together, but is too limited to support a real relationship. She brings the marriage with Gogol to an end by cheating on him with Dimitri Desjardins.

Moushumi Mazoomdar Quotes in The Namesake

The The Namesake quotes below are all either spoken by Moushumi Mazoomdar or refer to Moushumi Mazoomdar. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
The Indian Immigrant Experience Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Houghton Mifflin edition of The Namesake published in 2003.
Chapter 8 Quotes

It strikes him that there is no term for what they once were to each other. Their parents were friends, not they. She is a family acquaintance but she is not family. Their contact until tonight has been artificial, imposed, something like his relationship to his cousins in India but lacking even the justification of blood ties. Until they’d met tonight, he had never seen her outside the context of her family, or she his. He decides that it is her very familiarity that makes him curious about her, and as he begins to walk west, to the subway, he wonders when he might see her again.

Related Characters: Gogol/Nikhil Ganguli, Moushumi Mazoomdar
Page Number: 199
Explanation and Analysis:

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

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Chapter 9 Quotes

He’d confessed to her that he still felt guilty at times for changing his name, more so now that his father was dead. And she’d assured him that it was understandable, that anyone in his place would have done the same. But now it’s become a joke to her. Suddenly he regrets having ever told Moushumi; he wonders whether she’ll proclaim the story of his father’s accident to the table as well. By morning, half the people in the room will have forgotten. It will be a tiny, odd fact about him, an anecdote, perhaps, for a future dinner party. This is what upsets him most.

Related Characters: Ashoke Ganguli (Mithu), Gogol/Nikhil Ganguli, Moushumi Mazoomdar
Page Number: 244
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 10 Quotes

She believed that he would be incapable of hurting her as Graham had. After years of clandestine relationships, it felt refreshing to court in a fishbowl, to have the support of her parents from the very start, the inevitability of an unquestioned future, of marriage, drawing them along. And yet the familiarity that had once drawn her to him has begun to keep her at bay. Though she knows it’s not his fault, she can’t help but associate him, at times, with a sense of resignation, with the very life she has resisted, has struggled so mightily to leave behind.

Related Characters: Gogol/Nikhil Ganguli, Moushumi Mazoomdar
Page Number: 250
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

She wonders if she is the only woman in her family ever to have betrayed her husband, to have been unfaithful. This is what upsets her most to admit: that the affair causes her to feel strangely at peace, the complication of it calming her, structuring her day.

Related Characters: Gogol/Nikhil Ganguli, Moushumi Mazoomdar
Page Number: 266
Explanation and Analysis:
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.
Chapter 12 Quotes

It is as if a building he’d been responsible for designing had collapsed for all to see. And yet he can’t really blame her. They had both acted on the same impulse, that was their mistake. They had both sought comfort in each other, in their shared world, perhaps for the sake of novelty, or out of fear that that world was slowly dying. Still, he wonders how he’s arrived at all this… His time with her seems like a permanent part of him that no longer has any relevance, or currency. As if that time were a name he’d ceased to use.

Related Characters: Gogol/Nikhil Ganguli, Moushumi Mazoomdar
Page Number: 284
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

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Moushumi Mazoomdar Character Timeline in The Namesake

The timeline below shows where the character Moushumi Mazoomdar appears in The Namesake. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 4
The Indian Immigrant Experience Theme Icon
Family, Tradition, and Ritual Theme Icon
Independence, Rebellion, and Growing Up Theme Icon
...young to be with the adults. The closest to his age is a girl named Moushumi, recently arrived from England, but they have nothing in common. She rubs “7 Up”-flavored balm... (full context)
Chapter 8
The Indian Immigrant Experience Theme Icon
Family, Tradition, and Ritual Theme Icon
Independence, Rebellion, and Growing Up Theme Icon
Love and Marriage Theme Icon
...Ashoke’s death. One day Ashima mentions a girl Gogol used to know, a Bengali named Moushumi Mazoomdar, who had broken off an engagement the year before and “could use a friend.”... (full context)
The Indian Immigrant Experience Theme Icon
Family, Tradition, and Ritual Theme Icon
Independence, Rebellion, and Growing Up Theme Icon
Identity and Naming Theme Icon
Love and Marriage Theme Icon
Moushumi is waiting for him in a bar in the East Village, reading a book in... (full context)
The Indian Immigrant Experience Theme Icon
Family, Tradition, and Ritual Theme Icon
Independence, Rebellion, and Growing Up Theme Icon
Identity and Naming Theme Icon
Love and Marriage Theme Icon
...a small French restaurant, where Gogol insists on paying the bill, and then he walks Moushumi home, surprised at how much he is enjoying himself. On the way back to his... (full context)
The Indian Immigrant Experience Theme Icon
Family, Tradition, and Ritual Theme Icon
Independence, Rebellion, and Growing Up Theme Icon
Identity and Naming Theme Icon
Love and Marriage Theme Icon
In the next few days, Gogol recalls images of Moushumi from years ago that he had forgotten—the books she always brought along to the parties,... (full context)
The Indian Immigrant Experience Theme Icon
Family, Tradition, and Ritual Theme Icon
Independence, Rebellion, and Growing Up Theme Icon
Identity and Naming Theme Icon
Love and Marriage Theme Icon
...he does, eating approvingly. They talk about her dissertation, and that Christmas party years before. Moushumi tells him that playing the piano was always a fantasy her mother had for her,... (full context)
Family, Tradition, and Ritual Theme Icon
Independence, Rebellion, and Growing Up Theme Icon
Love and Marriage Theme Icon
They walk out into the cold New York winter. Moushumi sees Gogol shivering, and insists that they go to buy a hat. He enjoys the... (full context)
The Indian Immigrant Experience Theme Icon
Family, Tradition, and Ritual Theme Icon
Independence, Rebellion, and Growing Up Theme Icon
Identity and Naming Theme Icon
Love and Marriage Theme Icon
The next weekend Gogol goes to Moushumi’s apartment for dinner, bringing a bunch of sunflowers. She looks for a place to put... (full context)
The Indian Immigrant Experience Theme Icon
Family, Tradition, and Ritual Theme Icon
Independence, Rebellion, and Growing Up Theme Icon
Love and Marriage Theme Icon
...they get to know one another, Gogol feels he already knows her life—he can picture Moushumi’s house, the parties, the family dynamics, as if they were his own. They talk of... (full context)
The Indian Immigrant Experience Theme Icon
Family, Tradition, and Ritual Theme Icon
Independence, Rebellion, and Growing Up Theme Icon
Love and Marriage Theme Icon
Moushumi admits that Gogol is exactly the type of man she has avoided all her life.... (full context)
The Indian Immigrant Experience Theme Icon
Independence, Rebellion, and Growing Up Theme Icon
Identity and Naming Theme Icon
Love and Marriage Theme Icon
After graduation Moushumi moved to Paris, despite her parents’ protests, and after years of loneliness fell into a... (full context)
The Indian Immigrant Experience Theme Icon
Family, Tradition, and Ritual Theme Icon
Independence, Rebellion, and Growing Up Theme Icon
Identity and Naming Theme Icon
Love and Marriage Theme Icon
...paper. Then one night a few weeks before the wedding, at a dinner with friends, Moushumi heard him discussing their time in Calcutta, complaining about the lack of alcohol, the endless... (full context)
Family, Tradition, and Ritual Theme Icon
Independence, Rebellion, and Growing Up Theme Icon
Identity and Naming Theme Icon
Love and Marriage Theme Icon
Moushumi recovered slowly, watching television and movies all day, living in Brooklyn for a time with... (full context)
Chapter 9
The Indian Immigrant Experience Theme Icon
Family, Tradition, and Ritual Theme Icon
Independence, Rebellion, and Growing Up Theme Icon
Identity and Naming Theme Icon
Love and Marriage Theme Icon
...close to 300 people, taking control of the planning of the wedding themselves. Gogol and Moushumi largely acquiesce as just punishment for having listened to their mothers and having gotten together... (full context)
The Indian Immigrant Experience Theme Icon
Family, Tradition, and Ritual Theme Icon
Identity and Naming Theme Icon
Love and Marriage Theme Icon
...never spoke until after they were married in a ceremony like this one. Gogol and Moushumi follow the instructions of their Bengali relatives, barely looking at each other through the evening’s... (full context)
The Indian Immigrant Experience Theme Icon
Family, Tradition, and Ritual Theme Icon
Independence, Rebellion, and Growing Up Theme Icon
Identity and Naming Theme Icon
Love and Marriage Theme Icon
...both unwind in their hotel room afterward, Gogol remembers his engagement proposal. It was on Moushumi’s birthday, at an inn in the country, and he had presented the ring along with... (full context)
Identity and Naming Theme Icon
Love and Marriage Theme Icon
In March they visit Paris together, where Moushumi is presenting an academic paper. The weather is gray, and Gogol feels acutely the eyes... (full context)
Identity and Naming Theme Icon
Love and Marriage Theme Icon
It is May, and Gogol and Moushumi are at a dinner party in Brooklyn, at the home of Moushumi’s hip friends Astrid... (full context)
Independence, Rebellion, and Growing Up Theme Icon
Identity and Naming Theme Icon
Love and Marriage Theme Icon
For some reason that Gogol cannot understand, the approval of these people is important to Moushumi, and he has noticed that after these parties she is always slightly depressed when they... (full context)
The Indian Immigrant Experience Theme Icon
Identity and Naming Theme Icon
Love and Marriage Theme Icon
...nonsense names—and baby name books are passed around the table. Gogol feels his bond with Moushumi return for a moment, because neither of them will be in these books. He is... (full context)
The Indian Immigrant Experience Theme Icon
Independence, Rebellion, and Growing Up Theme Icon
Identity and Naming Theme Icon
Love and Marriage Theme Icon
Returning downstairs, Gogol finds the name conversation still continuing, and sees that Moushumi is somewhat drunk. Suddenly she announces to the room that Gogol, whom they know as... (full context)
Chapter 10
Independence, Rebellion, and Growing Up Theme Icon
Identity and Naming Theme Icon
Love and Marriage Theme Icon
...this chapter begins, we notice that the narration seems to be taking on more of Moushumi’s perspective, referring to Gogol as Nikhil. Her parents call to wish the couple a happy... (full context)
The Indian Immigrant Experience Theme Icon
Family, Tradition, and Ritual Theme Icon
Independence, Rebellion, and Growing Up Theme Icon
Identity and Naming Theme Icon
Love and Marriage Theme Icon
They’ve both dressed up for dinner, and Moushumi wears the black dress from the first night they made love in her apartment. She... (full context)
Independence, Rebellion, and Growing Up Theme Icon
Identity and Naming Theme Icon
Love and Marriage Theme Icon
When they finally find the hidden restaurant, it is not what Moushumi had hoped for, and she is distressed by the Bangladeshi bus boys who serve the... (full context)
Independence, Rebellion, and Growing Up Theme Icon
Identity and Naming Theme Icon
Love and Marriage Theme Icon
A new semester at NYU begins, but Moushumi is officially finished with classes. She is teaching a section of beginning French, and looks... (full context)
Independence, Rebellion, and Growing Up Theme Icon
Identity and Naming Theme Icon
Love and Marriage Theme Icon
When Moushumi arrives at the department there is an ambulance there, and she is shocked to find... (full context)
The Indian Immigrant Experience Theme Icon
Independence, Rebellion, and Growing Up Theme Icon
Identity and Naming Theme Icon
Love and Marriage Theme Icon
Moushumi had met Dimitri years before, at the end of high school, on a chartered bus... (full context)
Independence, Rebellion, and Growing Up Theme Icon
Identity and Naming Theme Icon
Love and Marriage Theme Icon
Moushumi returned to Princeton every day afterward, finally finding Dimitri and going on her very first... (full context)
Independence, Rebellion, and Growing Up Theme Icon
Identity and Naming Theme Icon
Love and Marriage Theme Icon
Now, sitting in her office, Moushumi reads his cover letter and inserts a missing period. She photocopies the résumé and returns... (full context)
Independence, Rebellion, and Growing Up Theme Icon
Identity and Naming Theme Icon
Love and Marriage Theme Icon
The next week Moushumi calls him. She has reread all of Dimitri’s postcards, telling herself she is reconnecting with... (full context)
Independence, Rebellion, and Growing Up Theme Icon
Love and Marriage Theme Icon
At home, Gogol suspects nothing. Moushumi is worried at first, but their nighttime routine of dinner, television, and then sleep does... (full context)
The Indian Immigrant Experience Theme Icon
Family, Tradition, and Ritual Theme Icon
Independence, Rebellion, and Growing Up Theme Icon
Identity and Naming Theme Icon
Love and Marriage Theme Icon
After a month of Mondays and Wednesdays, Moushumi begins to escape to Dimitri’s on Fridays as well. She wonders whether she is the... (full context)
Chapter 11
Family, Tradition, and Ritual Theme Icon
Love and Marriage Theme Icon
Gogol wakes up late one morning alone in bed—Moushumi is away at a conference for the weekend, and the heat has malfunctioned, leaving their... (full context)
The Indian Immigrant Experience Theme Icon
Family, Tradition, and Ritual Theme Icon
Independence, Rebellion, and Growing Up Theme Icon
Identity and Naming Theme Icon
Love and Marriage Theme Icon
As he works, he thinks of Thanksgiving dinner the week before. Gogol and Moushumi had cooked in their apartment, and her parents, Ashima, Sonia, and Sonia’s boyfriend Ben joined... (full context)
The Indian Immigrant Experience Theme Icon
Independence, Rebellion, and Growing Up Theme Icon
Identity and Naming Theme Icon
Love and Marriage Theme Icon
Inspired by the idea of planning a trip to Italy, Gogol buys Moushumi a guidebook and begins to walk home, frightened momentarily by a flock of pigeons that... (full context)
Chapter 12
The Indian Immigrant Experience Theme Icon
Family, Tradition, and Ritual Theme Icon
Love and Marriage Theme Icon
...next year. Ashima looks kindly on this marriage—Ben makes Sonia happy in a way that Moushumi never did with Gogol, a match she still feels guilty for encouraging. They are divorced... (full context)
The Indian Immigrant Experience Theme Icon
Family, Tradition, and Ritual Theme Icon
Independence, Rebellion, and Growing Up Theme Icon
Identity and Naming Theme Icon
Love and Marriage Theme Icon
...he has made again and again. It was on the train that he first discovered Moushumi’s affair, when she slipped up and mentioned Dimitri. He had felt the same betrayal as... (full context)
The Indian Immigrant Experience Theme Icon
Family, Tradition, and Ritual Theme Icon
Independence, Rebellion, and Growing Up Theme Icon
Identity and Naming Theme Icon
Love and Marriage Theme Icon
Gogol and Moushumi were then trapped together on the train, and then at the Christmas celebration at his... (full context)