Jhumpa Lahiri is an Indian-American writer whose popularity grows with each successive book; she has also won the Pulitzer prize for her first collection of short stories, Interpreter of Maladies. Lahiri’s second book was a novel called The Namesake which was also made into a movie starring Kal Penn. The book is about Gogol Ganguli, so named because Gogol was his father’s favorite writer.
Gogol Ganguli’s Attempts To Find Himself
Born in the U.S. of Indian parents, Gogol finds that he’s always trapped between two cultures. His first attempt to resolve this conflict is by giving up his Indian side altogether. He dates an American woman who knows nothing about Indian culture and tries to become a part of her family. However, the death of his father brings him back to his roots, and his second attempt is to have a semi-arranged marriage with a woman of Indian origin. After discovering that she’s cheating on him, Gogol realizes that he has tried out both extremes without feeling entirely comfortable in his own skin. The novel ends as he picks up the works of the Russian writer Gogol and sets out to discover himself.
The Importance of Knowing Oneself in the Diaspora
It’s true that people can never feel at peace with themselves unless they try to find out who they are, instead of relying on others to give them a sense of identity. Many books written in the Indian diaspora display this kind of search for identity. When people are displaced from the country of their origin and surrounded by those who share a different culture, it becomes even more important to know what your own true values are and whether they are in accord with one culture or the other. You may discover, eventually, that you are most comfortable in a mix of two cultures or in a third culture altogether. Still, it’s the journey of self-discovery, the effort to know oneself, that determines how you feel about who you are.
Blogging for Self-Discovery
What does any of this have to do with blogging, you might ask. Yes, writing is a way to understand yourself but there are many others as well, such as reading, art, meditation, yoga or martial arts, to name a few. And interestingly enough, there are blogs about all of these on the internet. If you are already engaged in one of these practices, you can keep in touch with what’s going on within that field by reading blogs about it. If you want to spread information and help others in their journey of self-discovery, you can write a blog about your practice.