The Gangulis’ Crutch of Family
During every person’s life there are countless changes that occur. A person enters the world, becomes older, has a family, and then leaves the world. People are constantly tested by these changes; some people embrace these changes, some resist these changes, and others have no choice but to be affected by these changes. For the Ganguli family, regardless of how they reacted to the changes in their lives, family was the most important crutch in their moments of weakness.
Ashima Ganguli, having been raised very traditionally in India, consistently shows her longing to be with her family. Especially after having moved to America and entering the hospital due to pregnancy, Ashima really notices how much she misses her family. “There is nothing to comfort her in the off-white tiles of the floor, the off-white panels of the ceiling, the white sheets tucked tightly into bed” (Lahiri 4). The white emptiness of the hospital contrasts so strongly to the colorful memories of home and her family that she is uncomfortable. Customarily, she would be at home with her parents to give birth but in this situation she is surrounded by blankness and strange company. “These acquaintances are only substitutes for the people who really ought to be surrounding them” (Lahiri 24). Ashima, after the birth of her child, begins to feel pity for her baby. Normally, the entire family should be around to see the child’s birth. Why did her child enter the world so alone, straying so far from tradition? In a moment of happiness, Ashima feels sad and cheated that her happiness could not be shared. If anything should be shared with her family it would be miracle of the birth of her child. Therefore, Ashima, epitomizes the family-oriented person; she is always looking to share her moments of loneliness or happiness with her family.
Ashoke Ganguli, a professor at MIT and an avid reader, realizes the importance of family during two of the most miraculous events of his...