Antony Firingee was a Portuguese-Indian who became a famous Bengali poet musician and fell in love with Shakila. She agreed to marry him after revealing her tragic history. But his fame was not enough to overcome their ostracisation and tragedy struck again.
In 1977, Ashima, a young Bengali woman, accepts Ashoke's marriage proposal. He's a student living abroad, so after the marriage she accompanies him to New York, where their temporary residence becomes permanent. We see her navigate and adapt to this alien land. They name their son Nikhil, with the pet name of Gogol, after Ashoke's favorite writer. We watch Gogol grow up American with roots he only begins to appreciate when he visits India in his 20s. A family death hastens his coming to terms with his name (and his roots) and Ashima's determination of where she will live once she has a choice.