* Ashima Ganguli goes into labor in her apartment in New York when her water breaks.
* Ashima's husband, Ashoke, stops his studies and takes her to the hospital in a taxi.
* At the hospital, during labor, Ashima is alone for the first time in her life.
* In India, women in labor are surrounded by family members and in American hospital, Ashima misses that close support.
* Ashima does not speak English well and does not converse with the other women in labor, making her labor even more difficult.
* Ashima is afraid while in labor, but is befriended by a nurse.
* While in labor, Ashima recalls meeting her husband when he visited her family home in India.
* While waiting for the baby's birth, Ashoke recalls a train accident he was in as a young man.
* Ashoke was reading a book by the Russian writer Gogol before the accident and believes...
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