“This can be the last book I ever read” was one of the thoughts that popped in my head after finishing “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother” by Amy Chua. It tops my list of favorites. Also, it is the most genuine and straight from the heart book that I have read in a long time. Since, the story is about Asian parenting style that Amy adopted for her kids, scenes from my childhood would spring up from memory while reading. Many times I saw my Grandmother behaving strict and my mother trying to instill good behavior in us by saying never be rude to anyone. My brother and I were brought up by our mother (a soft and lively personality) and grandmother (authoritarian personality) as we all lived together which is very common in India. When we were kids, our mother would cook delicious food and recite most amazing stories at night while our grandmother taught us language and numbers. Mother was more liberal and allowed us to go everywhere and do anything like western parents. While our grandmother would expect us to sit in a proper way, talk appropriately and learn about our culture and religion like Asian parents. Sometime while growing up, Bro & I had complaints with Grandma being rigidly strict and mom being too lenient. We would want to change the way they brought us up only to forget it the next waking hour. We also entertained a lot of guests and relatives who visited our grandparents almost every weekend. Our family circle is huge and even though we were not very fond of social visits during childhood, we are now proud of it.
Often we judge others parents depending on how we see them behaving with their kids. We have our own say in matters that are not even remotely personal to us. But believe me when I say this, you will not judge another parent after reading this book. It is so insightful and real that you feel grateful to your parents and proud of them for all they have done for you.
Here is a picture of Bro & I with our mothers :D. Most of the times we had whole family in the photo or just kids and I couldn’t remember four of us posing for our picture together. I was so glad to find this although I had to crop it ;).