Thursday, January 17, 2013

Book review: Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother

Battle hymn of the tiger
The sprout sings tale of adult tree grandeur
-Kannada proverb

During a time in India when the demarcating line between western and Indian culture is slowly fading, I came across a book which was much criticized by westerners. Amy Chua is a Chinese mother who presents a memoir of her strict parenting in this book which faced ridicule from many people. Being an Indian I wasn't much shocked at any of her methods.

Amy was a strict parent who allowed her kids to do nothing apart from their studies and music. Her daughters were not allowed most of the fun things which other American kids take for granted. But I didn't feel it's abnormal to not allow your kids sleepovers, play dates or silly tree/rock roles in school plays. My mother never allowed me to stay at a friend's place for longer than 8:30 p.m until my graduation days. I could hang out (attend sleepovers) with only 3 of my best friends whom my mom most trusted. We Indians accept it as a way of life for the reasons of safety ans status. The author Amy was a task master who put her daughters Sophia and Louisa (Lulu) through rigorous regular practice of Piano and Violin respectively in their childhood. Although the girls missed a few jabber at sleepovers they were groomed to be the best pianist and violinist. Amy's children became the child prodigies in their respective music fields achieving so much which even grown ups are left dreaming about.

Amy's methods are strict often bordering near tyranny, nevertheless this book is written in a sardonic tone with Amy indirectly mocking at her own methods and blowing most of the situations out of normalcy. When one finishes reading this book, a feeling of motivation lingers in mind. I couldn't help but accept capable of achieving anything I set my mind on. I got to think about few situations where I have out-rightly rebelled against my mom's suggestions and totally screwed up my chance at being awesome. This is a book not limited to just parenting but stretches to question unplanned living versus well planned one. It is shown that any big success comes by not taking an easy road but the one which demands time and energy.

This is a breezy read for anyone looking forward to indulge in a controversial book. The book has a major chunk of piano and violin lingo which puts off non-musical readers. For Indian crowd akin to watching strict parents guiding most of their children's life decisions, this book is not in the slightest bit controversial. This will prove to be yet another strict parent glorifying her children's lives.

I agree with the author's methods of parenting which give children all the necessary education in hard work, dedication, importance of winning and of course setting high expectations and meeting them.

My takeaway from the book:
Complement passion with hard work and get myself the best of my own capabilities.

1 comment:

  1. Read the book .. and I am not so convinced. will write about it.