I finished this book in one go, so I felt that Amy Chua’s writing was simple and easy to read. She obviously wrote the book with a goal in mind, which was to highlight the differences between Chinese and Western parenting styles, and she does achieve this through her narration of how she brought up her two daughters, Sophia and Lulu.
The book itself did not inspire any emotion in me while I read it, which is perhaps what Amy Chua wants from the reader. This is not a book where the writer is pleading to the emotional side of the reader, or asking the reader not to judge her or her choices. I’m pretty sure Amy Chua was well aware of the kind of reactions she would get from people who didn’t share her style of parenting, especially “Western” parents. This is evident because she does occasionally comment on how another kind of parent would have made different choices than the ones she has. She acknowledges that but she is never apologetic or defensive about the ones she made.
So a lot of people have asked me what the word ‘Squibble’ means. Until now, I had mistakenly believed that it was a word made-up (by yours truly) but I decided to check what Urban Dictionary has to say about the meaning and this is what came up :
A combination of the words ‘scribble’ and ‘squib’ (a small firework) Hence – someone with an explosive personality who likes to write. Also a pun on quip, and quibble – a witty comment.
Isn’t that cool!?
And before you point out that it is the second definition – it’s the one I like best (for obvious reasons ) so this is what I am going to tell the next person who asks me what the word means!
In other news, I finally finished my final semester exams and am now officially unemployed or employable – whichever way you choose to look at it! I will be putting up a post soon on the kind of stuff I want to do, so watch out for that. In the meantime, you can head over to my Work page to take a look at my CV, and if you think you know of any part-time writing opportunities, please let me know.
I wrote this short story as part of my Writing Portfolio for college. I don’t usually write short stories, but I had a lot of fun writing this one. It contains a wee bit of swearing ( you can thank my limited knowledge of Hindi swear words), so be warned! Continue reading →
Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high;
Where knowledge is free;
Where the world has not been broken up
into fragments by narrow domestic walls;
Where words come out from the depth of truth;
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection;
Where the clear stream of reason
has not lost its way into the dreary desert sand of dead habit;
Where the mind is led forward by thee into ever-widening thought and action—
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.
- from Rabindranath Tagore’s ‘ Gitanjali ‘
I sit here in the middle of my exams, watching my country and my fellow citizens look like they have been jolted awake from a long, stagnant slumber. I watch my Facebook friends feed feverishly fill with recycled messages urging me to sign a petition/ go out into the streets / wear a Gandhi cap to an IPL match. I listen to attention-grabbing VJ’s and failed Bollywood ‘heroes’ tweet about pledging their support to ‘ANNA HAJARE’.
I wish I knew how genuine these efforts of ‘spreading the message’ are. I am not for a moment questioning Hazare’s intentions, I am just afraid that my media-savvy, technologically adept generation has become so used to rushing into the middle of something and moving on to the next with such speed that I, at 21, find it hard to keep pace with. I hope this isn’t one of those things that becomes ‘something we did last week, what shall we do this week?’ affairs.
Two days ago, I turned on my Kindle 2 (recently handed down to me after the ‘rents acquired a Kindle 3 – with a gorgeous new burgundy cover that I’m so in love with) to try to get through some boring, blah reading material for college. Instead, I see that at some point during the day, my father had put Wil Wheaton’s‘Just A Geek’ on it, which he had finished reading in one shot the night before.
Now, I’ve been a big fan of Wil Wheaton – not for the fact that he played Wesley Crusher, or for his blog – but for his adorable pet ‘tweets’ that he put up now and then. As a fellow pet owner, who also has dogs and a cat, I find myself relating to these quite a lot and I always find myself laughing out loud, thinking ‘I KNOW, RIGHT?’ every time he tweets about these pet ‘incidents’. So I thought, ok lets give this book a shot.
I was a film maker. I agonized over the story, the casting, the music, the editing. I spent a couple of evenings hiding in the editing room with my group, huddled up in front of the Mac as we fixed last minute glitches. There was even an evening where one nice member of the support staff let us stay on, on the condition that we needed to keep all the lights off as it was way past gate-shutting time. I sat on location with my shot-breakdown and screenplay, changing dialogues and re-changing them. I yelled and screamed when things didn’t make sense. The night before screening day, I didn’t sleep, I spent the night wondering what reactions we’d get. I cried when I watched my film being screened in front of a full auditorium. I felt pride when I heard the praises, and took deep breaths to calm myself down when I listened to the critics.