American desis story of success & sensibility


WASHINGTON: Even accounting for their outsized accomplishments in the US, the current academic year has been an outstanding one for Indian-American kids. From a 17-year old high-schooler who was accepted at all eight Ivy League schools (she finally chose Harvard) to an 16-year old who graduated with eight degrees, with the usual clutch of awards and prizes, ‘desi’ kids have aced it all, giving new meaning to the term ABCD. Its not ‘American-Born Confused Desi anymore; more like ‘America-Born Consummate Diaspora.

The rousing success has given rise to the familiar debate about whether there is a “tigerish” aspect to Indian parenting, taking off from Amy Chuas book ‘Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mom’ on hyper-disciplining parents. Are parents putting too much pressure on todays children generating an ultra-competitive environment? Are children growing up uni-dimen- sional with nothing but academics on their plate? Most of all, are they — both children and parents — happy?

“The pressure is not on the kids but on us parents…its their passion that is driving us exclaimed Taji Abraham, the proud mother of Tanishq Abraham, who graduated from the American River Community College in Sacramento, California, on Thursday with three degrees — at age 11. We wanted him to be like everyone else, but he wanted to be a college student when he was seven and we had to put in a lot of work to keep pace with him.”


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