When life begins with two strikes against you, it can be a struggle. Rabia Chaudry, now a respected attorney and author, recaptures years of anxiety about her weight and being taunted by her Pakistani immigrant family about her darker complexion when fair was favored. Despair, never a word in her vocabulary, is cast aside to be replaced with humor as her memoir recalls life as an outsider at school and college, a failed first marriage and a second lastingly successful one.
The author tackles her weight problem one way after another: diets, exercise, a tighter than tight body suit, eventually a tummy tuck with an unexpected aftermath. Food dominates so many scenes, from the first pages when she admits learning to read at age four from the initials of the fast-food chains … Arby’s, Burger King, Coca Cola, Dairy Queen…
Taking a break from scolding herself, readers are treated to tales of lengthy visits to Pakistan enjoying her affectionate, often contentious extended family, sometimes perhaps more enjoyable as an onlooker than a participant. Fatty Fatty Boom Boom captures lifestyles in contemporary, urban Pakistan with its packed street markets, inviting crowded restaurants serving distinctive dishes, a special culture seen from a twofold perspective.