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The Milk Lady of Bangalore

An Unexpected Adventure

by Shoba Narayan

The Milk Lady of Bangalore by Shoba Narayan X
The Milk Lady of Bangalore by Shoba Narayan
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  • Published in USA  Jan 2018
    272 pages
    Genre: Biography/Memoir

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There are currently 25 member reviews
for The Milk Lady of Bangalore
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  • Shirin M. (Beverly Hills, CA)


    And the real milk lady is ...
    A well-researched, entertaining, and charming read that captures the melding of the old and new as the author delves into the significance of cows and milk in Indian religion and culture. The journalistic skills of the author are evident as she reports on her quest to buy a cow. Humor, sensitivity and respect run deep as Narayan explores her return to India and the friendship that ensues with the neighborhood milk lady. Filled with cultural, historic and scientific details that seamlessly blend with human relationships makes it an enticing read. A welcome addition to any library.
  • Gail B. (Albuquerque, NM)


    Going Home to India
    Expat and long-time resident of New York City, Shoba Narayan returns to her native home in southern India. As she moves into her new apartment, she is preceded into the elevator by the neighborhood cow, there to attend another resident's housewarming. Thus begins her unlikely friendship with Sarala, the Milk Lady of Bangladore, and a series of essays about the dairy industry and cow worship in India -- some serious, others irrepressibly funny -- like asking a cow if it had good new for the two cow-mothers (Sarala and Shoba), to which the cow nods vigorously.
  • Jan T. (Leona Valley, CA)


    The Milk Lady of Bangalore
    Very enjoyable. The story revolves around a woman who had moved back to India after 20 years in New York and her relationship with the neighborhood milk lady and her cows. Very vivid descriptions of India, its people and the relationship with cows. At times laugh out loud funny. The relationships with a variety of Indians from relatives to street sellers is fascinating. I would highly recommend this book!
  • Sharon P. (San Diego, CA)


    Fun, interesting and touching! Who doesn't love cows?
    I thought this was a fabulous, fun read. I learned so much about southern Indian culture, not to mention how much I learned about cows. I have a whole new appreciation for bovines and their milk nectar. I chuckled, I smiled, I even had a tear in my eye once or twice. I'm so glad I read this book and highly recommend it.
  • Maria Kronfeld


    A delightfully unexpected adventure!
    Shoba Narayan approaches her new life in Bangalore with expansive curiosity and lively self-awareness. She’s game for anything and shares her enthusiasm with unpredictable results. When she takes her daughter to milk a cow, the “ten-year-old screams like she has been shot” when the cow defecates. When Narayan proudly tells her sophisticated neighbors that the milk in their coffee is from the cows across the street, her guests “sputter and spit out the contents of their mouths into their cups.”

    There is pathos too: her blessing of a dying dog is so beautifully moving, I wrote it out to use in that sad and inevitable situation.

    Narayan blends memoir and investigative reporting so adroitly you don’t realize you’re learning something until you hear yourself explaining to friends how the quality of milk is different from cow to cow.

    Narayan neither romanticizes nor patronizes those she encounters. She embraces the Indian ethos of dualism: her friendship with the illiterate Sarala is both burden and privilege. Sarala needs Narayan’s help to buy a new cow; Narayan benefits spiritually and culturally from her time with Sarala. And we benefit most of all, immersing ourselves into lives so different from our own without leaving the comfort of our homes.

    N.B. If you read this book, you will want a cow.
  • Jill E. (Albuquerque, NM)


    Traditions
    When you live in a different country than where you were born,how do you share your heritage? Shoiba and her husband return to Bangalore, India so that their children would become closer to their grandparents and cousins. The children experience not only the closeness of their relatives but also their traditions. The history and meaning behind their reverence for cows is related through the friendship of Sarula and the Milk Lady. It is told in a wise yet humorous way which enlightens the readers about this unique tradition.
  • Diane S. (Batavia, IL)


    The Milk Lady
    Moving back to India, after twenty years in the states, the first thing Shoba encounters is a woman with a cow, in the elevator of the apartment building in which she and her family are moving. This is her first introduction to Sarala who will soon be her introduction to all things cow.

    Who would ever think a book about cows, their urine and dung, their milk and the benefits from drinking it straight from said cow, to be so fascinating? Yet,I was, I loved this story, loved the people in it, and loved reading about the vibrant and colorful country of India. The importance of cows in the Indian culture, and how this came to be. The many uses of cow urine and dung. So much about their culture, their traditions, and the importance of family. So yes, it is about cows, but it encompasses so much more.

    Loved the friendly tone, like the writer is talking to you, explaining to you. Not at all snooty, just wanting to learn, understand, and embrace all that she can. Also explains some of the differences between those who hold with the old traditions, and the young people who now want to be modern. Generational gap. So friendship, family, and cows. Loved it!

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