The Milk Lady of Bangalore Summary and Reviews

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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About this book

Book Summary

In this charming true story, the bond between two unforgettable women leads to a humorous and insightful exploration of India, cows, food, culture, class—and our deep connection to the animals who live among us.

When Shoba Narayan, a writer and cookbook author who had lived for years in Manhattan, moves back to Bangalore with her family, she befriends the milk lady, from whom she buys fresh milk every day. These two women from very different backgrounds bond over not only cows, considered holy in India, but also family, food, and life. After Narayan agrees to buy her milk lady a new cow (she needs one and Narayan can afford it, so why not?), they set off looking for just the right cow.

What was at first a simple economic transaction becomes something much more complicated, though never without a hint of slapstick. When Narayan starts dreaming of cows, a little Ayurvedic medicine is in order. (Cow urine tablets, anyone?) When Narayan offers her surprised neighbors fresh cow's milk, we learn about the place of milk in Indian culture. When Narayan wants a cow to bless her house, the spiritual and historical role that cows play in India is explored.

The Milk Lady of Bangalore is a window into our universal connection to food and its sources, the intricacies of female friendship, and our relationship to all animals.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Shoba Narayan offers a surprisingly fresh understanding of everyday life in the land of the sacred cow, overflowing with the daily contradictions and ironies that India so richly offers up to the discerning eye, in a wonderfully eloquent generational saga, intertwined with milk, dung and Uber." - Raju Narisetti, CEO, Gizmodo, and former managing editor of The Washington Post

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More Information

More Information

Shoba Narayan writes about food, travel, fashion, art, and culture for many publications, including Conde Nast Traveler, the Financial Times, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, Town & Country, Food & Wine, Saveur, Newsweek, and House Beautiful. She writes a weekly column for Mint Lounge, an Indian business daily, which is affiliated with the Wall Street Journal. Her commentaries have aired on NPR's All Things Considered. Narayan is the author of Monsoon Diary: A Memoir with Recipes, and her essay "The God of Small Feasts" won the James Beard Foundation's MFK Fisher Distinguished Writing Award.

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