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The Milk Lady of Bangalore: An Unexpected Adventure
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September 2018: Friendship > The Milk Lady of Bangalore: An Unexpected Adventure by Shoba Narayan 5 stars

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Theresa | 8405 comments Absolutely delightful story of the friendship between the author, a NonResident Indian [NRI]who moves back to India to raise her family, and Sarala, an urban dairy farmer. It is also a wonderful microhistory of cows and dairy farming in contemporary Southern India. I loved this! It opens with the author meeting a cow and her owner, Sarala, the local milk lady, in the elevator of her new apartment building, and it just keeps entertaining to the last page. I did not want it to end.

The author and her family return to India from the USA to allow their children to grow up near family in the heart of their heritage. Soon after arriving, the narrator befriends the local dairy woman, learns much about the industry in modern India, and a great deal about the cows. A real friendship evolves, one that enriches both.

Like many westerners, I was aware that cows were sacred in India. During my travels in NW India in 2013, I had the opportunity to see many cows seemingly just wandering free everywhere. Yet until I read this, I did not appreciate the cow's intricate role in its culture, traditions, diet, history, and religion, to this day. Now I can't wait to return to India and perhaps meet a milk lady or two myself.

The book is structured much like Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life with sections of story alternating with information. I grew up on an active dairy farm and much of the daily life of Sarala and her cows was familiar to me, proving that there is a certain universality and timelessness to farming. Yet, I still learned a lot! Plus it was just a fun read!


Booknblues | 6866 comments So glad that you liked this. I found it delightful as well and thought it would work well for the friendship tag.


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