The Milk Lady of Bangalore

An Unexpected Adventure

By Shoba Narayan

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.

In this charming true story about two women and the animal they share, readers are treated to an insider’s of view of India. The Milk Lady of Bangalore is also 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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Meet the Author
Shoba Narayan headshot

Shoba Narayan

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Review quotes
“An absolute joy to read. Through her close encounters with the bovine kind, Narayan shows how Indian traditions are incorporated into her contemporary way of life.”
Library Journal, starred review

“Sincere and laugh-out-loud funny . . . Narayan’s rich and evocative writing transports readers to the busy streets of Bangalore and a fully formed picture of modern India.”
Kirkus Reviews

“Filled with the vivid colors, sights, and sounds of a vibrant and ancient culture, Narayan’s in-depth treatment of cow mythology is a beautiful ode to her motherland.”
Booklist

“Lovely, lighthearted . . . a journey through cultural mores and female friendship, as well as a look at the spiritual and historical part that cows play in India; an easy read that you can’t help but love.”
—Refinery29

“Anyone with the slightest interest in India or cows will find Narayan's memoir, with its myriad insights, a delight.”
Shelf Awareness

“The relationship that forms between Shoba Narayan and her milk lady is wildly funny, and completely real. It’s so rare to find friendships like this that cut across class.”
Arun Venugopal, host of WNYC's Micropolis

“Narayan imparts well-researched, intriguing, and sometimes humorous facts about the complex role of cows in Indian culture.”
—New York Journal of Books


“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  
Product Details
Categories
Number of pages
272
Publication date
January 23, 2018
ISBN
9781616206154
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