The Milk Lady of Bangalore by Shoba Narayan

The Milk Lady of Bangalore

The elevator door opens. A cow stands inside, angled diagonally to fit. It doesn’t look uncomfortable, merely impatient. “It is for the housewarming ceremony on the third floor,” explains the woman who stands behind the cow, holding it loosely with a rope. She has the sheepish look of a person caught in a strange situation who is trying to act as normal as possible. She introduces herself as Sarala and smiles reassuringly. The door closes. ...

Details The Milk Lady of Bangalore

TitleThe Milk Lady of Bangalore
Release DateJan 23rd, 2018
PublisherAlgonquin Books
GenreAutobiography, Memoir, Nonfiction, Cultural, India, Travel, Animals, Biography Memoir

Reviews The Milk Lady of Bangalore

  • Diane S ☔
    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...
  • megs_bookrack
    I adored this book! As memoirs go - top, top notch - super interesting and engaging! The Milk Lady of Bangalore took me completely by surprise. I had no idea what this was going to be like and within the first few pages I was hooked. Narayan, a journalist by trade, writes in such a pleasing way. To me, it flows like you are sitting for coffee with a friend and she is telling you a very detailed story. I couldn't put this one down and ended up rea...
  • Jenna
    What an absolutely charming memoir! In The Milk Lady of Bangalore, Shoba Narayan tells of moving back to India with her family after 2o years in the United States. She quickly befriends her milk lady Sarala, a generous and deeply superstitious woman who raises cows within the immense city of Bangalore, supporting her family by selling the milk. When Sarala needs another cow, she entices Shoba to help her purchase another.I learned quite a lot abo...
  • Kate Olson
    Some books enter into my life for the simple purpose of making me a more informed world citizen, and I am all for that. However, THE MILK LADY OF BANGALORE 100% did that, but also did the almost impossible and utterly charmed and entertained me at the same time. Narayan has taken a topic that seems to be incredibly simple (the life of the milk lady across the street from her apartment building), and has woven it into not just a rich look at life ...
  • Virginia Myers
    This book was not what I expected. I saw in Book Browse that it was categorized as a "biography/memoir" and I somehow expected something different than what this book turned out to be. I thought it would be more of the typical type of memoir about some part of the author's life with a little informative data about Indian cows. It turned out to mostly about milk and cows interwoven into a little bit of the typical memoir type stuff. I did enjoy re...
  • Booknblues
    What a true delight it was for me to read The Cows of Bangalore: Adventures with My Milk Lady by Shoba Narayan. It is the story of an American immigrant who returns to her home country of India in middle age with her husband and two daughters. It was an interesting and eye opening view of India, especially its relationship to cattle. Shoba is a well-to-do Indian who makes friends with a local milk lady, who she first meets when moving into her ap...
  • Rana
    Dude. Who knew cows could be so fucking fascinating? I spent almost as much time googling images of native Indian cows as I did reading. A near perfect blend of memoir and cultural and historical facts.
  • Nicole Means
    Wow! “The Milk Lady if Bangalore” transported me back to 2010 when I had the pleasure of spending over a week in Bangalore. I only wish this book had been written then because the author provides so much insight into the ubiquitous cow found on the streets of Bangalore. Upon first spotting the cow, the tourist can be found staring with his/her mouth agape, but after several days, the cow is such a “normal” part of Bangalore, that the tour...
    Thank you for selecting me as a winner in the giveaway.I really enjoyed this book - I have learned so much about cows and much of what I learned was enchanting !This book tells the story of an Indian woman who has lived in NY for 20 years who decides to move back to India with her family and the relationship she develops with the woman who sells her milk directly from her herd of cows.As an animal rights person I was very happy to know that there...
  • Karen
    **Note: I received a free ebook copy of The Milk Lady of Bangalore in from NetGalley in exchange for a review.****Spoilers ahead.**Through the theme of milk, author Shoba Narayan unexpectedly brings together aspects of modern India that I've never encountered in other works. And I say this as someone who briefly lived in India and who reads a great amount of Indian literature. This story spans a number of years after Narayan and her husband, both...
  • Amy Layton
    I didn’t expect to love this book so much or learn that much about milk from it. Not to mention, of course, the way India as a whole tends to treat cows, and why, and what they like to do not only with the milk, but urine and feces as well. Talk about versatile functionality!Written with Narayan’s journalistic expertise, this book truly makes India come to life. Its social groupings, expectations, and lifestyle all converge to create a colorf...
  • Jess Johnson
    Not my cup of tea cow urine. There were parts of this book I found delightful -- particularly the insight into Indian culture both past and present. That said, I found the narrator problematic. It felt like she couldn't decide if she or the milk lady were the protagonist and she ended up keeping both subjects at arm's length. We only really get close to her with (view spoiler)[the death of her dog (hide spoiler)] which felt really out of place fr...
  • Beth Ann
    This was a delightful read! The cow in the elevator reminded me of baby camels in the back of a pickup I saw in Saudi Arabia. Ms Narayan has one foot in the States and one in India. That coupled with her language skills allow a glimpse into Indian life that one would never get just from visiting. She also generously sprinkles historical and cultural nuggets into the story to make it even more interesting.This book is about cows but really so much...
  • Lee
    The price of milk, the price of cows, and the price of friendship, all are suberbly explored in this book. Some basis in fact, I believe, and Ms. Nayaran’s mischievious sense of humor enlivens the narrative. Her research regarding the customs and traditions about cows, languages, and other ‘only in India’ information was a great plus. I thought the first half of the book could have been tightened a bit so a 4.5 rather than a solid 5. Hearti...
  • Renée (bookishblissandbeauty)
    *An advanced reader ebook copy was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*I loved reading Narayan's unique perspective on Indian culture. Though raised in India, Narayan spent 20 years in the U.S. before moving back with her husband and two children. Thus she can see Indian culture as both an insider and an outsider. I think this provides a great access point for readers like myself who are not Indian or Indian A...
  • Hayley
    This book suffers from a few things.1. I *suspect* that Narayan got a book deal for this idea, and then had to follow through, because the relationship she has with Sarala seems so forced at times! It's not a friendship, it's a business relationship, but it always seems like Narayan wants it to be more than that. But then she pulls away, or Sarala pulls away. It's an awkward dance and it never quite falls into place, even at the end when the auth...
  • Kristen
    When our author, Shoba Narayan, moves home to Bangalore after spending 20 years in the United States, she moves into a nice apartment building with her family and then her life intersects with Sarala (who she meets in an elevator with a cow), the urban dairy farmer who comes to sell fresh milk in her neighborhood. The friendship that unfolds is delightful, absorbing, complicated, hysterical, and loving. It was a gift to be invited into the circle...
  • Robert Yokoyama
    Shoba Narayan describes a part of India that I would love to visit. She is New York educated journalist but was born and raised in India. She moved with her family to Bangalore so she could reconnect to her Indian culture. Bangalore is a place where people of different religious beliefs can peacefully coexist. I never thought a person from a Christian faith and a person from the Hindu faith would ever get married without receiving scorn. I would ...
  • Mary
    Interesting perspective and look at life in India via a journalist raised in India, who spent 20 years in America and then returned.
  • Sandy
    I’m lactose intolerant yet here I am reading a book about cows and milk. Hum? I thought this novel sounded interesting and that is why I asked to read it and interesting is what I got. I found out a great deal about cows but I also got an interesting story about a woman who packed up her family and took them back to India. Both Narayan and her husband were from India and they had family there. Looking out the window of her apartment one morning...
  • Stephanie
    When the author moved back to India after years of living in the US, she had some cultural adjustments to make (even though she had lived there as a child and still had a lot of family there). One person who helped her was the woman who parked herself and her cows on the sidewalk outside the author's apartment building every morning to sell fresh milk. Quick, easy read and I learned stuff about cows. :) And a little about India.
  • Jayeeta
    For this one, I was split between a 2 star and 4 star. This book was weird in several different ways. Firstly, who writes a book on cows? And then who reads it? :PIt felt like the author was fairly obsessed with her new found love/respect/info-overload on cows and she wanted to share it with the world. Her audience was clearly lives in the US but ironically those are the bunch of folks who will not relate to her story-telling. I'm not sure if I l...
  • Joan
    If you all were expecting a review of this book, sorry but it took me awhile to really process it. I knew cows were sacred in India, but I had no idea it was so profound. The author develops a relationship with a milk lady in India, and I guess since they're not many milk ladies, it's special. This book went through all ways cows effect people and people effect cows I guess. If a cow defacates in a new house, it's considered blessed, drinking the...
  • Madhusree
    I loved this book. I learned a whole lot about the holy cow. It is even funnier because I read it in Wisconsin- America's Dairyland. The return home of an Indian woman from America & her complete absorption in to India- its obsession with cows& her breathless research into breeds, religion as it relates to the cow was a pleasant, quick, informative read.
  • Lois
    This non-fiction gives lot of information on life in India. It helped me understand why the cow is sacred to Hindus and how this impacts life. I read this for Book-browse and was given a pre-publication copy. Had I not agreed to read this book, I am not sure I would have continued. I would have enjoyed more narrative than this book allows, but did learn a lot from reading it.
  • Lewestover
    Somewhat entertaining, very informative about Indian culture and cows, but not a book that I would recommend or read again.
  • devrah lawver
    Very well written, and I certainly learned a lot about cows...
  • Siddhant Jain
    This book is so endearingly cute. Author's relationship with her milk-lady reminds me of the countless such relationships I have seen in India and it was fun to read about her interactions with Sarala. I found this book randomly in a library in Pittsburgh and checked it out on a whim. Ended up finishing it in almost one reading. So, go ahead and give this a read, it won't waste your time and will probably leave you with a lot of cow trivia as a s...
  • Margaret
    This is an interesting read if you want to learn more about Indian culture, particularly in the area of Bangalore. The author grew up in India, but moved to the U.S. for college, and then stayed for 20 years. When her parents and in-laws became elderly, she moved back. Much of the book is about her developing relationship with the milk lady who milks cows and sells their milk across the street from where the author and her family live.
  • Kate
    So. Much. Cow. Information. Less memoir, more informational in my book. Titling it "an unexpected adventure" seems a bit like hyperbole as nothing too crazy adventurous appears to happen. Informational and semi interesting, but could be advertised differently. Also, not a huge fan on how the author's reflections on those poorer than her.