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The milk lady of Bangalore : an unexpected adventure / Shoba Narayan.

By: Narayan, ShobaMaterial type: TextTextPublisher: Chapel Hill, North Carolina : Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 2019Copyright date: ©2019Edition: First paperback editionDescription: xxi, 259 pages ; 21 cmContent type: text Media type: unmediated Carrier type: volumeISBN: 9781616208677 paperbackSubject(s): Narayan, Shoba -- Friends and associates | Street vendors -- India -- Biography | Female friendship -- India -- Bangalore | Community life -- India -- Bangalore | Cows -- India | Human-animal relationships -- India | Milk trade -- India -- Bangalore | India -- Social life and customsGenre/Form: Autobiographies. DDC classification: 390.0954 Summary: When Shoba Narayan - who has just returned to India with her husband and two daughters after years in the United States - asks whether said cow might bless her apartment next, it is the beginning of a beautiful friendship between our author and Sarala, who also sells fresh milk right across the street from that thoroughly modern apartment building. The two women connect over not only cows but also family, food, and life. When Shoba agrees to buy Sarala a new cow, they set off looking for just the right heifer, and what was at first a simple economic transaction becomes something much deeper, though never without a hint of slapstick. The Milk Lady of Bangalore immerses us in the culture, customs, myths, religion, sights, and sounds of a city in which the twenty-first century and the ancient past coexist like nowhere else in the world. It's a true story of bridging divides, of understanding other ways of looking at the world, and of human connections and animal connections, and it's an irresistible adventure of two strong women and the animals they love.
Holdings
Item type Current library Collection Call number Status Date due Barcode Item holds
Biographies Gonville Library
Non-Fiction
Non-Fiction B NAR Checked out 15/06/2022 T00816912
Total holds: 0

Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

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. I shake my head and suppress a grin. It is good to be back.

When Shoba Narayan--who has just returned to India with her husband and two daughters after years in the United States--asks whether said cow might bless her apartment next, it is the beginning of a beautiful friendship between our author and Sarala, who also sells fresh milk right across the street from that thoroughly modern apartment building. The two women connect over not only cows but also family, food, and life. When Shoba agrees to buy Sarala a new cow, they set off looking for just the right heifer, and what was at first a simple economic transaction becomes something much deeper, though never without a hint of slapstick.

The Milk Lady of Bangalore immerses us in the culture, customs, myths, religion, sights, and sounds of a city in which the twenty-first century and the ancient past coexist like nowhere else in the world. It's a true story of bridging divides, of understanding other ways of looking at the world, and of human connections and animal connections, and it's an irresistible adventure of two strong women and the animals they love.

"Includes a new interview with the author"--Page 4 of cover.

Includes bibliographical references (pages 251-252).

When Shoba Narayan - who has just returned to India with her husband and two daughters after years in the United States - asks whether said cow might bless her apartment next, it is the beginning of a beautiful friendship between our author and Sarala, who also sells fresh milk right across the street from that thoroughly modern apartment building. The two women connect over not only cows but also family, food, and life. When Shoba agrees to buy Sarala a new cow, they set off looking for just the right heifer, and what was at first a simple economic transaction becomes something much deeper, though never without a hint of slapstick. The Milk Lady of Bangalore immerses us in the culture, customs, myths, religion, sights, and sounds of a city in which the twenty-first century and the ancient past coexist like nowhere else in the world. It's a true story of bridging divides, of understanding other ways of looking at the world, and of human connections and animal connections, and it's an irresistible adventure of two strong women and the animals they love.

Table of contents provided by Syndetics

  • Prologue (p. xix)
  • Part 1
  • 1 The Cows-and Humans-Come Home (p. 3)
  • 2 Bangalore (p. 15)
  • 3 Milking the Milk Story for My Neighbors (p. 26)
  • 4 Farm to Table, Udder to Butter (p. 39)
  • 5 The Myths Around Milk (p. 51)
  • 6 Are You Happy? (p. 65)
  • 7 Embracing Humility, Humanity ... and Guilt (p. 75)
  • 8 If You Don't Like the Milk, Change Your Cow (p. 83)
  • 9 Land of a Million Cows (p. 94)
  • 10 The Scatological Remnants of a Cow (p. 102)
  • 11 Cow Manure for the Garden (p. 114)
  • Part 2
  • 12 My Milk Woman Has a Proposition (p. 129)
  • 13 A Cow as a Birthday Gift? (p. 139)
  • 14 Cause and Collateral (p. 151)
  • 15 To Market, to Market, to Buy a Fat Cow (p. 158)
  • 16 The Cattle Fair (p. 171)
  • 17 Buying a Cow (p. 188)
  • 18 A Calf (p. 202)
  • 19 The Cow Hotel (p. 214)
  • 20 Finding a Bride (p. 223)
  • 21 Three Weddings and a Passing (p. 234)
  • Postscript (p. 243)
  • Acknowledgments (p. 245)
  • Selected Reading (p. 251)

Reviews provided by Syndetics

Library Journal Review

Writer and cookbook author Narayan grew up in the Indian capital of Chennai and has spent most of her adult life in New York City. As her parents and in-laws grow older, the author and her husband decide to move their family to Bangalore to be closer to them. Settling into her new home, Narayan begins to buy milk from Sarala, the local milk lady, whose small herd grazes in the city. Sarala and Narayan become friends, and as their relationship develops, Narayan's involvement with and interest in the cows increases. While Narayan never loses sight of her own privileged position, even as she navigates the intricacies of caste and class in modern-day India, her stories radiate with compassion. Living in Bangalore, the author's Western sensibilities are met with both delight and inconvenience, and she revels in relating her experiences on the page. VERDICT An absolute joy to read. Through her close encounters with the bovine kind, Narayan shows how Indian traditions are incorporated into contemporary ways of life. (Memoir, 10/20/17)-RD © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Booklist Review

Narayan is an Indian native who immigrated to the U.S. as a young adult, married, and gave birth to two children in New York City. After 20 successful years together, Shoba and her husband decided they missed home. They wanted their children to understand their heritage and know their grandparents. So they moved back to Bangalore. When the family is greeted by a cow in the elevator of their new apartment building, Shoba's fascination with India's cow-fever begins. Before long, Shoba is buying milk directly from the cow, courtesy of the milk lady, Sarala, who sells her wares across the street. When one of Sarala's cows is struck by a truck, Sarala asks Shoba to buy her another one, thus beginning the author's adventures in picking out the perfect cow. Narayan's memoir explores many of the ways that cows are essential to life in India. 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.--Brock, Emily Copyright 2017 Booklist

Kirkus Book Review

A culture writer and cookbook author leaves New York City to reconnect with her roots in this humorous and heartwarming story about cows, Indian culture, and the strength of female friendship.Despite being born and raised in India, Narayan (Monsoon Diary: A Memoir with Recipes, 2003, etc.) spent most of her adult life in New York. With her parents and in-laws beginning to age, she decided to pack up and relocate her entire family to Bangalore as a way to be closer to her older loved ones and to reconnect herself and her children to their cultural roots. Everything about their new home seemed different from the familiar comforts of New York, but one thing stood out more than anything else in her new world: India's sacred cows and the people who care for themparticularly, a local milk lady named Sarala who grazed her small herd of cows across the street from Narayan's new home. When Narayan decided to take the plunge and buy Sarala's fresh milk after doing weeks of intensive online and anecdotal research on the subject, the two formed a fast friendship based on their deep personal connection to their shared Indian roots, love of family, interest in food, and, most of all, desire to find just the right cow for Narayan to purchase for Sarala. At once sincere and laugh-out-loud funny, this memoir chronicles a genuine bond between two remarkable women that transcends class, culture, and privilege. In this beautiful examination of the differences between Eastern and Western cultures as told through the eyes of a writer who is uniquely qualified to comment on both, Narayan's rich and evocative writing transports readers to the busy streets of Bangalore and a fully formed picture of modern India that includes cow urine tablets, bus crashes, and many different kinds of milk.A witty and tender story that endears readers to Indian culture and one of their most sacred symbols, the cow. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

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