When I find myself in search of a new book I pop on over to Goodreads for inspiration. One day while poking around, I came across a book with a cow on the front encircled by flowers. Intrigued (and judging a book by its cover…) I clicked on it to read further and found it was a memoir. After reading a passage about an impatient cow standing diagonally to fit in an elevator, I immediately put it on hold.
The Milk Lady of Bangalore: An Unexpected Adventure (DB 9219) by Shoba Marayan is a delightful true story about the author moving from NY back to India with her family. Shoba strikes up a bond with the milk lady across the street, Sarala, and dives into the world of cows. Cows in India are sacred, something Shoba grew up with, so it’s no surprise when she starts to drink fresh cow’s milk, use cow urine in her diet and hunt for the perfect cow for Sarala. Shoba’s desire to buy a cow starts an unexpected adventure for the two women that educates the reader in Indian culture and how they view the relationship between animals and humans.
One of the things I enjoyed most about the book was the bond between the two women. We’ve all had that friend we ask for advice and then argue with them about their answer, even though we know they’re right. In other words we trust them complicity and value there guidance, if somewhat reluctantly. I read this book as a pallet cleanser before bed, it served as both a way to celebrate a good day and help recover from a bad one. The story was told with such love that it felt like a friend I was checking in on. Even through the teary moments, Shoba’s witty humor kept me enthralled through the entire book. Highly recommend this as your next read.