Shoba Narayan knows she is really back home again when she meets a cow in a lift in her apartment building in Bangalore. After 20 years in the US, the cow and Sarala, the cow's owner, prove to be the perfect entry point for reacclimatising to life in India. Having the cow 'bless' her apartment in a Hindu ritual is just the first step to a burgeoning friendship with Sarala, and an exploration of the complex role cows play in India.
Employing journalistic expertise and the unique observations of a returning citizen, this gentle and humorous memoir immerses the reader in the richness of Indian culture, especially its bovine veneration.
We enjoyed the entertaining writing style and insight into Indian traditions.
Got a little bit boring after a while. Somewhat interesting.
Delightful read. Very informative as well as entertaining. Highly recommended.
An intriguing look at Indian culture, and cows in particular. We felt we learnt a lot, and there was discussion about NZ dairy farming and the treatment of cows here. The discussion questions were very helpful.
A small group at the meeting, but members unanimously agreed they LOVED the book. A great insight into Indian life, rural and urban. All felt they learned a great deal about Indian (Hindu) culture, and their reasons for revering the cow. A1/A2 milk stimulated a great discussion.
Most of our members really enjoyed reading the book - depicting a totally different lifestyle to our own. Clever quotations were read to the group and we all laughed. However, one did NOT enjoy this book - not sure if she read all the book.
Easy read, interesting to learn about all the different types of cows and a different culture.
An enjoyable little book, written by an interesting lady. Having lived in India and America, she was able to give us a real insight into life on various levels in India today - its history, culture, beliefs, and how they affect the people's day-to-day lives in city and country. Cows and all their uses, food and recipes, language, traditions, customs, rituals, religion, business - it's all in there! Very good notes, and good discussion.
Very different in subject matter from our usual selections. Well-written, easy to read, episodic in structure so most of us read it in installments. Fascinating details about Indian culture, Hinduism and folklore. Several will change to A2 milk as a result of reading this book.
From a dairy-farming district, there was plenty to discuss about cows! It was an education on the use of ALL cow products that are used in India. Also discussed the relevance of heritage in our lives.
Our group all enjoyed this book.
Great book. Learnt much about Hinduism and cows, and had a good laugh.
A charming tale, but not a lot of enthusiasm for this book!
Most of our group enjoyed this despite it being a bit slow to get into. We enjoyed being made aware of such a different culture.
We all enjoyed this book and it was great to read it during the lockdown. The book was very interesting and we all learnt a lot about Indian culture and relationships. The history of milk along with the myths was informative.
The depiction of life in India, the customs and beliefs and the importance of the cow was interesting and at times amusing but some felt it was repetitive and a few got bored with it. Members who were familiar with India tended to enjoy this more than others. 3 out of our 12 members rated it as one of their best books while 2 rated it as below average and the rest gave it an average rating.