When the author Shoba moves back to Bangalore from Manhattan with her family, she befriends the woman she buys fresh milk from every day. Over time the two—from vastly different backgrounds—bond over not only cows but also family, food, and life.
When Shoba agrees to buy the woman a new cow (why not, she needs one and Shoba can afford it), they set out looking for just the right candidate. What was at first a simple economic transaction becomes much more complicated—though never without a hint of slapstick. When Shoba starts dreaming of cows, a little ayurvedic medicine is in order (cow urine tablets, anyone?). When Shoba offers her neighbours fresh cow’s milk, we learn about the uses of milk in our culture. When Shoba wants a cow to bless her house, the spiritual and historical role the animal plays in India is explored. And when the newly purchased cow has a male calf, Shoba must find it shelter.
In this delightful true story, readers are treated to an insider’s of view of India and the special place cows hold here. Equally, The Cows of Bangalore offers a window into our universal connection with food and its sources, the intricacies of female friendship, and our relationship with all creatures great and small.
Shoba Narayan writes about food, travel, fashion, art, and culture for many publications, including Conde Nast Traveler, TheFinancial Times, The New York Times, and Saveur. Her column for Mint Lounge, an Indian business daily affiliated with the Wall Street Journal, runs weekly and she was previously the Hinduism columnist for Beliefnet.com. Her commentaries have aired on NPR’s All Things Considered. Narayan is the author of Monsoon Diary: A Memoir with Recipes, which was a finalist for a James Beard Award. Her essay ‘The God of Small Feasts’ won the James Beard Foundation’s MFK Fisher Distinguished Writing Award.
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