Shoba Narayan decides to move her family back to India from Manhattan, New York. She immediately is caught up in the traditional Indian culture when she encounters a cow in the elevator to her new apartment and invites it inside. Accompanying the cow is the milk lady, Sarala, who will eventually become a new friend to her. Cow blessings are important to Shoba and she can’t wait to share this with her children and husband as she grins and feels right at home. Through her daily encounters with Sarala, as she gets her morning milk, Shoba learns more about cows than she ever thought possible. Trying to help her friend, Shoba goes on a mission with Sarala and her son to buy a cow after one was killed after wandering off into the busy street. She meets people willing to sell their cows for very high prices that the milk lady’s family cannot afford. Through these people she learns the medical claims about the miracles of cow urine and cow dung. Shoba shares this new knowledge with her mother in law, who is always willing to try new remedies. But what about the cow?
Not quite knowing what to expect, I found this novel to be written with humor and constantly entertaining. The author, a writer familiar with culture and travel, easily explained cultural specific nuances. Shoba’s love for her country is eloquently described. I never thought a story about a cow could be so entertaining. The Milk Lady of Bangalore is an absorbing book and readers are likely to not notice the hours flying by. This is truly an enjoyable read.