[PDF / Epub] ☁ Holy Cow: An Indian Adventure ✎ Sarah Macdonald – Motyourdrive.co.uk



10 thoughts on “Holy Cow: An Indian Adventure

  1. says:

    India as a giant spiritual supermarket Sarah Macdonald peruses the aisles and samples the product Jainism here, Judaism there, Hindus, Parsis, Buddhists, Sufis and Christians she samples all their wares And the book is just about as superficial as it sounds It is not about these religions although Sarah does try for some depth but about her experiences of them with some rather wacky people Both the magical gurus and the hippie types who sit at their feet and swoon.Sarah, like the adventuresome Australian she is, backpacks to India, has a crap time, leaves but meets an ugly old soothsayer who tells her she will come back to India and find lurrrrve And eleven years later she comes back with her boyfriend He works in broadcasting and is always off covering the latest insurrection and massacre with the high point being Afghanistan So to fill in the time she becomes a spiritual tourist shopping for the truth.Now this is the interesting part She really does see India as it seems to be, a society of great contrasts Whether it is between rich and poor, or the religions, the languages or the cultures everyone apart from those involved in insurrections and massacres meaning the ordinary people, just rub along together She goes to ashrams, temples, coffee shops in Nepal and other places of worship and attempts to learn the path about who we are and where we are going There isn t any universal path to be found, everyone has to make their own, or not bother me, the apatheist Quite a lot of these spiritual homes charge a lot of money for imposing fairly punishing regimes on Westerners who would seek the truth Religion is quite an industry in India.One of the funniest parts of the book is detailing the various people she meets I would never have guessed that the stonedest least spiritual tourists around are the Israelis who are considerably less precious than the sort of hippie type travellers she meets in the Hindu ashrams think Shantaram The most fanatical people are the Parsis, known as Zoroastrians in Iran, who are the most exclusive of exclusive types in the world No one can convert and no child that doesn t have both parents from the Parsee community is accepted The group she met saw the preservation of that exclusivity as the most important part of their culture and are willing to accept the problems of inbreeding that results from this Their other preoccupation is breeding vultures pollution seems to be killing them off so that their dead can be eaten by them in their traditional funeral rites.The book took me about six months to read I just couldn t get into it I kept it next to the stove in the kitchen and read a few pages when I had to stir something and as it went on it got interesting It helps that the author can write well It helps that she has a very strong, somewhat bolshy, opinionated personality, very Australian, and it was Sarah MacDonald, the author, who sucked me I wanted to know what she would do next much than I cared about the next.So three and a half stars rounded up to four because Sarah is just the sort of person you d love to go out to lunch with and amid the chatter she would tell you about how these a mazing people she met in India are coming to stay and would you like to meet them How about dinner Oh yes, you think, I ll bring a couple of bottles.


  2. says:

    I have to admit that I decided to read this book because it has a great cover I should have peeked a bit inside, though, because the cliched chapter titles would have kept me away Insane in the Membrane, Birds of a Feather Become Extinct Together, etc.Basically, this is the memoir of a selfish Australian woman s year in India She sees India as a filthy place full of disgusting people with intolerable cultural habits And she spends her free time while her husband is working in other cities or countries on news stories traveling around India in search of religion She seems to have a disdain for religion at the same time she seeks out religious celebrities and empty religious experiences.Perhaps I have negative feelings about the author s view of India because, when I was in India, all I felt was compassion and sadness for the poor around me What type of person sees poverty and is disgusted by it I guess it s this type of selfishness that also keeps her from giving a face and a personality to her husband in her writings.Edit I much prefer the attitude of the writer in this article concerning India


  3. says:

    Holy Cow by Sarah Macdonald is the author s condescending account of time she spent in India Her descriptions of what is actually a beautiful, rich, varied culture are narrow minded and written in a tone that makes it clear she considers herself superior to India and Indian people It s a shame that she didn t learn anything useful from her travels or absorb any of admirable values of Indian Hindu culture such as acceptance, open mindedness and respect for all beings.Last but not least, the cover image of Lord Shiva clad in sunglasses epitomizes the racism and ignorance that fill this book.


  4. says:

    If you have a lingering, romanticized desire to travel to India, this book will cure the crap out of that Krishna Does this woman tell it like it is the pollution, trash, urine, feces and dismembered body parts clogging up the Indian landscape and water ways Impossible traffic and hoards of desperate people pressing in on you from all sides, limping zombie lepers chasing you through dark alleys begging for coins, Indian men aggressively groping western women in public because they think all white women are sluts thanks, Hollywood I almost had several panic attacks while reading this book.The author, Sarah MacDonald didn t just travel to India for a month or two, she lived there for a year or two and traveled around, exploring as much of India as she could ashrams, Buddhist monasteries, the Kumbh Mela in Benares, hanging out with a Parsi family, celebrating Passover with some Israeli migr s, attending a Hindu wedding, and a dozen other adventures in various Indian locales Sarah has a background in journalism and it shows Sometimes her writing is stilted and leaves the reader wishing she would just drink a bunch of Feni and bare her soul for Ganesha s sake Many of Sarah s rants are hilarious and she has some good feminist sensibilities, but where was her editor Her editor should have rung all the tears and grit from this writer s soul onto the page and really pushed this book over the top One thing that seriously drove me nuts is that there is no map of India in this book WTF, Shiva MAJOR oversight considering that this book is classified as Travel Essays Travelogues Seriously, Random House, give me a call I liked this book a lot than I m letting on I might even read it again someday.


  5. says:

    I read the book while holidaying in Northern NSW The reason I read this book was because it was on the bookshelf in the holiday home we had for the week Also because it was supposed to talk about India from a Westerners perspective Let me put it out there this book is not a travelogue It is a miserable portrayal of a difficult to understand country by a selfish Australian woman A lot of what she passes off in the book is exaggeration In other words, fiction Do NOT use this book as a decision making tool for an Indian holiday Describing the book in just one word Patronising PS You could be at the wrong place at the wrong time ANYWHERE in the world I was mugged at a well lit train station in Westren Sydney.


  6. says:

    A good book that no one should take too seriously She actually starts off a selfish, egocentric woman aghast at the quality of Indian life and grows into a spiritual investigative journalist of sorts.I traveled to India this past year and her accounts from a western perspective are accurate But with time, the beauty of India reveals itself to travelers and she shares this with readers.It s a funny memoir that gives a cursory background of the spiritual religious forces existent in modern India.


  7. says:

    India with humor, the only way to take the country in stride This book captured the heart and the essence of India and its vast array of religions and cultures, all from the outsiders perspective I have read this book a few times and know I will read it again But, for a bigger treat, check out the audiobook A take on India and its many accents all with the drawl of an Australian accident This book made me laugh so hard while driving to assignments that I nearly wet my pants Perfect read for anyone that has been to India or plans to visit.


  8. says:

    If I could give a book negative stars, it would be this one This girl seemed to complain about everything she was experiencing in India I think I yelled at the book every chapter, GO HOME I read the whole thing hoping to witness her enlightenment and was highly disappointed If you want a book which will give you insight about India, read Motiba s Tattoos


  9. says:

    OK first up I haven t read this book and neither do I intend to The simple reason being that everything a westerner or an easterner for that matter had to say about the dichotomy of modern India, has been magnificently captured and related by and any book by William Dalrymple That s it Done You won t need anything else But the reason why I am writing this review is just one The issues Indians on this discussion board have with the book s cover. What is so strange weird unacceptable about seeing our Gods from another perspective I mean, he s wearing sunglasses for crying out loud It s not like they showed him smoking weed Which he smokes by the way..all the time..as per our own mythology or brandishing an AK 47 or any other weapon Oh..I see he has his ever present trident..never mind I am an Indian and I am a Hindu and I am completely fed up of people trying to act like they are God s personal SWAT team Hindu religion, just like every other religion, has had its fair share of unacceptable practices which have gradually been outlawed so please stop acting like everything has been picture perfect since the dawn of time We need to start taking things a little less seriously After all, religion is fiction isn t it Yup Deep down inside, somewhere in a a dark corner of your heart, you know there is no one out therebut that is another discussion and stop treating anything religious as taboo and not to be meddled with.Personally speaking, I would have loved to see him smoking weed Would have made him look a lot cooler


  10. says:

    I first read Holy Cow in 2006 or 2007 It was interesting to look at Indian diversity and idiosyncrasies through the eyes of an outsider who wanted to make sense of the chaos I loved it But in order to appreciate this book, you must have the ability to laugh at India s eccentricities It is one of the very few books which I have re read and enjoyed.Sarah Macdonald, an Australian journalist, broadcaster and presenter, did not like India on her first visit and never wanted to return But she returns to India after almost 11 years to be with her boyfriend Jonathan Haley Holy Cow is of a spiritual journey of the author which takes her through interesting experiences and people She writes right at the beginning India is Hotel California you can check out anytime you like, but you can never leave In her early days, her cynical self only finds the problems widespread poverty, no respect for time, no sense of space and privacy, people gawking at western women, dirt and filth, the unbearable heat, poor medical standards, etc., etc But soon she decides to make the best of her stay in India, since Jonathan was away most of the time for long duration owing to wok commitments Sarah s experiences were diverse finding anything but peace in the spiritual market of Rishikesh, brushes with death in the forms of earthquake and double pneumonia, making sense of the Indian marriage scene its close connection with family and honour , cleansing of mind and finding inner peace through Vipassana, learning about Sikhs and meeting a unique group of white Sikhs, grim realities of a paradise lost in Kashmir, experiencing Jewish rituals, getting blessed by Mata Amritanandamayi, meeting film stars, exploring Christianity at our Lady of Velangiri, to name a few.There are several such books by western travellers journalists explorers but Sarah Macdonald has a distinguished voice Some may find a few of her observations or comments offensive, but you must remember while reading this book, or any such book, that this is a personal journey of the author In this particular book, we find Sarah Macdonald transform from an atheist to someone who begins to enjoy the expansive spiritual roads India offers, its many religions At the end of it, she is humbled by India s accommodating culture, affectionate people, diversity and experiences At the end, if you really read it with an open mind, there is not a thing to offend She sounds a little conceited in the beginning but I think, it is purely to bring out the contrast in her transformation from someone not amused by the situation in India to someone who had begun to enjoy the organised chaos Few gems from the book About the Hindi she learnt from her teacher who scoffed at the use of street language When I thought I was asking a taxi driver to take me somewhere I was really saying, Kind sir, would thou mind perhaps taking me on a journey to this shop and I would be offering you recompense of this many rupees to do so, thank you frightfully humbly And I have been greeting filthy naked street urchins with, Excuse me, o soul one, but I m dreadfully sorry, I don t appear to have any change, my most humble of apologies These lines beautifully capture her thoughts on religion I realise I don t have to be a Christian who follows the church, or a Buddhist nun in robes, or a convert to Judaism or Islam or Sikhism I can be a believer in something bigger than what I can touch I can make a leap of faith to a higher power in a way that s appropriate to my culture but not be imprisoned by it She says about her trip to Pakistan I feel like I ve travelled between two divorced parents who are trying to outdo each other About war against AfghanistanThis war has shattered my Great Australian Dream the fantasy that I could be part of the world community with all its benefits but isolated enough to be safe and separate from its violence and brutality And finally, her thoughts on India towards the end India s organised chaos has exuberance and optimism, a pride and a strong celebration of life I truly love it There s no place like this home It is an interesting book and people who love to read about India, or Non Fiction in general or travel stories in particular will love it.Review Book courtesy reviews from me here


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Holy Cow: An Indian Adventure download Holy Cow: An Indian Adventure, read online Holy Cow: An Indian Adventure, kindle ebook Holy Cow: An Indian Adventure, Holy Cow: An Indian Adventure 584f089b4640 In Her Twenties, Journalist Sarah Macdonald Backpacked Around India And Came Away With A Lasting Impression Of Heat, Pollution And Poverty So When An Airport Beggar Read Her Palm And Told Her She Would Return To India And For Love She Screamed, Never And Gave The Country, And Him, The FingerBut Eleven Years Later, The Prophecy Comes True When The Love Of Sarah S Life Is Posted To India, She Quits Her Dream Job To Move To The Most Polluted City On Earth, New Delhi For Sarah This Seems Like The Ultimate Sacrifice For Love, And It Almost Kills Her, Literally Just Settled, She Falls Dangerously Ill With Double Pneumonia, An Experience That Compels Her To Face Some Serious Questions About Her Own Fragile Mortality And Inner Spiritual Void I Must Find Peace In The Only Place Possible In India, She Concludes Within Thus Begins Her Journey Of Discovery Through India In Search Of The Meaning Of Life And Death Holy Cow Is Macdonald S Often Hilarious Chronicle Of Her Adventures In A Land Of Chaos And Contradiction, Of Encounters With Hinduism, Islam And Jainism, Sufis, Sikhs, Parsis And Christians And A Kaleidoscope Of Yogis, Swamis And Bollywood Stars From Spiritual Retreats And Crumbling Nirvanas To War Zones And New Delhi Nightclubs, It Is A Journey That Only A Woman On A Mission To Save Her Soul, Her Love Life And Her Sanity Can Survive