The novel might scare some but for most it will add to the intrigue and fascination that generally I have seen in most outsiders for India. Clearly, Macdonald had no intention of returning, yet 11 years later just as predicted, she found herself in love with a reporter stationed in New Delhi, and does indeed come back to India. That is until I started reading it. I thank Judaism for teaching me the power of transcendence in rituals and the Sufis for affirming my ability to find answers within and reconnecting me to the power of music. 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. During her two years as a Western journalist on sabbatical in India, she explores a wide variety of Indian religions: from silent meditation retreats to bathing in the Ganges to miracle healers to wild Christian celebrations, she dips her toes into a number of religious practices, giving her readers glimpses into the Indian worlds of Buddhists, Christians, Jainists, Jews, Muslims, Parsis, Sikhs, and Sufis. A good book that no one should take too seriously.
From the 'brain enema' of a meditation retreat in Dharamsala to the biggest Hindu festival on earth on the steps of the Ganges in Varanasi, and with the help of the Dalai Lama, a goddess of healing hugs and a couple of Bollywood stars - among many, many others - Sarah discovers a hell of a lot more. But with time, the beauty of India reveals itself to travelers and she shares this with readers. She learned to converse in Hindi. Go for it, if you would like to read a book smiling, yet, learn important lessons of life. India embraces them and makes them her own. This book captured the heart and the essence of India and its vast array of religions and cultures, all from the outsiders perspective.
But I love this one. Where ever by mistake she said anything seemingly +ve, same sentence has some very -ve thing to turn overall impact to be a -ve one. And I am definitely biased towards books about India and Indians. Australian Sarah Macdonald, backpacking the world at aged 21, could not wait to get out of a country beset by poverty, pollution, and chaos. 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. 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.
After being cursed by a sadhu smeared in human ashes, she nearly dies from double pheumonia. But eleven years later, the prophecy comes true. 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. Sarah Macdonald peruses the aisles and samples the product. 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. 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. It was hard though, for me to stay focused with her story after Sarah Macdonald was able to backpack around India in her young twenties but swore on her middle finger when she left, she would not return, due to its poverty, the massive smog, and the horrible heat.
It's written from a position of comfortable privilege: an American middle-class woman survives the hardships of travel in India. It needs some of the superfluous content cut and it would be much more enjoyable. Let me ask you one question: are you an Indian? 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. About Holy Cow In her twenties, journalist Sarah Macdonald backpacked around India and came away with a lasting impression of heat, pollution and poverty. For Sarah this seems like the ultimate sacrifice for love, and it almost kills her, literally. 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. And I thought for all that, she did a very good job of portraying India for what it is, a land of contradictions.
Thus begins her journey of discovery through India in search of the meaning of life and death. This is a real account by a real woman who had real reason to be freaked out, delighted and surprised by the odd situations she found herself in while embarking on a strange, new adventure she was thrust into. It is a miserable portrayal of a difficult to understand country by a selfish Australian woman. Aside from the dubious adventures, some of her friends seemed more like caricatures from Bollywood films than actual human beings with whom she had spent a good deal of time. I enjoy books exploring the different cultures and customs of the world. I think this book would have been much better if had been condensed a bit. I loved this book once I finished it; however, the cover, title and back cover are misleading.
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. Deep down inside, somewhere in a a dark corner of your heart, you know there is no one out there. I might even read it again someday. We want to shine a light on stories that build bridges, tear down walls, and speak truth to power. And, indeed it was there, just in the name of crass Ozzie sense of humor she kept on rubbing on, Indian wounds.
It is with some humor she is informed by a stinky man in the airport he foresees her return; Argh! But eleven years later, the prophecy comes true. If you want a source of objective information you should look for it elsewhere. But eleven years later, the prophecy comes true. Every hotel she checks into is filthy and without water or power or both, trains and flights always seem like crashing; all Muslims, Buddhists, Sikhs and Christians she meets seem to be unhappy with India and either want a separate state or join Pakistan or China. Let me put it out there: this book is not a travelogue. For Sarah this seems like the ultimate sacrifice for love, and it almost kills her, literally.
A take on India and its many accents all with the drawl of an Australian accident. So to fill in the time she becomes a spiritual tourist shopping for the 'truth'. If you have a lingering, romanticized desire to travel to India, this book will cure the crap out of that. I highly recommend Holy Cow for people who enjoy memoirs that take them to exotic locations. 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. It's enough to send a rapidly balding atheist on a wild rollercoaster ride through India's many religions in search of the meaning of life and death. However it still comes across as a worthy and interesting read for anyone who lives or wants to see India.