After a week of eager, hurried, hungry reading, I finally put down Sarah Mac Donald’s book Holy Cow, satisfied.
Holy Cow is described ‘An Indian Adventure’, and although the first few chapters were horrid; horrid enough for me to want to tweet it was horrid; I’m glad I didn’t, and read through, because the book became rapidly better and better – so much better that I am willing to forgive the depths of terribleness to which the first chapter alone sank.
I had assumed the book would be another Eat, Love, Pray – an account of a woman’ search for meaning, in India, but I found it to be more a richly descriptive, insightful, emotionally objective narrative of a journey fueled by curiosity.
A journalist by profession Mac Donald describes not just the spiritual but also the social, political and cultural landscape of India (and other connected regions) and the variety and diversity that exists from state to state, faith to faith, and even within states, faiths and systems of belief.
I’ve never been to India, and although I’m reading the book 8 years late, I’ve already made a note-to-self to have a copy of it with me while traipsing through, just to see how much has changed in the political, social and cultural landscape since writing.
The book is all the more interesting and meaningful to me, given I find Sri Lanka to be as equally spiritually, socially and culturally diverse, and only less vast than India, and I now have a fresh perspective and deeper appreciation of my own country and all there is to see.