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A rollercoaster ride through a land of chaos and contradiction with a woman on a mission to save her soul, her love life - and her sanity. After backpacking her way around India Sarah Macdonald decides she hates the country with a passion. When a beggar reads her palm and insists she will one day return - and for love - she screams 'Never!' But twelve years later the prophecy comes true. When the love of her life is posted to India, Sarah follows him to the most polluted city on earth, New Delhi. It seems like the ultimate sacrifice for love and it almost kills her - literally. After being cursed by a naked sadhu smeared in human ashes Sarah almost dies from double pneumonia, but not before facing some serious questions about her fragile mortality and inner spiritual void - not to mention some unsightly hair loss. It's enough to send a rapidly balding atheist on a wild rollercoaster ride through India in search of the meaning of life and death. 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.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9781863253260
ISBN-10: 1863253262
Format: Paperback
(133mm x 209mm x 24mm)
Pages: 320
Imprint: Bantam
Publisher: Transworld Publishers (Division of Random House Australia)
Publish Date: 1-Oct-2002
Country of Publication: Australia

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Book Review: Holy Cow! by Sara MacDonald - Reviewed by (23 Jun 2013)

Holy Cow! An Indian Adventure is the first book by Australian journalist, author and radio presenter, Sarah MacDonald. In 1999 Macdonald left Triple J to live in India with her husband (ABC foreign correspondent Jonathan Harley), and stayed for two years, exploring the country, its people and religions. After a brush with mortality, MacDonald felt the need to seek answers and so began examining the various religions to be found in India. She looks at Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, Zoroastrianism, Islam, Judaism, Jainism and Christianity, and gives a little explanation of each as she does so. Along the way she encountered swamis, gurus, prophets, living gods, priests, pundits, sufis, lamas, devis and devotees, servants, saints, tourists, actors, diplomats, bureaucrats, and a laugh club. She endured hair loss, a dip in the Ganges, double pneumonia, twenty-one different types of mutton, a silent retreat, groping and leering, smog, power cuts and intense summer heat. MacDonald made girlfriends, learned Hindi and Bollywood dancing, visited temples and shrines, attended festivals, feasts and weddings and visited Pakistan. She concluded that “India is the land of the profound and the profane; a place where spirituality and sanctimoniousness sit miles apart. I’ve learned much from the land of many gods and many ways of worship.” In this look at modern-day India from the perspective of an Aussie female journalist, MacDonald is often amusing, sometimes shallow, occasionally naïve, at times insightful and always injecting a good dose of cynicism into her observations of this fascinating culture.


Author Biography - Sara MacDonald

Sarah MacDonald is a journalist and radio broadcaster who lives in Sydney with her husband, ABC journalist Jonathan Harley, and their daughter Georgina.

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