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Compiled/partly written by Melvin Durai Email Compiled/partly written by Melvin Durai
February 2016

You can buy all sorts of items through online retailers such as Amazon and eBay, but few as eyebrow-raising to Westerners as cow dung cakes (or patties). According to an Associated Press article, cow dung cakes are selling well online in India, partly because city dwellers are eager to relive their childhood days in the village. The cakes are used for heating and cooking, as well as in Hindu rituals.

“Around Diwali, when people do a lot of pujas in their homes and workplaces, there is a lot of demand for cow dung cakes,” Radhika Agarwal of ShopClues, a major online retailer in India, told the Associated Press.

A product listed as “AsiaCraft 8 PCs Pure Cow Dung Cakes” is selling for as little as 40 rupees on Amazon.in. One reviewer, who gave it five stars, wrote, “The quality of this cake is too good. Better than what is available in villages. It is made from rare cows available only in India. … It leaves a pleasant smell, which forced me to throw away all room fresheners and deodorants, etc. The best part is that its ash can also be used as Dant Manjan (tooth powder) with salt mixed in 1:4 proportion. So I found the product ultimate and a must buy.”

Compiled and partly written by Indian humorist MELVIN DURAI, author of the novel Bala Takes the Plunge.

[Comments? Contributions? We would love to hear from you about Chai Time. If you have contributions, please email us at melvin@melvindurai.com. We welcome jokes, quotes, online clips and more.]

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