Excess Luggage – Book Review

Excess Luggage – Book Review

Delivered: Excess baggage

Author: Richa S. Mukherjee

Reviewed by: Manas mukul

Publisher: Black Ink (December 22, 2020)

Pages: 328 (Softcover)

Price: INR 299

ISBN-10: 9353579732

ISBN-13: 978-9353579739

The French language

Genre: Contemporary fiction

My grade: 3.5 / 5

I always advocate that if two people want to better understand (read the review) their bond, they should take a trip together. It’s like bringing best friends together as roommates and you know what happens next. Excess baggage by Richa S. Mukherjee tells the story of a mother-daughter duo who set out together on a trip to Europe.

I want to express my gratitude to Blogchatter Book Review Program to consider me for this book review. Exciting news for all bibliophiles – Blogchatter has launched a new book review section on its revamped site. Remember to check this and grab a review copy. There is also a #TBRChallenge you can participate in.

About the Author

Richa is a poet, a former journalist and an old hand in the advertising industry, to whom she has bid farewell to write books about imaginary people. After writing a collection of poems entitled A penchant for prose, largely for herself, she went on to write her first novel, I didn’t expect to expect, mild vision of accidental pregnancy and Kanpur Khoofiya Pvt. Ltd, a humorous thriller that was purchased for a screen adaptation. She is a TOI Write India winner, blogger and travel writer.

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My opinion

The cover page has an image-like boarding pass in the center with two cartoonish female figures carrying their luggage as if they were about to board a flight. It’s catchy and very consistent with the story. The title, Excess Baggage, is also apt and wisely chosen – first for the excess baggage they end up carrying on their flight and significantly for the emotional baggage they have been carrying for years. The back cover has the blurb with a testimonial and a tagline – Prepare for a summer mother, although the book was released in December.

Excess baggage is a story of two Punjabis which are Sindhis by faith. Anviksha Punjabi is in the middle of a second divorce, who makes fun of friends and family, stays with her mother and often gets into trouble at work. Smita punjabi, her mother, is a sixty-seven-year-old mother who designs clothes, loves to cook, is always surrounded by her clan of neighborhood aunts, is stereotypical and critical and at the same time quite vocal about her views.

Other minor characters include Anviksha’s two exes – Rudra and Ranvijay, who continue to alternate between chapters, Aakash, his humorous and friendly colleague always ready with great advice and suggestions, his cousin Preeti and two dogs – Mutton. and Bhindi.

Anviksha notices a certain bitterness in her and wants to get her hands on her temperamental behavior before things get out of hand. After watching a replay of Zindagi Milegi Na Dobara, she decides to take a solo trip across Europe. Smita Punjabi, being the overprotective mother, persuades her daughter to take her away. The journey begins by the time you reach about seventy pages, but the writer takes the opportunity to give a brief glimpse into the lives of Punjabi Ladies.

From there, it’s a roller coaster ride where Anviksha picks up most of her mother’s comments and how this bittersweet journey helps them mend their pasts and forge a renewed bond.

Some of the best lines

“When the past burns the skin too deeply, you can never be the same again.”

“They say you only fight when you love or care enough, that’s not true. You also fight when your hearts are empty.


Humor is by far Richa’s greatest strength. Even in his previous work, he stands out and this one is all the time imbued with humor and sometimes self-mockery too. The jokes between the duo are pretty relatable to any middle class Indian household. The drawing of the character is nuanced.

The rhythm is good with a lucid style written in the third person. The boring moments are fewer and the vocabulary is quite good, which makes it easier to read quickly. The mother-daughter relationship is the backbone and Richa masterfully weaves this making it too relatable.


Since the build up is long, it gives a deep insight into the characters’ minds and by the time you hit the middle of the book you start to predict the responses and jokes the two of them throw at each other. It gives it a repetitive feel. In a journey of soul-searching, I was looking for some more life-changing gyaan.


I would like to add that I am a guy over thirty living with my mother who is a Sikh who loves to cook who has a huge clan of neighborhood aunts and who is always ready with her sarcasm. Therefore, I could very well relate to many of the scenarios presented by Richa.

It’s a light, funny and fast-paced story about a mother-daughter duo who sets out on a journey through Europe and tries to understand each other better and ultimately rediscover each other. I am leaving with three and a half stars for the excess baggage of Richa S. Mukherjee. It’s a perfect weekend read and I won’t be surprised if this one gets an on-screen adaptation as well.

Manas ‘Sameer’ Mukul

If you like what I write, I recently published my first book of poetry – ‘You, me and the universe’ – Poems on the conspiracies of the universe. You can order the book and find more details HERE

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You can find reviews of previous books here.

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