A few weeks ago a book arrived in my mail - Bucket List of a Traveloholic, by Sarika Pandit. "A frenzied quest of not just collecting stamps in her passport, but ticking off items off her ever-expanding bucket list", said the blurb at the back of the book. Pandit's bucket list ranged from 'learning a local language in a country (Spain)' to 'a literary trail of favourite authors (UK)', from 'road tripping to the Sahara (Morocco) to 'bumping into the Big Five (South Africa)'. To be sure, several of these bucket list items seem to have evolved from a trip itself, so technically cannot be called a 'bucket list'!
Nevertheless, as a first book it's a commendable effort. Heck, everyone has a book in them, only a brave few get it out, right? I enjoyed the book in parts; Pandit has a flair for storytelling, but it's a bit inconsistent. The Eastern Europe chapters were my favourites and I am certainly plotting to get there!
I felt that Pandit's language was a bit blog-like throughout the book, which may work for some readers of course. Also, she seems to have ignored William Faulkner's well-known writing advice - "you must kill all your darlings"! The book is peppered with them and could have done with tighter editing. Overall, a quick, fun read. Have you read it? What did you think?
Talking about bucket lists, here's one experience I would love to add to mine - Volunteering at the Golden Temple langar. I didn't get a chance to do it the last time I visited. But I did see the langar operations firsthand and I wrote about it for National Geographic Traveller; the feature appeared in the June 2014 issue of the Indian edition of the magazine. Read on to know more.