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27-31 August 2019
Poznań, Poland
Europe/Warsaw timezone
programme last update: 23 August 2019
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Contribution Paper

Poznań, Poland - Morasko Kampus, room: 3.136

Hitchhiker in India: A Welcome Guest?


  • Dr. Umesh PATRA

Primary authors


As a nation, India prides in its dictum of “guest as a form of God”. Most religious ceremonies in India require the host to keep the door open to welcome of the divine guest. The footprints of myriad deities are painted on the veranda as a metaphor. The automobile may also be regarded as a home on road. The hitchhiker therefore is a guest that entreats hospitality. The paper is an attempt to study the dynamics between the hitchhiker and the lift-giver, as is shown in select Indian films and fictions. The paper examines whether the projection of hitchhikers in India comes to terms with the aforementioned exalted expectation of a welcome guest or falls short of it.