This coming-of-age travelogue is a true story in which Kallol Guha and his artist friend, Biswajit, hitchhike from India to Denmark. On the trip they encounter new realities of a world largely unknown outside of India. A desperate and adventurous spirit with a desire for prosperity lured the two towards Western Europe, back in the era of the 1960's. Starting in Calcutta (present Kolkata), the first four chapters outline the genesis of a spontaneous development of fascination and respect for the western world in the tender mind of an Indian boy, who is exposed to the privations and confusion of the urban Indian middle class from the eastern Province of Bengal. In this account, the author touches on a variety of observations regarding the miserable Westernization of India and the servile attitudes towards Europeans. As the two protagonists travel northwards they witness a steady decline in visible signs of poverty along with the changing landscape. The author calls on the readers to ponder and meditate on the meaning and significance of this. The experience of the journey is punctuated with comparisons to conditions in India and in some cases, an interpretation thereof. This book could be of interest to those who like to read a travel account which is sprinkled with social observations and descriptions of survival tactics. Readers who have experienced emigration outside of their home country will also enjoy this account. Hitchhikers may also be impressed by the difficulty of this journey in terms of having low funds and also an uncertain plan. The residents of the various countries, which are traveled through, such as: Iraq, Turkey, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, Austria, Germany and Denmark will be interested to know what an Indian hitchhiker experiences through their country. A main theme which emerges is the kindness of strangers.
dr. Kallol Guha
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