The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Understanding India’s Aam Aadmi

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The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Understanding India’s Aam Aadmi

Illustration: Akshita Monga


t’s been 40 years since Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy was first published, and we, as a species, are no closer to finding the answer to life, the universe, and everything. We probably never will in our lifetimes, but I am pretty sure Douglas Adams knew all along and never told us. I am also convinced that he was a time-travelling alien from a planet called Dungbat Garglesnuff, and had understood the ways of the world, and most importantly, that of digital watches.

What started as a BBC radio broadcast in 1978 is now perhaps one of the most widely known works of science-fiction. Initially thought to be a critique on British bureaucracy of the ’70s, it turned out to be one of the most prescient books of our times. Layered, profound, and hilarious, the book was Adams’s way of making sense of the senseless world we live in. It’s tragic that he didn’t live long enough to see just how influential the book would one day be – that Towel Day would be a thing.