The handshake

The handshake

The ceo was coming to Delhi. The zonal chief was frantically making arrangement. Welcome banners were posted all the way from the airport. All local officials were to be present. Ceo was to be greeted with the biggest fanfare in history

Ajay Sharma was heading the south Delhi branch and the airport authorities were his clients. The zonal chief had a bright ideal, that the Ceo should be greeted right on the tarmac by a guard of honor of local officials and escorted in with pomp. Poor Ajay had to make this possible.

Those days terror threats were unheard of and security was pretty lax in the domestic airports. So after much cajoling and bamboozling, this was arranged by Ajay.

Thus when the ceo climbed down the steps, there was a crowd of people with banners and flowers waiting to welcome him

After the initial greetings the officials stood in a line and the ceo was introduced to everyone.

What astounded Ajay was that the people were touching the ceos feet or rather most were making the Punjabi gesture of feet touching  ,consisting of bending from the waist,   eyes downcast, arm extended towards the general direction of the knees and verbally saying i’m falling at your feet. “ pairi payna” or “ pai lagu “

Ceo in turn would raise his hand in benediction saying jite raho puttar

Feet touching in Ajays family was limited to festival time and only for the senior citizens or parents. There was no way he was going to do that for an office boss,  however senior

So when his turn came, Ajay shook his hand. A slightly taken aback ceo shook it back.

After the zonal chief, known as bare miyan to the juniors left  with the ceo  his sidekick  known as chote miyan  , came up to Ajay. Ajay had noticed the little huddle that bare and chote had before they left  ,ominously looking in his direction and nodding

Now chote came up to Ajay and addressing the crowd said, look at the guy. Shaking hands with the ceo like an equal. Direct officers think they are the IAS

The assembly nodded seriously,  looking sufficiently shocked

Ajay was defensive. He stubbornly replied that he doesn’t touch anybody except his parents or grandparents feet and can’t do so in office. Anyway it’s against protocol. Shaking hands is the accepted mode of greeting if not the folded hands namaste  .

Chote replied that OK but is this the way to shake a seniors hand?

Now Ajay was perplexed. What other way is there?

Chote asked some colleagues to show him.

So two of the colleagues enacted the method.

It’s one hand below another, parallel to the ground,  body bent in the shape of a comma, head down, submissive grin on the face, holding the bosses hand between the hands and bringing it close to the forehead. The attitude reminded him strongly of street dogs trying to ingratiate themselves with master to avoid a beating.

That, he learnt today, was the correct way of Shaking hands with a senior.

For future reference, he decided to follow the system adopted by the ladies  a simple folded hands namaste

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  1. Marvelous 🍀💐💐💐🎯 💚💙 🧡 !.

    I admire the example of street dogs “trying to ingratiate themselves with master to avoid a beating” !.

    Finally beautiful solution is
    “to follow the system adopted by the ladies a simple folded hands namaste” !.

    Under the prevailing (COVID -19 or it’s Delta variant) scenario, this is only way to greet a senior howsoever great he may be !

    Best wishes, 🙏🎯,

    CA K Ravi Shankar

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The custom of feet touching which is really such a nice ceremony of respect to gurus and elders has been taken to another level at Corporates where such a practice has become prevalent more as sycophancy and flattery beyond the earned respect of the Senior.
    This practice can be put to end by the Seniors themselves.
    A great and respectful ritual should not get subjugated to a ritual of abject flattery.
    A very nice piece.

    Liked by 2 people

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