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The Indian Express reports that Rahul Gandhi — the scion of the political dynasty that traces back to India's first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru — is out to dispense with the practice of touching politicians' feet. I say it's high time. But I'm pretty keen on the namaste — palms together, no contact but the eye kind — especially during cold and flu season.
Two quick memories:
Watching Gaj "Bapji" Singh, the erstwhile maharaja of Jodhpur, endure an unending series of foot touchings (or feints at the same) at a horse conference that he was hosting. I remember thinking that the formality of it all was such a burden. They have to fake like they're going to touch your feet, you have to stop them, they have to insist, and so on. Just like fighting over the check at the end of the meal.
Second: Drinking beers with Rahul himself. I think he had like two bottles. One of the foreign journalists who was with us didn't recognize him. And in the end I'm pretty sure that we stuck him with the majority of the bill.
(No fighting over the check among journos!)