"You look like being in the grip of pre-nuptial jitters," said Pintu, me nephew, to his soon-to-be-groom elder brother Chintu.
"Of course I am," shot back Chintu, "but not for reasons you are hinting at. What perturbs me is the prospect of going through the rigmarole of touching a few hundred pairs of feet (as mark of respect to the elders) all through the ceremony as custom demands. A friend of mine clocked up 911 feet-touchings at his wedding only to be hospitalised later with sprained back. He spent his honeymoon in orthopaedic wards hung up on a traction."
Pintu grew pensive. Quirky problems always brought out kinky solutions from him. True to form, Pintu's creative juices started flowing and then gushing. "Why can't we merely announce that all the eligible feet are taken as touched?" suggested Pintu. "Just like they announce at the company AGMs that the annual reports are taken as read."
"That'll make dad see red."
"Alright. We can ask each one to raise his or her feet in front, one foot at a time, of course."
"Our guest list does not include the canine species."
After a brief thoughtful silence, Pintu advocated devising a hand-held electronic arm that would squeak "bless me" each time it touched someone's feet. Chintu merely grunted. Pintu went on, "We can ask our senior guests to climb on to a conveyor belt raised four feet above the ground and you can touch every darned pair of feet, as they pass by, without you bending."
Chintu just stared at his brother open-mouthed incredulity. Nevertheless, Pintu carried on undetered. "Or the revered feet can be projected live onto a 36-inch touchscreen on the dais. And each time you newly-weds touch a pair of feet on screen, a speaker would chirp 'Happy married life." Pintu was getting more futuristic and weird by the minute. But Chintu demurred.
"How about making all the old coots give Power of Attorneys in favour of grandpa to recieve obeisance on their behalf? That way you can get it over with in one go by touching grandpa's feet," said Pintu triumphantly, hoping to wrap up the issue.
Chintu's hitherto deaf ears started flapping like that of an over-excited bat. His eyes lit up. "A masterstroke, " he gushed, "that needs a slightly different stroke. What if I and my bride give a Power of Attorney in your favour to touch all the venerable feet on our behalf? I'll pay your hospital bills if it comes to that. While you are on a traction, I can get on with my honeymoon."
But before Chintu could say 'I rest me case' Pintu was nowhere in sight. He might have vanished into the nearest gymnasium to exercise and fortify his back!
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