The guests had arrived. As a young lad he was expected to genuflect and touch the feet of all elders. This was the way his parents had ingrained. He had crossed his teens, but the reverential genuflects never stopped. Every time an elder came calling, he knew it was routine time.
Having stepped into employment, he was now contributing to the family kitty, and secretly indulged in the pleasure of knowing he was to be married soon. It would now be his turn to have generation next touch his feet whenever he entered home. His ‘Tomorrow would now Come.’
His boys were born in quick succession immediately after marriage. Years passed by, as he waited his turn. Even for people of his vintage, the simple act of folding one’s hands when introduced had all but disappeared.
As he got home from work, he would find an assortment of teens all over the place and be asked by his sons to make way and let them be. This meant he had to leave the room for them. His dilemma of being an outsider in his own home led to nervous giggles from the girls. The traditional greeting he grew up with was respectful. But would the younger lot adopt this form of greeting? Instead he had to deal with boys & girls boldly leaning forward to plant that peck on the cheek.
He had to accept the casual ‘hi uncle’ or ‘hey Raj’ from kids in the neighborhood. He had NO problems with being uncle’d, but several with hi or yesterdays kids calling him by his first name.
Where do we see today’s cool kids touch the feet of their elders to seek their blessings on their birthdays , or other events of importance forgetting the daily genuflect.
He grew up doing just that. The emotions generated via that simple gesture was worth the time invested in it. Folding hands, bowing ones head in the presence of those who have lived longer years on planet earth, instills a sense of humility and respect. It works both ways. You show respect, you get respect.
For him his ‘Tomorrow Never Came.’