This article belongs to Sweet Grace column.

 That news item that early  morning captured my attention whole sale and pinned it to my mind like a darted pin. Some British office workers have debated if they should kiss their customers or shake hand with them. After a serious discussion, they had  decided  in favour of  the handshake.


           When two men meet, they would always opt for the handshake type of  greeting .  But between two ladies or between a man and a woman, the more common method is kissing. You shouldn't  take this kissing thing literally.  It's not the conventional kissing at all. It is, so to say, just  ‘cheek-rubbing' wherein the lips don't play any part.. ‘What is wrong with that' you may ask. This mode also gives the much desired physical touch and warmth, doesn't it? True, but there is a danger in it.  A mischievous young maiden may  use her lips cunningly and in the process plant a lip-stick mark  on the poor man's cheek without his knowledge.


           He would come to know  that he had been carrying the red colour ellipse only when his wife  notices and demands  an explanation  later in the evening when he returns home after work.  It is up to you to imagine how he would explain it away and what the wifey's reaction would be etc.  Surely, there would be some fire works.  This is the price  a man has to pay for lending his cheek to an unknown female gender so very freely.


           Therefore, the handshake method would appear to be  relatively  safe.  That's what you think. It's not so, my friend?


           Everybody is not in the habit of washing their hands before and after a meal.  I know many westerners don't, all because they use cutlery to eat their meal. During the course of eating,  they may touch a bread piece or salad or some such foot item with their dirty fingers and in the bargain may eat contaminated food.  This is OK.  But then, they may pass on some germs,  millions  in number actually, to another person while shaking his/her hand.


          If you shake hand with a dozen odd people during a full day, you may not only pass on your  stock of viruses  to others but also receive the same quantity from the other guy. It's only after days  you would come to know  that you had inherited some infection due to liberal hand-shakes.


           If for the sake of business, you feel a bodily contact is a must, why not resort to hugging like it is done in the gulf countries?  A hearty hug, to be exact.  This could be done between both sexes also. Here also there is a danger.  If you have been carrying some harmful bacteria in your coat and tie, like  the lice, these fellows may also jump from one person to another in a jiffy if the hugging lasts for  a few seconds.


           All these being so, naturally you would ask if there is any other foolproof method of welcoming a person and yet not contract any kind of disease? This is where the Indian model scores a  plus point. We have been wishing a  known or  an unknown person with pressed palms standing at a safe distance. No physical contact of any kind.  And whatever germ stock you may have been carting around  on your body remains in your body and doesn't get transferred. But alas ! In recent years Indians have been shaking hands with westerners and greet with pressed palms only another Indian and a lady at that. Wrong.  We must stick to our ancient custom. Further more, we need to universalize this method  for adoption by all countries. Our scientists must advocate it after explaining the advantages inbuilt in it.


         The next one for consideration, which is as harmless, is the Japanese model of bowing reverentially to the other keeping a reasonable distance in between. There is no body touch in this model either. Both males and females could follow this technology. Alas again ! When they meet a non-Japanese, they switch over to the handshake  variety.  What a pity !


         Your business will continue to flourish if you adopt the Indian or Japanese style of receiving a customer.  But please, please, don't pass on your communicable  epidemic to another person through any kind of body rubbing !