Among the many charlatans who promised to restore me to in statu quo ante was a guy who said that he was an exponent of what he called 'Touch and Heal'. He said that every person suffering from any ailment had a particular spot in the body which had to be pressed lightly for some days and he will be curred. He was the acknowledged master in finding this spot. He claimed that he had cured many patients who had ailments that had defeated the best doctors in the land. He assured us that he would not do any manipulation which might hurt me so he was given the go-ahead.
He placed one of my legs on a low table nearby and carefully studied my toes. It was funny watching four people standing quietly and looking intently at my toes. In Ode on Melancholy, Keats says:
Or if thy mistress some rich anger shows,Emprison her soft hand, and let her rave,And feed deep, deep upon her peerless eyes.
This guy had emprisoned one of my legs and was feeding deep, deep upon my peerless toes. He finally straightened up and said that he had found the solution. He told Jaya that she should lightly touch a spot one inch below (or was it above?) my navel everyday for a few seconds and I will soon start improving. Apparently the most propitious time for performing this bit of prestidigitation was 9 p.m.
Reason, as Bertie Wooster often said, tottered on its throne.