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Encounter with a ‘thief’

Recently, a friend and I visited Oslo. He was to meet his son there, and I was invited by an Indian friend. When I asked my Norwegian friend what I should bring for him, he wanted sugarcane and six bottles of Old Monk Rum.

india Updated: Jun 26, 2012 22:56 IST
CD Verma

Recently, a friend and I visited Oslo. He was to meet his son there, and I was invited by an Indian friend. When I asked my Norwegian friend what I should bring for him, he wanted sugarcane and six bottles of Old Monk Rum.

I took with me both the items. My friend distributed the sugarcane pieces to his friends, and also invited some of them for drinks. He served them Rum and scotch to me. Obviously, the sugarcane and Old Monk Rum revived their memories of India and the native milieu.

Later, my friend and I decided to visit neighbouring Denmark. During our sojourn at Allborg (Denmark), an interesting incident happened with my friend. While he was roasting a chicken in his camping hut, a little girl tip-toed close to him and watched him preparing his evening fare. Her father, camping in a nearby hut, followed her to take her back. After exchanging pleasantries with the gentleman, my friend asked him for his name and the country he hailed from. The gentleman retorted, “My name is Thief.”

Sensing the discomfiture of my friend, the man explained he had lost his name long ago in the lanes of time, and added: “I hail from Norway. I am presently undergoing imprisonment. I have been enlarged on parole to take my daughter sight-seeing.” He further disclosed that his daughter was from his estranged wife who had deserted him.

My friend was carrying 2400 US dollars on him. Scared that the ‘thief’ may steal his money, he put the valuable dollars in his socks and went to sleep with the socks on but could not.

Next morning the “Thief” approached my friend and told him he would go cycling with his daughter, and would return after two hours. Therefore, he would leave his bag in his care. My friend came to know from the girl that the bag contained 4000 Norwegian Kroners, which the girl’s mother had given to her for sight- seeing.

This put my friend to shame for suspecting a true-to-life gentleman.