One moment I was happily posing as a fatter (but younger and cuter, as I would like to believe) version of Shah Rukh Khan….
…and the very next moment, my hands were empty, literally, as my warm, newly-purchased-in-Flam-after-selling-both-my-hands-but-they-had-reindeer-on-them-so-cute-expensive gloves had disappeared.
We were flummoxed, to put it mildly. I’d not taken them off even for a second, nor had we been in contact with any human for the last half an hour, as we were busy exploring the wilds of Longyearbyen in Svalbard, that is, we were 50 meters outside the town center.
So where could the gloves have gone, we wondered? There was only one logical explanation, we decided after eight hours of discussion, a troll has stolen my gloves. They’re the only magical creatures powerful enough, and mischievous enough to do such a deed, and get away with it clean.
I summoned the Troll King and ask for an explanation, since we had diplomatic immunity in Svalbard (We didn’t, but he didn’t need to know that, He He) but he staunchly denied him or any of his people being involved in this stunt. Everyone knows that Trolls can’t lie, so I let him go, still as clueless as before, if not even more so.
We had finally decided to give up on my gloves when my wife suddenly saw a strange but wondrous sight- a reindeer was quickly trotting up a green hill, scurrying along, I should say, throwing guilty, furtive glances left and right in the process.
We immediately knew that he was hiding something, so we decided to follow him. Both of us being in tremendous shape, the distance that he covered in five seconds took us 15 minutes to cover. The land was marshy, filled with bogs of various shapes, sizes and depths, and had a steep incline. But we had caught our scent, and refusing to give in, we doggedly continued our pursuit.
Huffing and puffing, we finally reached the summit. We were expecting to see the reindeer eating grass there, but what we saw instead shocked us beyond words. The reindeer was there, but there were two things which we had not expected at all:
- The reindeer had my gloves in his mouth, ergo, he was the glove thief
- He was not alone, but was being controlled by a Norwegian couple, who were calling him towards themselves to get my gloves.
At first, we were too horrified to say or do anything, but then, our Punjabi blood took over. We rushed towards those criminal masterminds, abusing them in a heady mix of Punjabi and Hindi (Oh, it was so cathartic!), and they got so scared that they ran off without a word, promising loudly that they would never even look at a glove again.
As for the reindeer, even though he could not understand what we were saying, he got so petrified that he dropped my gloves, and peed right where he was standing. “That’ll teach him not to mess with us badass Punjabis,” I said to my wife.
She said, “Should we report him to the cops?” I thought for a while, and then said, “No, he’s just a teenager, if he gets a police record now, his entire future could get spoiled. I have a better idea, jiss se saanp bhi marr jayega, aur laathi bhi nahin tootegi (Old Indian Saying, loosely translated- The snake will die without any damage to the stick.)
I then took a photograph of the reindeer in that pose…
…and showed it to the reindeer, warning him strictly that if he did not stop this life of crime, I would publish this picture on social media, and his reputation would be mud. The reindeer meekly agreed, and swore to live a devout life from then only, praying to the Norse Gods daily so that they would keep him on the right path.
And you know what, he did stick to his promise, more or less, for he was none other than Julten, the future superstar of St. Nicholas’s Model School for Reindeer (See: https://jagahdilmein.wordpress.com/2017/06/27/student-of-the-year) and so he did live happily ever after. I hope he would remember that it was the efforts of an Indian couple which brought him on the right track.
And as for me, I picked up my gloves gingerly and lovingly, checked that they hadn’t been soiled by Julten’s elixir, and quickly wore them. I was never taking them off again, they were mine, only mine, my preciousssss!