“Grandpa, What does the term ‘ Kleptomaniac’ mean?” said Tinkoo.
Tinkoo, Minkoo, Sonal, Rahul and Rakhee had gathered around grandpa. They were very anxious to know about it.
“Children it’s a very interesting word. But first tell me where did you hear this word,” said grandpa cleaning his horn- rimmed spectacle.
Rakhee said, “Grandpa, We heard this word while returning from our school. Two men were talking and one of them used this word.”
“All right children, sit down! I shall explain this word to you and also tell an interesting story,” said grandpa with a smile.
All the children became very happy. They immediately sat down.
“Children, this word took formation from the word ‘klepto’, but it take too long to explain how this word was picked up from Greek and French languages and came into existence in the year 1830 in the form of ‘Kleptomania’ in New Latin language. Then in the year 1861, the word ‘Kleptomaniac’ came into existence to mean – ‘those who suffer from Kleptomania’,” said grandpa.
“But grandpa, you haven’t yet told us, what this word means,” said Rakhee.
Yes, yes , I am coming to that ‘Kleptomania’ means – ‘a persistent neurotic impulse to steal especially without economic motive’. And a ‘Kleptomaniac’ is a person who is involved in this activity without any economic motive. Children , let me make it more; there are people who may be very rich, yet you will find them stealing things. It’s not that they cannot afford to buy it; it’s just that they seek, adventure in it. They feel very happy to see that they have stolen something and yet they have remained unnoticed. I hope I have made it clear now.” Said grandpa.
“Yes, yes, we understand now. Tell us the story grandpa,” all the children said in unison.
“The story goes thus,” said grandpa cleaning his throat.
“There was a king named Devendra Singh. He had a vast kingdom. He had worthy ministers and his subject loved him. He was very fond of throwing feasts. once in a grand feast arranged by him, he was made to notice something very strange by one of his ministers.
The minister said, “Lord, do you see something. I just can’t believe my eyes.”
“Lord, do you see the richest businessman, Gunadhip of your kingdom?” said the minister.
“Yes, I can see him. What is so strange about him,” said king Devendra Singh getting curious.
The minister said, “The strange thing about him is that he is so rich and yet he is stealing a very ordinary thing- a silver spoon. Moreover, I am greatly surprised because at time I have seen him spending lavishly. They why is he stealing so ordinary a thing?” while they were busy discussing the matter, king Devendra Singh too noticed Gunadhip slipping another silver spoon in his pocket stealthily. King Devendra Singh looked at him with wide eyes and said to the minister, “Look, he is stealing yet another one.”
The minister also noticed it. Angrily he said,” I am going to have him arrested.”
But the king was very kind – hearted. He said, “No, no ,don’t do that. He is our guest; he should not be insulted. Do something in such a way that he is not insulted and yet he realizes his mistake.”
The minister thought for a while and suddenly came up with a bright idea.
“Lord, I have got fine idea. Please allow me to execute it,” said the minister.
“What is it?” said king Devendra Singh
“Wait and see sir,” said the minister and went straight in the dining hall. And before king Devendra Singh could understand anything, he announced –“ Ladies and gentlemen! Many times you have attended the royal feast thrown by the king. But it has always been a monotonous one. Today, in order to break the monotony , I am going to show all of you a magic trick. But please do not misunderstand anyone; it is just to regale you by an extraordinary sleight of hand.”
Everybody in the dining hall was anxious to see the magic trick. They were surprised to learn that the minister was a magician also.
The minister took a silver spoon in his hand and like a professional magician showed it to everyone. He also said that everyone should came near him and have a close look at the silver spoon. The crowd in the dining hall gathered around him to have a look at the spoon.
Then speaking a few magic words, the minister put the silver spoon in his pocket. He said, “Now, I shall, with my magic power, double the number of spoons and take it out from Gunadhip’s pocket.” Saying this, he advanced toward Gunadhip and put his hand in his pockets one by one and took out two silver spoons. The crowd was simply astonished to see the magic trick. But no one new the real game.
At the end of the feast, Gunadhip was summoned by king Devendra Singh.
“Gunadhip, you are the richest businessman in my kingdom; but I am surprised indeed to see you involved in thievery. There isn’t anything on the earth that you cannot afford to buy, and still you stooped so low as to steal silver spoons. Gunadhip, we didn’t want to insult you and that’s the reason why we took to this ruse,” said king Devendra Singh.
“My Lord, I don’t steal anything for economic reasons. In fact, I feel extremely happy and satisfied when I steal something and remain unnoticed. I seek adventure in it. But still I am very sorry and beg your forgiveness. I promise that this kind of act will not be repeated by me in future,” said Gunadhip with folded hands.
King Devedra Singh forgave him and bade him goodbye with a lot of gifts. He was happy with Gunadhip’s honest confession.”
All the children were very happy to hear the interesting story. Sonal said, “Grandpa, it was indeed a very nice and interesting story; and how we fully understand what ‘kleptomaniac’ means.”