Trilochan Singh Trewn
TWELVE years ago I visited Stockholm where my daughter resided. My son-in-law was then serving as a Director in Swedish International Development Authority. He had shifted from Chandigarh and completed his doctorate from a Stockholm-based university. This trip was mainly for watching the Nobel Prize distribution ceremony on December 10. I arrived at Stockholm on 2nd December when glimpses of the festive season could be seen on decorated streets.
The next morning our programme took us to the King’s Palace. As intended, we could see His Majesty, the King Gostov XVI, riding a bicycle while proceedings to the Bibliotech Library without any guard covering him. He has three children and all are employed on ordinary jobs.
Then we visited the Hare Rama Hare Krishna Ashram on the outskirts of Stockholm. The immaculate cleanliness and pious atmosphere of the premises was impressive. The first unexpected happening witnessed by us as we crossed the entrance gate was the “Namaskar” greetings by four young Swedish ladies attired in crisp sarees with an Indian hair-do. They surprised us by all of them displaying “Dandvat Pranam” before each of the visitors. This was ritualistic but highly praiseworthy. Soon we were led to a small congregation where a discussion was going on “shlokas” of the second chapter of “Bhagwat Gita” in the Swedish language. This was quite interesting.
One Professor, a Nobel laureate in Chemistry, invited several visitors, including me and my son-in-law, for dinner. The Secretary General of the Swedish Academy was also present. He too was the holder of a Nobel Prize. I was touched when both the Nobel awardees started to wash our used dinner dishes after participants had finished eating. There were no dishwashers in that household as was the practice in Swedish homes. Dinner over, we were served coffee. I them asked a question: “How are Nobel Prize entries short-listed for the final selection committee?” The Chemistry Nobel recipient professor got up and said that he had anticipated this query and had brought a 250-page mini copy of an old chemistry entry in the Portuguese language. He requested all guests to proceed to the basement and watch the procedure of translating the submission in English and then subdividing the contents for a detailed analysis to the committee members.
The resplendent award ceremony took place on 10th December in the City Hall before thousands of visitors and the prize was awarded by his Majesty the King, who with the traditional mace in his hand, handed over the award with the citation. The award is presented every year on December 10.
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