“Look at this Dabbu! Perhaps this is for you.” Postman took out an envelope and hurled it towards Dabbu. It was a stamped white envelope with a letter in it. One thing that astonished Dabbu was the address written on it. It read as : “To, The Owner of This Shop, On The Way to Dharja. PO: Mahunaag, Tehsil Karsog, Distt Mandi Himachal Pradesh. A small photo of a shop was pasted on the left side of the address which showed Dabbu’s shop. And, some tourists sitting outside the shop.
“But, what could it be?” Dabbu asked the postman.
“How can I know about this? I got it from the post office and saw your shop’s photo on it.” Postman seemed to be in hurry.
Dabbu opened the letter with utmost curiosity. There was short handwritten letter in it. “Dear Shop Owner, If you are reading this, accept my greetings. This is a letter of hope. I am Prabha from Hawrah, Kolkota. Recently I visited your place along with my friends. While descending from Dharja Hill to Mahoo Naag, we had stopped at your shop for some refreshment. The day was May 12, 2016. After leaving your place, when I boarded my bus at Mahoo Nag, I realized that I had lost my sun glasses. These were of Tag Heuer brand with black frame. These were not merely the sun glasses for me but a memory of my friend who had presented these to me. I hope you will understand my feelings. And, If and only if; the sun glasses were left at there at your place, please send them on the following address. I tried to locate you on social media, but all vain. All the expenses incurred in shipment will be reimbursed to you with gratitude. Thank You. (Signature) Prabha Chakraborty 212-C. White Enclave, Jal Vihaar, Hawrah. Kolkota. (Phone Number) ”
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Dabbu read the letter three- four times and looked at the photo each time. It was his shop where they might had clicked this. Yes! He could remember this group because it was only few days back. But, what about the sunglasses?
Dharja was not a much known place to the world a couple of years back. Local residents knew it only for the temple of Goddess Maa Kaali. Many pilgrimages to the temple were held in the summers by the people of nearby areas. People from the nearby villages used to go up to the hill and graze their cattles In early summers, the entire hill wore a beautiful pink layer of Rhododendron flowers and sweet fragrance of these flowers made the valley smelt sweet.
Dharja, a hill; had a beautiful jungle trail to reach, widely covered by thick forests of Deodars. Plush green widened pastures over the hill had always allured the people. Tourists from the cities often visited Mahoo Nag temple but the Dharja was still a mystery. A local lad who had been in the tourism introduced this place to tourists. After Mahoo Nag, each one of the tourist wanted to scale the hill called Dharja. It was just nine kilometers accent from Mahoo Nag. People used to trek up the hill, seek the blessings of Goddess, camp there at night and return back next day. It was a great trek. On the trek, there were small hut like shops which offered the trekkers maggi, cold drinks, tea, bread and biscuits. Dabbu was the owner of one shop on the way to Dharja. His small shop was stuffed with all eating items. A young man from the local village, Dabbu was in his early thirties. He was married and had two kids. College graduate Dabbu could manage his shop well. The shop was the source of his bread and butter except an apple orchard not bigger than half bigha.
To Be Continued…