Treasure Hunt

What do you do when your business meeting finishes early and flight is late in the city of Hyderabad, and you discover that your colleague also has a keen interest in philately and numismatics? Well, you go on a treasure hunt. My colleague and I had some time to kill while in Hyderabad and we decided that we should try to find some treasures in the old city of Hyderabad. We got into a cab and headed to Chaar Minar in the old city of Hyderabad.

We approached a shop to ask him if we could find some stamp dealer in the market. “Stamps?, Oh like philately stamps?” he said. Our eyes lit up. Yes, those. “You can get them on eBay now” he said looking at us strangely. We were amused but not disheartened. “You could try Chatta Bazar” he said pointing us vaguely in direction down the lane. So with laptop bags in tow we walked in our Oxford shoes, looking out of place in the crowded streets towards Chatta Bazar with the mission to find some dealers who might still be selling stamps and coins.

After a good 20 minute walk in the hot afternoon, we found a lane marked Chatta Bazar. We turned into it hopefully, but no such luck. The bazaar had lots of marriage card printing shops and a notary shop selling current revenue stamp papers. Finally we found an old ‘kabbadi‘ shop (junk/scrap dealer). It was the dustiest shop around with old clocks and other artefacts. We asked him about stamps. “What kinds do you want?” Wow, we thought, we have finally found our treasure. Any kinds that you have, we said eagerly. “Come next week and I will arrange for you” the young guy at the counter said. Next week? No no, we are here only the next hour or so. “Well you are about 10 years too late trying to find something like this. All traders have moved on to other things” he said. 10 years too late for our treasure hunt. Humpphhhh…… “Ok, give me your number and I will whatsapp you what I can arrange” he said. Talk about technology being used well, I thought as I gave him my number. So now we wait to see if we hit a treasure or not.