AN APPEAL TO THE PHILATELIC COMMUNITY
Please read this short piece and help serve a philatelic cause.
I had got a colour scan of the cover, and it had intrigued me. The address was just mentioned as “ The Rich Old Merchant of Cuttack”, the letter had been delivered. I had done a lot of follow up and found out who the rich merchant to whom it was addressed to was. I had also followed up the story till Jammu and traced the descendents of the person who had sent the cover. The letter had been sent by a coconut wholesaler, who used to import coconuts all the way from Orissa. The coconuts for the Vaishno Devi temple used to be sent all the way from Orissa, in a journey that entailed transportation by bullock carts, train, boats and finally ponies. My efforts also yielded a lot other aspects, which made a very good study in Postal history. My desire was to write a short monograph on the cover.
I had last met Mr. Jadunath Kanungo during EIPEX held at Bhubaneswar in October 2008 where he was felicitated with the lifetime achievement award for philately by Eastern India Philatelic Association and was given honour by the Governor of Orissa. After the ceremony, I had once again asked him about the cover, and to help him search for it I gave him the colour scan (the only one I had). He promised to go thru his collection and give me the cover. I insisted on paying him a price there and then, and he very reluctantly accepted Rs 250/- for it. I kept on reminding him of it for the next two months until one day on the 7th December he rang me up and said that he had got the cover and I could come over and collect it. As I was away from Bhubaneswar, I told him that I would collect it the next week.
Unfortunately on the 9th December Jadu babu passed away. His death was swift and sudden and we lost a great philatelist. I attended the funeral at Cuttack, the thought of the cover was still in my mind. I did not broach the subject of the cover to Mrs. Kanungo for some time, but did enquire about what she would do with the collection. She did not have any immediate plans to dispose off the collection. However after a couple of months, when I approached her she told me that she has sold off the entire collection to dealers in Kolkatta. The collection was taken by her brother who sold it to different dealers in Kolkatta. I have been desperately trying to locate the cover, but to no avail.
I will pay a very good price for the cover as it has a lot of value for me as I have put up a lot of efforts for my research. To any other collector it is just a non descript cover, of not much value. My appeal to anyone who has the cover is to at least let me have a colour scan of it. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or ring me up at 09861020747. It will serve a philatelic cause.