Dear Tintin, on behalf of our lovely town and its beautiful people, we welcome you to Darjeeling. It’s an honour and a privilege for us that our town gets to host the World’s most famous young reporter and adventurer on his 90th Birthday.
It was the Embassy of Belgium in India, that secretly informed us that, “On his 90th birthday🎈, here is Tintin making a special visit to the Queen of Hills, Darjeeling in India”
Since you are here, we just want you to know, that our town is a big fan of your amazing reporting and detective skills. We are all enamored of your bravery and you have been an inspiration to generations of our youths.
We are sure you have come to Darjeeling to see the place where your old friend Tharkey from your adventures in Tibet grew up – for those who don’t know please read Tin Tin in Tibet, and also about Ang Tharkay.
Yes, you are right he was one of the best mountaineers back in 1940s and was the First Chief Instructor at the famed Himalayan Mountaineering Institute. We are sure; they will be honoured to have you visit them, to make acquaintance with the dwelling grounds of your old pal.
While you are here, we would recommend you to visit Tiger Hill to see the best sunrise in the world. Also, while you are there, can you please tell the authorities about the perils of building hotels in the middle of the Sinchel Wildlife Sanctuary and kindly persuade them from doing so.
Please also trek to “Sandakpu – the valley of poison.” This is the route which helped develop trekking as a leisure sports.
Also we are sure you will enjoy Kalimpong which has traditionally been the main hub of trade between Tibet, Bhutan, Nepal and India.
Once again, we welcome you to our gorgeous hills, and we hope you will enjoy your stay.
The People of Darjeeling
P.S: Just between us, are you here on a secret adventure? Are you looking for the fabled “Ruby Heart of Princess Yi Ta” that got stolen? Do keep us posted.
Tin Tin has continued his adventures even to this day, thanks to the amazingly talented artist Mahafuj Ali
Here is his connection to Tintin
My relation with Tintin started almost 25 years ago, when my father bought a Fresh copy of “Anandamela” a well-known Bengali magazine, and in that magazine, one thing stole my heart at first sight, the two pages of Tintin, for another two pages I had to wait for next 15 days to get another. My home was in a very tiny village called Nidaya near Mayapur. It was out of reach from any civic facilities like electricity or Road. So when my father used to get me the magazine after office, it was always a late night and I used to read those two pages in kerosene lamp literally burning the midnight oil. But Tintin has given the light we needed. We travelled the whole world with Tintin, from Moon to Deep Sea and rainforests we experienced everything in his eyes.
From that phase, Tintin became a magnetic subject to draw with my clumsy lines. That yellow spike haired young man became an obsession and of course Tintin has given more information than the syllabus. We got Idea about Moon, scale of rocket, European architecture, Mighty Tibet, Latin American culture, American gangs and many more uncountable things.
But from the same time, there was a pain inside, why he does not come to our Homeland. He came so near in in Tibet, but not in Bengal. From that thought last year made his cartoon in front of Howrah Bridge cutting birthday cake.
But that was not enough Bengal, He has to see the Queen of Hills. Which is my personal favourite hill station on earth. I have travelled and lived in different cities, but everywhere I told people about Darjeeling and fragrance of Darjeeling tea. So this year brought Tintin and friends in Darjeeling Himalayan railway, where everyone is there with their own charm and of course Thompson and Thomson goofed up. I thought a lot to make them walk on Mall road or have momo, but at last I thought what could be a better place than Batasia loop and the view of Kanchenjunga.
At last to say little about me, I am Mahafuj Ali, professionally a landscape architect, and self-taught cartoonist. From the school days sketch book became an integral part of me and always tried to tell some stories with my illustrations. Currently living in a small serene city of Australia for work and drawing a lot at my free time. I was awarded among the top cartoonists of India in 2017 from Times of India cartoonist hunt. Which inspired me to create my Facebook page.
You can follow him on Facebook at: Mali’s https://www.facebook.com/MALI2013/
We are most grateful to Mahafuj Ali for permitting us to use his cartoons, and for also drawing Tintin and his crew in our gorgeous hill attire. We are also thankful to the Embassy of Belgium for informing us about Tintin celebrating his 90th Birthday here in Darjeeling