I have written many tales in this column about the Murree of yore and the devastation caused in this once beautiful and pristine hill station by callous commercialisation. It is ironic that all such hot weather retreats were built by British administrators before independence, except one that was the brainchild of President Ayub Khan in the 1960s. What makes the situation more frustrating is the fact that there is no dearth of new areas that could be developed into summer resorts. All that is needed is for the government to rid themselves of the plague that inhibits their imagination and the urge to deliver collective good. As one drives on what is now an excellent road from Kuldanna to Abbottabad, one comes across names like Barian, Khaira Gali, Changla Gali, Nathia Gali and Kalabagh, before descending to the jewel in Hazaras crown - the beautiful Abbottabad Valley. Motorists travelling on this route may have been too busy in driving safely or lost in the amazing vistas of cloud covered mountains clothed in forests, to notice a subtle change in temperature and light conditions whilst passing a spot some miles short of Nathia Gali. I first noticed this change many years ago and true to my nature, immediately stopped to investigate the phenomenon. I noticed that I was surrounded by an eerie quiet broken by the sighing of wind amongst what was a dense forest of the most magnificent cedars I had ever seen. As I looked around, I spotted a small mud structure on the right side of the sharply curving road. Little did I know then, but I had made the discovery of a lifetime. A thatched roof covered what was a neatly made tandoor and three mud choolas. A dimly lit track led into the trees on one side of this mini eatery and into a clearing with a canopy of tier upon tier of almost horizontal needle covered branches. There were cheap wrought-iron chairs and broken down wooden tables that dotted this clearing, but the amazing feature of the place was the number of monkeys that swung amongst the branches or sat on these chairs and tables, as if waiting for their orders to be served. I walked back from the clearing to the tandoor, where two middle aged men, who appeared to be the proprietors of the place, were looking at me in an expectant manner. My son asked them if they could prepare a chicken karahi for us, while I enquired if they had some vegetables on the menu. I was surprised on being informed that their specialty was fried green beans. While my family made themselves comfortable on the chairs amidst the monkeys, I sat myself down on top of the tandoor. I looked on as one of these culinary artists began preparing the chicken, while the other trudged down the mountain track returning sometime later with freshly harvested green beans of an indeterminate nomenclature. I watched fascinated as the fresh legumes were washed and put into a wok containing oil. Within seconds spices and salt were added to the sizzling contents and the steaming product was placed before me with piping hot tandoori rotis. The next half an hour was a tremendously fulfilling experience that I shall never forget. Sitting cross-legged on the mud-plastered structure right next to the choolas, I consumed roti after roti till I had gorged myself on what was one of the best meals I had ever taken at home and abroad. Although I had keenly watched the preparation of the dish, I completely lost track of the recipe and no amount of incentive could draw the secret of the stir-fried green beans out of the two rural chefs. I was not too surprised to know that this small eating place had a distinguished list of patrons, who always visited the place for its beans. I never doubted this statement for had I not with the first morsel, taken a decision that this was the spot where I would always stop for a meal whenever in the area on vacation? I have not been to Nathia Gali for some time now and I am not even sure if the cedar forest in this story still adorns the spot or has fallen victim to the logging mafia - I dont even know if my two friends are alive and if the little thatched hotel still caters to people like me. All I can say is that if you ever happen to travel on the road in this story; like your vegetables and are desirous of a matchless eating experience, make sure that you stop and partake of the green beans prepared by two unknown rustic mountain men, who are hopefully still plying their trade under the cedars. The writer belongs to a very old and established family of the Walled City. His forte is the study of History.