Why this blog is called "Gallimaufry".
Originally meaning "a hash of various kinds of meats," "gallimaufry" comes from French galimafrée; in Old French, from the word galer, "to rejoice, to make merry"; in old English: gala + mafrer: "to eat much," and from Medieval Dutch maffelen: "to open one's mouth wide."
It's also a dish made by hashing up odds and ends of food; a heterogeneous mixture; a hodge-podge; a ragout; a confused jumble; a ridiculous medley; a promiscuous (!) assemblage of persons.
Those of you who know me, will, I’m sure, understand how well some of these phrases (barring the "promiscuous" bit!) fit me.
More importantly, this blog is an ode to my love for Shimla. I hope to show you this little town through my eyes. If you don't see too many people in it, forgive me, because I'm a little chary of turning this into a human zoo.
Stop by for a spell, look at my pictures, ask me questions about Shimla, if you wish. I shall try and answer them as best as I can. Let's be friends for a while....
15 May 2006
The Viceregal Lodge
The sight of the Viceregal Lodge is splendidly refreshing when you first huff and puff your way up the Observatory Hill.
What is the most amazing thing about this builiding for me? The fact that it was desgined and built by the Public Works Department (PWD). The same PWD which has become synonymous with the uniformity of its buildings' ugliness and whose bridges are reknowned for the regularity with which they crumble at the smallest opportunity!
But let's focus on Viceregal Lodge. Grand spiralling staircase. A larger-than-large fireplace. Massive wine cellar. Grand teak-panelled rooms. Majestic turrets. Huge kitchens. Dozens of galleries, verandahs and terraces. Mammoth chandeliers. Little bunkers from the two world wars. This must have been quite a place in the days when the Viceroy of India occupied it.
In the late 1800s, this was the only building with electricity and central heating in all Shimla.
This is the place where the decision was made to partition India.
Today, it houses Institute of Advanced Studies.