Why this blog is called "Gallimaufry".

gal-uh-MAW-free\, noun.

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....

8 July 2006

They did things in style back then!!

Browsing old books about Shimla, I found this gem in one by S. J. Duncan sometime ago. It's too priceless for words.
The era is Victorian. The family small: a young mother, three children & their ayah (maid). The journey is complicated: they are moving from Calcutta to Shimla. The distribution of their luggage is as follows:
1st camel load: Two large trunks & two small ones with clothing.
2nd camel load: One large trunk containing children's clothing, plate chest, three bags, one bonnet-box.
3rd camel load: Three boxes of books, one box containing folding chairs light tin box with clothing.
4th camel load: Four cases of stores, four cane chairs, saddle stand & mackintosh sheets.
5th camel load: One chest of drawers, two iron cots(!), tea table, pans for washing up.
6th camel load: Second chest of drawers, screen, lamps, lanterns, hanging wardrobes.
7th camel load: Two boxes containing house-linen, two casks containing ornaments, ice-pails & doormats.
8th camel load: Three casks of crockery, another cask containing ornaments, fitler purdah bamboos, tennis-poles (!).
9th camel load: Hot case, milk safe, baby's tub and stand, sewing machine, fender and irons, water cans, pitchers.
10th camel load: Three boxes containing saddlery, kitchen utensils, carpets.
11th camel load: Two boxes containing drawing room sundries, servants' cots, iron bath (huh?), cheval glass, plate basket.

Travel light, anyone?!

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