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....

28 March 2007

I think I’ll be homesick for you, even in heaven.

Said Beth to Jo in Little Women.

This sentiment comes alive as you walk past Shimla's old bungalows.
Chimneys. Mullioned windows. Little gardens with primrose creepers. The old occupants of Shimla's bungalows gave them names that revealed the degree of their owners' homesickness. These houses were meant to be a symbol of their owner's position in the local pecking order, but sometimes unwittingly also said a lot about their personalities and aspirations. For example, Allan Bank was once called the Nunnery since its three female occupants were all single. Rothney Castle gives away its landlord's ambition while Walsingham points to its proprietor's patriotic beliefs! It is clear that Corner House was occupied by someone down to earth!

Name me no names for my disease,
With uninforming breath;

I tell you I am none of these,
But homesick unto death—

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