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....

7 August 2007


Digression: wandering from the main path of a journey; turning aside (of your course or attention or concern); a message that departs from the main subject.

This blog has so far been only on Shimla. But late in July, I went travelling through Kinnaur & Spiti. This was a God-sent (or shall I say, government of India-sent) opportunity to re-visit the place of my dreams - Chandrataal.

Over the next few days I hope to post pictures of some of the places I saw on my way. I would like to talk about so many things I saw on my way - the constant play of sun and clouds, of light and shade, the aridity, the fertility, the cold, the warmth, the deserts, the lakes, the firendly lamas & zomos, the gompas, the innumerable chortens, the lonesome mummy at Geo, the tsampo, the salty tea, the improbable chocolate croissants discovered at Kaza, the laughter, the sheer joy of being on the open road....

This sight of the sun rising slowly over the mountains at Recong Peo reminded me of a Roerich painting.
The sublime view of the mountains is balanced by the sheer ugliness of the town with its higgledy-piggeldy buildings, open drains and the fine sheen of dust that seems to cover everything!

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