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....

10 February 2008

Kyi gompa

You have to travel all of 12 kilometres to the north of Kaza by bus to reach Kyi. Looking at the gompa from a distance, I felt a sense of deja vu: it reminded me forcefully of the Thiksey gompa that I'd seen in Ladakh some 20-odd years ago.
This monastery, the largest in the region I'm told, has much to fascinate the visitor. Little winding stairways that seem to criss-cross each other. Tiny doorways lead into dark-lit prayer chambers that seem to spring out of nowhere. There's a large-ish kitchen where you find all manners of kitachen implements and two friendly lamas who brew hot buttered tea constantly.

While the presence large brass plates & the funny-shaped ladles made sense, I wonder what that pair of binoculars was doing in the kitchen! Maybe the lamas on cooking duty use them to spot stragglers?!

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