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....

21 February 2008


Snow folds our neighbourhood in a silence deep and white.

Every cedar, every pine, every fir tree wears a soft downy cloak of silver. The fences are laden with snowy pearls. As flurries of snow rush to the earth, it is a silent business. Snowflake after snowflake: some hover, some hurtle, some drop swiftly, some settle in slowly. They zig-zag. They whirl. They dance.

As, myriads by myriads madly chased,
They fling themselves from their shadowy height.
The fair, frail creatures of middle sky,
What speed they make, with their grave so nigh;
Flake after flake......

They transform the world. Old familiar sights take on strange shapes: garden fences, brush-piles and electric poles look like strange domes and towers. A flower-pot looks like an ice-cream cone. A clothes-stand becomes a sheeted ghost.
Our tiny sphere is traced with nature's geometric lines.

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