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....

30 April 2008

More thoughts on spring...

Ahhh, Spring!
Buds bursting, little green fingers of grass
poking their way up through the earth
where only last month snow lay thick.

The breeze makes the blossoms tremble.
I can only laugh and point
as downy clouds rise up above the mountain tops.

Sunlight sweeps my eyelids awake
Nodding narcissii acknowledge my gaze
making the sky look bluer than it is.

I, singing in spring

There's something about spring mornings. I took this picture outside the Viceregal Lodge, stunned at the time, by the way spring seemed to have burst over Shimla. Flames of greens and blues and whites and yellows shooting upwards and outwards. A lovely day to do little else but lie back, chew on a blade of grass and ponder the shapes of the clouds.
D.H Lawrence puts it so well:

This spring as it comes bursts up in bonfires green,
Wild puffing of emerald trees, and flame-filled bushes,
Thorn-blossom lifting in wreaths of smoke between
Where the wood fumes up and the watery, flickering rushes.

I am amazed at this spring, this conflagration
Of green fires lit on the soil of the earth, this blaze
Of growing, and sparks that puff in wild gyration,
Faces of people streaming across my gaze.

And I, what fountain of fire am I among
This leaping combustion of spring? My spirit is tossed
About like a shadow buffeted in the throng
Of flames, a shadow that’s gone astray, and is lost.

28 April 2008

I don't care for what anyone thinks!

I love wisteria! Love its lavender scent. Being intoxicated by it on my way to work. The shades of light purple, violet and pale lavender. The frail tendrils that drape like so many candelabra on the gazebo.
What do I not like about wisteria - the clinging vine act, for sure!
For the scientific-minded among my gentle readers, here are the details:
Wisteria or wistaria, any plant of the genus Wisteria, woody twining vines of the family Leguminosae (pulse family), cultivated and highly esteemed for the beautiful pendent clusters of pealike flowers, lilac, white, or pink.
Wisteria is classified in the division Magnoliophyta, class Magnoliopsida, order Rosales, family Leguminosae.

17 April 2008

Shimla's rooftops

There are several tiers of rooftops, basically capping higgeldy-piggeldy biuildings that were built into the ridhe that skirts Shimla. These are home to the Middle & Lower Bazaars: Kipling's "crowded rabbit-warren that climbs from the valley to the Town Hall at an angle of forty-five".
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