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....

12 May 2008

Things I like. And things I don't.

This is such a nice sight. An example of the Himachalis' devout nature.
What you see in the picture is a local devtaa (deity). In all likelihood, the deity resides in a little temple in a village somewhere close to Shimla. Occasionally, the residents of village take him or her for a joy-ride through town. No money or offerings are demanded from passers-by. If anything is offered (and this happens infrequently), it is accepted in good grace.
Notice that the lady making an obeisance before the devtaa has taken off her footwear. But the bearers of the deity's palanquin haven't. Good solid practicality & devotion co-exist happily.

And here's what I detest about Shimla. These shops down the Mall & along Lakkar Bazaar which sell utterly ghastly, tasteless souvenirs of the most inferior quality. It is a bit frightening how all-pervasive this kind of stuff is! You find it not only here, but also in Mussoorie, Nainital, Manali, Darjeeling, Ooty, Dalhousie....

Kitsch, kitsch hota hai...

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