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....

4 May 2008

Windvane. Weathercock. Whirligig.


This first weathervane known to mankind probably stands near the Acropolis in Athens, built, it is said, in 48 B.C. The oldest British Weathervane is at Ottery St. Mary, Devon, 1335, which has whistling tubes to make a 'crowing' noise. We have no record of the weathervanes in India.
This photograph shows the weathercock on top of Viceregal Lodge.
I dedicate this piece of deathless verse to this solitary fowl:

Weathercock, Weathercock, up in the sky,
What can you see from your perch so high?
Watching the clouds, the sun, moon and stars,
The people, birds, horses and cars.
I envy you, Weathercock, your wonderful view,
And wish that sometimes I could sit there with you.

3 comments:

Scribbler said...

Hmm. I guess any weathervanes we have here are thanks to colonial influence, was just racking brain to think of whether there might have been any before that on buildings in indigeneous architectural styles, and the idea was droll. Imagine a weathervane on top of, um, the Taj Mahal!

Atoorva said...

I am a big fan of your blog and those lovely poems. Please do write more often. I am longing to visit shimla once again ....your blog makes me nostalgic .

Gallimaufry said...

Scribbler: i'm falling over laughing at the thought (windvane-onthe-Taj!!!)

Atoorva: Well, why don't you make a trip here. My no. is in the Blue book :)

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