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....

20 December 2008

The chimney of the tossing dream....

A chimney is a structure for venting hot flue smoke from a stove or fireplace to the outside atmosphere. Shimla has a few funny-shaped ones. mostly relics of the Colonial era, because houses here no longer have fireplaces or open stoves. Such a pity, considering that they add a je ne sais quoi to our skyline.







Although it has a slightly grim end, I've always liked this poem "Loud and Low in the Chimney" by Robert Louis Stevenson:-

Loud and low in the chimney
The squalls suspire;
Then like an answer dwindles
And glows the fire
and the chamber reddens and darkens
In time like taken breath.
Near by the sounding chimney
The youth apart
Hearkens with changing colour
And leaping heart,
And hears in the coil of the tempest
The voice of love and death.
Love on high in the flute-like
And tender notes
Sounds as from April meadows
And hillside cotes;
But the deep wood wind in the chimney
Utters the slogan of death.




4 comments:

Ann said...

Love the top one, and the design of the building, very English and a little bit Tudor.

Saara Jahan said...

India is truly a place of ingenious inventions! These chimneys reminded me of terrace top water tanks I saw en-route to Amritsar. If you have ever been there, you will notice these pieces of art from the National highway itself, mostly around Phagwara, near Gauraya. Pity I was not carrying my camera then! still, I found an image of what I want to show: pls view from http://www.flickr.com/photos/63783963@N00/43961288/

A local friend told me these tanks are usually the first give-away of a person's status! So if you see a big elephant, you know how much that family is worth!!! more than all its neighbors!

Gallimaufry said...

Funny you should mention the great Punjabi water-tanks. I love those!!
Must share with you sometime a bunch of photographs I took in Ropar in August 2007. Soaring eagles! Huge footballs! Globes decorated with a massive "khandaa" (the symbol of Sikh faithh)!
Found them really captivating.

Saara Jahan said...

So the next time you are these do take some pictures! If I reach before you, I will definitely so you can weave an article around them...

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