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....

16 January 2009


A burden is a heavy weight that is difficult to carry. Metaphorically it refers to anything difficult or troubling.

Shimla has a labyrinth of narrow streets. It also has many roads that are completely blocked off to vehicular traffic. It is in places such as these that the "Khans" come in handy. This group of hardy Kashmiri men has been ferrying all sorts of stuff across town for over two centuries now.

''Soulless, colourless strain, thy words are the words of wisdom.
Is not a mule, a mule, bear he a burden of gold?" asks Richard Garnett.

And then, there are some burdens which do not feel like burden at all....


Budhaa said...

Came across your blog doing some random "googling" for Shimla..It’s been more than 2 hours and still glued to the screen , exhilarated by the old memories triggered by the wonderful & fascinating details captured by you about the "Shimla that Is " & the “Shimla that Was “

One such memory is the "Khan Bhai's” ....Used to be so impressed by the strength of the Khan Bhai who used to so effortlessly & gracefully bring in Two Loaded Gas Cylinders every month on his broad shoulders ..so much so that One of my many childhood ambitions was to become a "Khan" when i grow up…

These lovely & friendly Kashmiri men were and continue to be the back bone of Shimla Economy literally carrying it on their back…

Gallimaufry said...

Dear Budhaa, Apologies for a delayed response, this blog and I have been on a hiatus.
I thank you for your wonderful words. It's comments such as yours which keep me going on with my ode to my love - Shimla.

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