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....

14 February 2009

Reaching out.....

Bridge: a structure built to span a gorge, valley, river, railroad track or any other physical obstacle, for the purpose of providing passage over the obstacle.

(Hohenzollern Bridge at Cologne.)

This is precisely what the poem by Herman Hesse did. It created a bridge between my friend IH, a German who lives in the UK, and me, an Indian who lives in India. A shared inexplicable heartache spans across age, distance and culture....

Just as every flower wilts and youth
yields to old age, so blossoms life at every stage
so flourishes each wisdom and each virtue
in its time, and cannot last forever.
The heart must be ready to depart
and recommence at each life's calling.
To give itself to new bonds
courageously and without mourning.
In each beginning lives a magic
that shields and helps us live.

Lightly moving room through room, we should
cling to nothing for refuge.
The cosmic spirit restrains us not
but stage through stage raises us, widens us.
Barely settled in a way of life,
feeling at home, and indolence threatens.
Only the one willing to pack and leave
can shrug off paralysing habits

Maybe even the hour of death
will send forth new realms,
the call of life will never end?
Go on, my heart, depart and heal.

Thank you, I.


Anonymous said...


Nice blog. Nice name.

Could you tell me soemthing about Willow Banks?
It claims to be a heritage building, but the photographs on the web look ghastly...

So can you please give an objective view?

Anonymous said...


Nice Blog with a Nice Name.

CAn you tell me something about Willow banks..it looks like a bad case of renovation,(through pictures on the web) it it was really a heritage building..

Look forward to your comments..

Gallimaufry said...

Willow Banks *used to be* a very pretty building once upon a time. In fact, I'll dig out pictures I've taken of its older parts which seem to have an interesting story.
But, yes, today is simply GHASTLY. A concrete monstrosity which might easily belong to the ugly suburbia in Kanpur, Indore or Kasargod! They've used a lots of *sandstone* in the building - a stone not native to Himachal & one which does not fit into the general aesthetic at all. The restaurant is decorated with strange drapes of cheap red velvet & the upholstery makes me want to utter unprintable words....
The photographs do it full justice - It is every bit as ugly in real life!

Anonymous said...

Thanks !! That was very kind of you !
Can you really dig up some old pictures of the place and post them?
It enrages me to see their claims that it is a 100 years old 'heritage' building !!

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