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....

24 February 2009

Road signs.

Road signs. What is not to love about them? Especially if you're an avid walker living in a walker-friendly town?
The white road sign below the blue one is a recent addition. Added by Himachal Tourism, I am fairly certain it's got the distances to Glen & Chadwick Falls grossly wrong!

The typical green-and-white signs. You see these all over town. The new ones have "No Smoking Zone" painted on them:

This sign leans drunkenly.

One of the older ones. They usedn't to be politically correct back then. So the signs were only in English. This one's a favourite:


Saara Jahan said...

Hi, I am sure this is the first time I am joining a blog!

I just could not ignore this....at last found someone who loves Simla as much as i do. though you are at a distinct advantage of staying with your loved one, reading you took me to the place! count me as a lifelong follower!

Gallimaufry said...

Hey, thank you for your kind words. Shimla-lovers inevitably find each other - somehow :)
Buzz me if you ever head this way.

verisimladude said...

I remember the ambedkar 'chaunk' (surprise) signboard..there is some very interesting wordplay on display (unintentional mostly) around the town..e.g. the history board at the Grand Hotel gate which details its changes of fortune over 2 centuries, ending with how the hotel looks forward to "lost another century".
Equally intriguing and baffling was the mirror-image town map at the Gorton Castle gate chowk..the coolest thing was that consistency was maintained with a flipped-over direction reference cross showing East to the left and West to the right..could imagine it as a guidemap viewed fomr the center of the earth for visitors who might want to navigate from under the town surface :)
just love the poetry/couplets on the chaat vendors' stalls..the art form has far-reaching effects:on a Kalka platform 'pyau'was a beautiful doha about water but can't remember it now..will check the photos n get back :)

Gallimaufry said...

verysimladude (*great* play of words, btw!), I fall over laughing every time I see "Ambedkar चौंक" :D
As for the map outside Gorton Castle, I've often seen tourists scratch their heads, twist their necks, flip their guidebooks over, looking totally baffled!!
Could you please located a picture of the pyaau you soeak of: it sounds so intriguing.
Thanks, as always, for stopping by.

verisimladude said...

located the pyau pic but can't figure out how to upload with the comment..is that function available here?
the doha is from rahim:
"rahiman paani raakhiye, bin paani sab soon / paani gaye na ubre, moti, maanush, choon"

my father's a doha-phile and said that 'paani' in this case also refers to (gentle) temperament, and in a sense may be equated with 'vaani', as in kabir's "aisi vaani boliye, man ka aapa khoye / auron ko seetal kare, aapahu seetal hoye"..wonder if there was ever a 'tabaadla-e-khayalaat' between the two greats :)

btw, is there a story behind the filliped map? maybe the inner wheel club would know the inner workings..

Gallimaufry said...

verisimladude, alas, I don't think it's possible to upload pictures here.. Such a pity! Both those dohas go to the heart of the matter! Always loved our two poetic greats...
Am trying to contact a local gyaani for a kahani behind the map...

verisimladude said...

great! honing my dhyaan for upcoming gyaan..vaise "kehte hain gyaani, duniya hai phaani, paani pe likhi likhaayi" but mehopes the gyaani will consider this issue of more substance, if not a patthar ki lakeer, at least for being writ on cement and choon :)

Gallimaufry said...

Ha-ha! Can't beat your play of words. बहुत खूब!

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