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....

19 March 2009


In certain Western cultures, yellow is a colour associated with age and aging, also cowardice. Not so in India! Here, we associate it with auspicious beginnings, with spring, with joy. We associate it with bravery and patriotism and valour of the highest order.

This morning when I went for a walk all I could see was bursts of yellow everywhere and I too felt like singing:
मेरा रंग दे बसंती चोला
मेरा रंग दे हाय
मेरा रंग दे बसंती चोला
माये रंग दे बसंती चोला

जिस चोले को पहन शिवाजी खेले अपनी जान पे
जिसे पहन झांसी की रानी मिट गयी अपनी आन पे
आज उसी को पहन के निकला, पहन के निकला
आज उसी को पहन के निकला हम मस्तों का टोला
मेरा रंग दे बसंती चोला
मेरा रंग दे
ओ मेरा रंग दे बसंती चोला
माये रंग दे बसंती चोला

दम निकले इस देश की खातिर बस इतना अरमान है
एक बार इस राह में मरना सौ जन्मों के समान है
देख के वीरों की कुरबानी अपना दिल भी बोला

It would be futile to attempt a translation of this rousing ballad which Bhagat Singh sang as he marched to the gallows... Suffice it to say that the singer asks his mother to dye his robe to the colour of spring. He invokes the valorous memory of Shivaji and Rani Lakshmibai (the Queen of Jhansi) who died fighting for their country. He says, inspired by the sacrifices made by patriots gone ahead, his only desire is to die for his country, for one such death equals a hundred lives....

No comments:

Related Posts with Thumbnails