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 April 2009

Nostalgia attack!!

Yesterday, walking to a friend's house, I noticed this advertisement painted on the wall of a shop on the Mall.
The mind went in reverse gear, because this was the exact same model of the very first Philips stereo I ever owned, gifted to me by the parental units, back in 1983. Back then, not many companies were making audio systems in India. This venerable institution started business operations in India in 1930, and introduced the audio cassette to us - thereby opening up a whole new world of music.
The stereo sang pretty much all through my waking hours, playing old Hindi film songs and Simon & Garfunkel and Bob Dylan and many others.... It was kept on a little stool, jammed between the bed and the study-table for easy access. A little shoe-box below was the repository of the music, the precious horde, collected with care from a meagre monthly allowance.
But it wasn't just the tapes. The "two-in-one" also had a radio. It could catch All India Radio and on odd days, Radio Kabul which, in between chaste Pashto announcements, played amazing old Hindi film songs.
All India Radio had a special hour every evening called "Yuv Vani" (the voice of youth) which played (guess what?) Hindi songs for an hour. Occasionally, very occasionally, the radio station would invite a local fuddy-duddy to speak on "matters related to, or important to, youth". This august personage having been young a really long time ago and rarely had any interesting insights to offer. But well, the time when they were interviewed in hushed tones and their responses were the time you took a comfort-break, or wandered off to talk to your parents about something!
Sunday nights fared better: someone your age hosted a program, called "In The Groove". This was practically the only time Western music was played on AIR, by listeners' request. An announcer (They weren't called "radio jockeys" back then!) by the name of Chandramouli Basu was a hot favourite....
Tuning into the AIR Shimla, it appears things haven't changed much! Fuddy-duddies are still interviewed. An idiotic announcer still shares "useful information for the youth" (the deepest part of Indian Ocean anyone?) and they still play number from the 40s, 50s and 60s. Comforting and disturbing at the same time!!!

Bless Philips, for they've given so many people hours of enjoyment.


Sick PuppyDawg said...

Outside the Airtel Shop right? It still exists? Super cool!

Gallimaufry said...

Yes! That's the one!

Mouli said...

I'm amazed that someone remembers my radio broadcasts from some 25 years odd years ago!! Thanks you!


Gallimaufry said...

OMG! Chandramouli Himself!!! faints
Do you have any idea what a huge fan-base you had, Chandramouli? It was only because you were so darn brilliant. And your voice... sighhh

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