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 April 2009

Pretty in pink.

Cyclamen is a plant from the Primulaceae family. I've heard friends in Shimla refer to it as sowbread and sometimes Persian Violet. These are perennial herbaceous plants, with surface or underground tubers. Each leaf and flower grows on its own stem which appears identical, except in height.
The leaves grow on stems up to 8 cm tall and form a tightly bunched circular disk of leaves. Leaves are rounded to triangular, 2-10 cm long and 2-7 cm broad, and usually variegated with a pale silvery horseshoe-shaped mark round the middle of the leaf.
The flowers have four to five petals which grow erect at at almost a 90° angle out of the bud. I've found white, pink and purple ones in Shimla so far. Still looking for dark-red cyclamen.
Kingdom: Plantae, Family: Myrsinaceae. Genus Cyclamen.

I come to visit thee agen
My little flowerless cyclamen;
To touch the hand, almost to press
That cheer'd thee in thy loneliness.
What could thy careful guardian find
Of thee in form, of me in mind,
What is there is us rich or rare,
To make us claim a moment's care?
Unworht to be so carest,
We are but withering leaves at best.

~ Walter Savage Landor ~

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