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....

8 May 2009

I have heard the sunset song...

Walking on the Mall around nightfall yesterday, for some reason the sight of these streetlamps reminded me this Stephen Crane poem:

I have heard the sunset song of the birches,
A white melody in the silence,
I have seen a quarrel of the pines.
At nightfall
The little grasses have rushed by me
With the wind men.
"These things I have lived", quoth the maniac,
"Possessing only eyes and ears.
But you ---
You don green spectacles before you look at roses."

6 May 2009

What moments divine. What rapture serene.

I live to hold communion
With all that is divine,
To feel there is a union
'Twixt Nature's heart and mine.

~ George Linnaeus Banks ~

5 May 2009

I'm a good loser.

I have portrayed temptation as amusing.
Now he can either waver or abstain.
His is a superior kind of losing
And mine is an inferior brand of gain.

His sacrifice, his self-imposed restriction
Will get through this controversy intact
For his is a superior kind of fiction
And mine is an inferior brand of fact.

I have displayed my most attractive feature
And he his least, yet still the match seems odd
For I am a superior kind of creature
And he is an inferior brand of god

And if he cuts me off without a warning
His is the book from which I’ll take a leaf
For his is a superior kind of mourning
And ours a most inferior brand of grief.

~ Sophie Hannah ~

3 May 2009

Hawaghar Redux

A while ago, I'd made a post about the "hawaghars" in Shimla. I've been on the lookout for these quaint structures ever since and found two.

This one's in Upper Kaithu:

This one is in Chota Shimla, just outside the gates of Strawberry Hill:

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