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....

30 June 2009

Dance until the earth dance!

A weekend afternoon. G & I set off for a walk towards the Mall in a bid to beat post-prandial coma. An unexpected treat awaits us at the amphitheatre outside Gaiety. A group of musicians is tuning its instruments. Then another group trips out lightly. These are dancers from Chamba, announces an officious little gentleman in the biggest sun-glasses you ever saw.

The dance begins.

Initially, the rhythm is gentle. The song speaks of a courtship. A boy offers a girl a flower, then the moon and finally, his life! She is flippant and shy, by turns.
The drums beat a little faster. The cadence picks up. Then, there are pauses in the movement. Together, the boy and the girl declare they desire to visit Shimla! She calls him "my gun"! He compares her to a flower! The jollity, it seems, is interspersed by a sort of spiritual elevation. As the tempo rises, feet move faster. Colours are a whirl.

The dance imparts an affirmation of life. It energises you, the spectator, with the vigour, the humour, the wonder, the enigma that life is. This is poetry with arms and legs. This is a revelation of the mystery of music, with the added advantage of being human and therefore, so much more palpable.

The music in the dancers' soul spills on to the audience....


Ann said...

Beautifully written and those colours are so vibrant. I love those embroidered shoes.

Gallimaufry said...

Thank you, Ann! The shoes are called "pulla". Made of hemp, they are the best thing to wear when it's really cold. Everyone has a favourite pair! These are mine: http://www.photoblog.com/SoulCurry/2008/12/05/shallow-post-of-the-day.html

NITYIN said...

These are the colors of rural life here in Himachal. Great pics. Nice to know you were there at the Gaiety. Any updates on the Gaiety festival. Did you watched any of the plays?

Gallimaufry said...

Hi Nityin! I do. I have lots of things to say about the Gaiety Festival - most of them unkind. Mom says "If you can't say anything nice, then don't say anything!". So I'm holding my counsel :D

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