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....

15 July 2009

Lovin' Shimla!

I love Shimla and I love old Hindi cinema. It is, therefore, with great glee that I watch films shot in my adopted home-town. Some capture "the Shimla mood" wonderfully well. Others merely use it as a backdrop to illustrate an emotion, or a situation.
Dr Usha Bande, a respected local academician and old Shimla hand has spoken eloquently on this in her essay "Real Shimla in Reel Shimla" in the anthology Whispering Deodars, edited by the redoubtable Minakshi Chaudhry.

I will speak of a few favourites only.
My no. 1 all-time super-duper favourite is "तू कहाँ ये बता" (tu kahan ye bata) from the 1963 classic "Tere Ghar Ke Saamne". In all likelihood, the song was shot in a studio set. But it captures the misty, rainy evenings that Shimla residents revel in yearly during the monsoon.
"हसीनों की सवारी है" (haseeno ki sawaari hai) from the 1960 film "Love In Shimla", a Mills-and-Boonesque romance, is a perennial favourite. This song captures Shimla's quaint rooftops, winding roads and dappled shade so wonderfully! A rare treat to see the Shimla of the 60s as the hero, Joy Mukherjee, runs past Shimla Club (didn't notice Chalet Day School which is located on the other side!), up to the US Club, then on to Ridge past Chris Church to reach Scandal Point.
No films based around Shimla would be complete without the hero yodelling the mandatory song in (or even on) the Kalka-Shimla train! "दिल थाम चले हम आज किधर" (dil thaam chale hum aaj kidhar) also from "Love In Shimla" has Joy Muhkerjee crooning in a first-class train compartment. In "मुझे अपना यार बना लो", (mujhe apna yaar banaa lo) from the 1960 film "Boyfriend", you have a jaunty Shammi Kapoor cadging a rooftop ride. Dangerous, but visually spell-binding!
Please click on the links to enjoy a moveable feast of Shimla! You may not understand Hindi, but the delights are all visual anyway...


Vinayak Razdan said...

Great pick!

Gallimaufry said...

Thanks, Vinayak!

NITYIN said...

If you had noticed movies in the 60s used to have mandatory skiing shots. Hero romancing the heroine on a ski slope and towards the climax, villan chasing the poor girl while skiing. All these shots used to be filmed at Kufri, Yes Kufri, if you could believe it.

My parents were avid skiers. They used to walk up till Kufri from Shimla in snow on Sunday and practise skiing their. In fact, my late mum had doubled once for one of the heroines for a chasing sequence.

Shimla had a vintage feel till the 80s and everything changed after the 90s. It turned into a ghetto..!!

Gallimaufry said...

Hey Nityin! Yes, I remember all those chasing-on-skis sequences. RIP, Nityin's Mum. She must have been quite a skier to have acted as a heroine's double!!
And yes, Shimla's become such a garbage dump over the years! Especially new Shimla. It's horrid!

verisimladude said...

visited shimla in july..first time, and unforgettable..the himalayan queen journey reminded me of 'gaadi bula rahi hai' from 1974's 'dost' - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D8ynNT6r90U
- the steam engine is so much cooler! dharmendra detrains at tara devi though..

Ranjani Mitra said...

Could only watch 'haseeno ki sawari hai' coz the other two said 'taken off due to user violation'.......
Loved the scenes from Shimla.....

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