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....

22 September 2009

People flicker around me

Sauntering the pavement, or riding the country by-road—lo! such faces!
Faces of friendship, precision, caution, suavity, ideality!
The spiritual, prescient face—the always welcome, common, benevolent face,
The face of the singing of music—the grand faces of natural lawyers and judges, broad at the back-top;
The faces of hunters and fishers, bulged at the brows
—the shaved blanch’d faces of orthodox citizens;
The pure, extravagant, yearning, questioning artist’s face;
The ugly face of some beautiful Soul,
the handsome detested or despised face;
The sacred faces of infants,
the illuminated face of the mother of many children;

The face of an amour, the face of veneration;
The face as of a dream, the face of an immobile rock;
The face withdrawn of its good and bad, a castrated face;
A wild hawk, his wings clipp’d by the clipper;
A stallion that yielded at last to the thongs and knife of the gelder.

Sauntering the pavement, thus, or crossing the ceaseless ferry, faces, and faces, and faces!
I see them, and complain not, and am content with all.

~ Walt Whitman ~


Dick Richards said...

The convenience store near my home in Phoenix, Arizona, is owned by a man with an accent I did not recognize. Today I heard him speaking with another man in a language I could not place. We have been friendly, so I asked, “What is that language?”

“Punjabi,” he said, and then, I suppose because he thought I might not understand, he added, “Hindi.”

I told him that I did know what he meant the first time and that I have an Internet friend who is introducing me to the delights of Shimla. Both men brightened noticeably.

The owner said, “It is one of the most beautiful places on earth.” The other said nothing but drifted off into a state that looked like rapture. It was a nice moment, a nice connection.

Driving away from the store I felt gratitude toward you, Geetali, for enlarging my world.

Gallimaufry said...

Such a small episode and such a lovely connection is drawn between four people on different points of the globe!
Thank you, Dick, for sharing this. A great way to start the day!

nityin said...

Picture of the ladies selling vegetables in Rampur is classic. They control the entire vege market here. Just below this point there are stairs where one can find more vendors. Most of these are farm fresh.

Nice of you to give these ladies a thought!

Gallimaufry said...

Nityin, thanks for dropping by! I confess, I'm biased in favour of all working women ;)

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