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....

18 November 2009

The call of the cafe

A small but significant development seems to have escaped the attention of the people of Shimla. There's a new cafe in town, everyone. I call this a significant development because any number of people in my circle of acquaintance have bemoaned the lack of places to go for a cuppa, where one could just sit and share a limberness of the mind, improving the appetite for conversation, refining thought and making extraordinary an average sentence maker!

Finally, Shimla has just such a place. Agreed it is early days yet. But something about the location of the Firestation Cafe and its gives me hope! Along with the mandatory walk to the Mall, the cuppa at Barista, or Indian Coffee House, or the chicken patty at Trishool, I look forward to it becoming a part of our daily ceremonials in Shimla. In my mind's eye, I see cafe-style debates and discussions on culture, politics, philosophy, science and cinema happening there.

This little place has been designed by the redoubtable Abha Narain Lambah. Abha has retained the ambience of the old fire station, using interesting objects and colours, whether its old fire helmets, fire buckets or even a small portable pump. Warm reds grace its walls, as do pictures from the illustrious past of its larger, historic neighbour, the Indian Institute of Advanced Study. At present, cafe can only offer you tea or coffee, but one hopes that with the passage of time, there will be more on offer - and not just in terms of eatables! The cafe also has on sale lovely picture postcards and an eclectic collection of books.

Cheers for the Firestation Cafe!

1 comment:

Vinayak Razdan said...

I like the looks of this place.

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