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....

25 December 2009

I'm dreaming of a white Christmas

Today is Christmas day. The sky is a robin's-egg blue. Bright sunshine sparkles over the hills. The air is still. Not even a little chirrup escapes the birds. You couldn't ask for a more gorgeous day. Yet, such is the contrariness of human nature that I look out of my window and pine for snow!

Can't remember the last time we had one in Shimla in the recent past. My own memory of a white Christmas goes back to 1992. Flurries of snow, and then later, pile upon pile of snow as far as the eye could see. Trudging through little walls of crunchy snow all the way from Chaura Maidan to the Mall. Snowflakes melting in a jiffy as they settled on your hot gulaabjamuns.

Still, I leave to Henry Wadsworth Longfellow to the do the honours for today's festivities:
I hear the bells on Christmas day,
Their old familiar carols play
And wild and sweet the words repeat
Of peace on earth and goodwill to men.

I thought how, as the day has come,
The belfries of all Christendom
Had rolled along th'unbroken song
Of peace on earth and goodwill to men.

And in despair I bowed my head
"There is no peace on earth", I said
"For hate is strong and mocks the song:
Of peace on earth and goodwill to men. "

Then pealed the bells more strong and deep
"God is not dead, nor doth He sleep
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail
Of peace on earth and goodwill to men."

Till ringing, singing on its way
The world revolved from night to day
A voice, a chime, a chant sublime:
Of peace on earth and goodwill to men.


Bibliophile said...

I wish I could send you some of the snow that has been falling here. We have entirely too much of it.

Happy Christmas!

Velu said...

Merry Xmas and happy new year madam!

Last year was fab - had a daughter! :)


Shailander said...

I think your blog is a wonderful ode to a town on which the world opinion is divided between its baiters and lovers. You have a brilliant eye for detail and I am sure your pictures are an eye-opener to many “Shimlawalas.” My work keeps me away for town but I do make it sure that I make a visit once a month, albeit for a day, to the wonderful place we call Shimla. Would love to meet you if possible my email is chauhan1@gmail.com. Will be in town over the New Year

Peromyscus said...

We had plenty of snow on the ground on Christmas in my town. Unfortunately, the rain that fell that night washed it away.

Mansi said...

hey there!Since you seem so knowledgeable about Simla and places around it, i just wanted to know if you'd be having some info about skiing in kufri? any help is much appreciated!

Gallimaufry said...

Bib: Send some over! Double-quick!!!

Shailander: would be happy to meet up. Shall mail separately.

Pero :D I feel your pain!

Mansi: Erm, well, there's Kufri which has a decent ski run, and there's Narkanda which has beginner's slope, an advanced slope and a slalom run. What is your level of proficiency? Don't ask me about hotels etc. please, as I've zero idea about those.
You might want to check this site: http://www.himachallive.com/
Or this: http://himachaltourism.gov.in/

shankari said...

We had a white christmas in 1991. The first time most of us had seen snow. So far away and long ago! *sigh*

BlossomFlowerGirl said...

We don't get snow, and Christmas here is in summer, so it would seem very strange having Christmas dressed in winter woollies. I really like your third photo though, lovely shapes under the snow.
Melbourne Daily Photo

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