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 April 2010

I adore simple pleasures. They are the last refuge of the complex

Some years ago, I was going through a very long, ugly, dark tunnel in life. One night, in particular, so tenebrous that simply ending it all felt like an easier option than to on. That night, a friend called me and reminded me that by focussing on the bleak and the bad, I was ignoring all that was wonderful and made life worth living.
How right she was. When I sat down to list all the things make life special, realisation dawned that many of those were really very small and were things that I was apt to take for granted...

Here is my list in no particular order, gentle reader, feel free to chime in with yours, please.

Being with friends


Being in the mountains

Farmer's omelette (mushrooms, cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, shallots, green chillis, et al.)

A dog who wants you to throw a ball he can chase

A beautiful baby you met by sheer accident

Windvanes or weathercocks

Chancing unexpectedly on a favourite song playing on an old radio perched on a shelf in Lower Bazaar

Candy-coloured temples


One yellow flower

A singer whose voice drips into your soul

Shafqat singing "rohi"

And, on a gentle reminder from Varsha, ... sitting by running water


varsha said...

Totally Thumbs Up!books,dogs,flowers,friends.
I would only add some water maybe-sitting by the side of a river,lake or sea!

Gallimaufry said...

Varsha! So right!! Have amended the post accordingly :)

Sanchia said...

Lovely post, GT, and a good reminder.

* Being with friends
* laughter
* Making music
* Good books
* A good meal
* Chocolate
* Being in the mountains
* Dogs
* Good health

BP007 said...

I'm lucky to live on the West Coast of Australia and can see the sun sink into the Indian Ocean at the end of every day.
I would add to your list 'Golden sunsets and red wine'.

Peekay said...

Did you find anything today that resembles the descriptions in the book - apart from the place names, that is. Now you need to follow Kipling's trail from Chini to Shimla (Kim).

Gaurav Chauhan said...

Beautiful. Thanx for reminding us of the hidden treasures in life which we forget so easily.


Sun and Gius said...

Simple pleasures...Oscar Wilde would have nodded in agreement - beautifully written.

Anonymous said...

Oh, sigh, I'm going to have to do a post of my favorite simple pleasures. I long for days of simplicity where days are loosened and my worries are none. I love those days where relaxation sets in and God is so present through the small things. I love your pictures. :)

Gallimaufry said...

Thank you, each one of you, for appreciating the spirit of this post.
Sun/Gius (hope to see you in these parts, dear people)

Peekay said...

You DID say 'simple pleasures of life' - didn't you? At my age and stage of life - I can add:
Watching over your sleeping grandson;
Watching the train going by on the hillside, with your grand-daughter in your lap; sitting on the terrace after sundown, with a 'scotch on the rocks' in your hand, with Mallika Pukhraj singing 'Abhi to main jawan hoon' in the background....

Deep Sea said...

Brilliant post, I can so understand it as well as the need for it. And agree fully with the choices. I remember making such a list years ago and sharing it at http://deepseamusings.blogspot.com/2006_06_01_archive.html
And yet, as I sit back today, I can think of many more little gems of happiness. Thks for the reminder.

Oh and the pictures are beautiful, as always.

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