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....

11 August 2010

Dogs got personality. Personality goes a long way.

I have loved dogs for as long as I can remember. Couldn't have been otherwise, since this is a genetic predisposition, inherited from dog-mad parental units, one of whom has the penchant for kissing any dogs which happen to cross her path and bringing waifs home ever so often.

Unlike cats, dogs aren't narcissists. You won't find a dog wasting time grooming himself. He would rather roll in dead fish, and emerge - like Botticelli's Venus - with a triumphant grin and a distinctly ripe air. I could swear there are dogs which lie awake at night thinking up good deeds to do the next day! They just want to please! Call a dog, and it will run to you helter-skelter, even at the risk of breaking its own neck. Call a cat and what you will get is a look which says "What's in it for me?" I like dogs because, like humans, they understand ladder-like social arrangements. Cats, on the other hand, see themselves as the hub surrounded by spokes of human minions, all reluctantly acknowledging the superiority of the despot!

I find the first encounters between dogs highly entertaining. These are thrilling and pregnant with possibility. There is a curiosity, tempered by constraint. An atavistic canniness stops them fro going utterly overboard even at the whiff of future friendship. The mutual reluctance to pass each other is amusing to watch.

Shimla's strays have afforded me the opportunity of petting and playing with dogs at a time when I am, thanks to my itinerant habits, unable to keep a pet. They have given me the warm affection of close acquaintance which stops short of a familial relationship. Shorn of any mutual responsibility, our meetings are joyous, but free of expectation. If only these could be replicated with some two-legged creatures I know!


Priya said...

what's that they say about cats? You never own a cat, you only provide it boarding and lodging, :)

varsha said...

वाह!! दिल खुश हो गया!!
पहला वाला तो लग रहा है सो कर उठा है,दूसरा पशोपेश में है.
झांकते हुए दुनिया के सब से प्यारे चौकीदार कुछ हैं -पर चौकीदारों को भी आराम चाहिए-है ना?

varsha said...

you know what- strays make the best pets-they don't get lonely,sad and emotionally dependent.
They enjoy life when you are not around doing canine politics,are extremely savvy and run up to play and love you whenever you are there.

magiceye said...

absolutely agree with your doggy reflections!!
we have a mongrel that we adopted from the streets when it was around 2months old, seven years back and he has given us unadulterated joyous love all this time! as my token of affection and pride have a blog for him at http://wingsandpaws.blogspot.com
do drop by!


Asha said...

Well, if you could replicate that with your 2-legged animal friends, then dogs would be made redundant, right?

I am reminded of something I read once - A prayer to God that goes, "When I die, please send me wherever it is dogs go to when they die". All I can say to that is: "Amen"!

Kamal Sharma said...

Nice Post.

I wrote a poem couple of months back for my friend. The always so loyal... DOG.


There is no one who cares for him,
He wondered all day and now he lay limp.
If I had time I would pick him and preen,
Humanity lost to the money machine.
Each day, I pack my bags and climb the morning train,
What have I become? A vain.
No time and pain for my broken friend,
Why do I hesitate to stretch my hand?
Our childhood was fun,
Those long walks and short runs.
Damn the fellow who made greed,
My nights are comfortable but my heart bleeds.
He breaths last and hard and writhe in pain,
I look out of my penthouse and try to enjoy the rain.

Boccone Claire said...

Un petit coucou de France!

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