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 February 2011

A feeling of sadness and longing That is not akin to pain, And resembles sorrow only As the mist resembles the rain...


How serendipitous it is to stumble across these lines by Longfellow!


All day it has rained. I watch this cloudy evening fall after a day of rain. Shimla looks especially verdant after rain. As the light increases, I discover around me an ocean of mist, which by chance reached up exactly to the base of the tall Akashvani tower in Chaura Maidan. It shuts out every vestige of our town, leaving me feeling as though I am only a small speckle in cloudland! All around me, as far as the eye can reach, is an undulating country of clouds, answering in the varied swell of its surface to the terrestrial world it veiled. This is Shimla - such a place as we might see in dreams, with all the delights of paradise. 


The naked eye cannot make out any edges or any boundaries, all forms appear dimly still through a mist; but they have no chemistry to fix them; they fade from the surface of the glass, and the picture which the Divine Painter painted stands out dimly from beneath. The world with which we are commonly acquainted leaves no trace, and it will have no anniversary. 

Some figures go past me, cloaked. They walk cloaked in mist and rain and suddenly I feel a commingling of a contemporary elation, new fervour, old griefs and griefs not yet begun. It is as though the pale blue mist has wandered absolvingly past all it touches, yet hangs like bated breath.... 


The damp stands on the long green grass 
As thick as morning's tears, 
And dreamy scents of fragrance pass 
That breathe of other years. 

Emily Jane Brontë 

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