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....

8 February 2011

Chaste as the icicle That's curdied by the frost from purest snow....

Hiatus [hahy-ey-tuhs] is a break or interruption in the continuity of a work. Sometimes, it's a natural fissure, other times, a missing part, or lacuna; but if viewed sympathetically, wholly necessary at all times! I've been away too long from Gallimaufry, because I have been away from Shimla, from writing and from photography. But hopefully, with the blessings of the Higher Spirit, the Pledeian High Council or whoever it is that controls thoughts and actions of mere mortals, one shall be back in the creative groove with renewed vigour...

January was a cold month for us. But the cold, which preceded and followed the two snowfalls was wholly welcome. Snowfall in Shimla, as elsewhere, is an event much recorded and celebrated. However, another interesting phenomenon unfolds gently and quietly on the sidelines. And that is the formation of icicles. An icicle is a spike of ice formed when dripping water freezes mid-air. Icicles typically form when snow melts in the sunshine and the melted water runs off into an area where the temperature is below 0°C, which causes water to freeze again! The continuous run-off of water helps form icicles. 

As a child, I had seen icicles in Srinagar, Kashmir and so I was struck with wonder to see lovely cold tassels decorating the eaves of my roof.  They looked like a row of daggers pointed downward, their pointy edges thrown in sharp relief against a cobalt blue sky. 

I'm reminded of some lines by Shelley: 

Oh! take the pure gem to where southerly breezes,

Waft repose to some bosom as faithful as fair,
In which the warm current of love never freezes,
As it rises unmingled with selfishness there,
Which, untainted by pride, unpolluted by care,
Might dissolve the dim icedrop, might bid it arise,
Too pure for these regions, to gleam in the skies


varsha said...

Great to see Gallimaufry buzzing again !
love those icicle shots .

Vinayak Razdan said...

second that.

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