Why this blog is called "Gallimaufry".
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....
28 April 2006
The soul of Shimla. In the late 18th century, the doings at Scandal Point reached such a stage that an admittedly irritated Harrop remarked,"The transmitters of gossip are ever at work and savory and unsavory secrets of our society are flashed to the uttermost limits of Simla with all the speed of wireless."! Things haven't changed much since...
And Shimla probably still has its Mrs. Hauksbees.
was so christened by my friend Yashodhara because we made innumerable trips up and down this way.
This is a view from the Railway Board building when you are headed towards Ellerslie, or the Himachal Pradesh Secretariat building as it is now called.
Born in the moonlight of the lane,
Quench’d in the heavy shadow again.
is as beautiful as from up close. Completed in 1904, this neo-Gothic building was designed by Sir Swinton Jacob. It takes its name from its first owner a Mr. Gorton who was an ICS. Formerly the Civil Secretariat of the Imperial Government of India, today it houses the offices of the Accountant General of Himachal Pradesh.
You might be allowed to explore it if you ask the Accountant General nicely!
Located at the foot of the Mall, this building was constructed by the Bombay firm Rishardson and Cruddas in 1896-97. It is a cast-iron & steel structure and once housed the offices of the Railway Board.
I was an officer-in-training in this building for a year & a half. Loved its four floors, three basements and gorgeous cast-iron staircases.
25 April 2006
This diesel-powered contraption may look a little unprepossesing, but it's possibly the nicest way to travel up to Shimla. About 14 years ago, we were a group of around 20 people all going up, so we bought tickets on the railcar. We also stocked up on potato chips, cookies, water, a guitar & a small tambourine.
What a lovely journey it turned out to be...
From its blue vase the rose of evening drops;
Upon the streams its petals float away.
The hills all blue with distance hide their tops
In the dim silence falling on the grey.
A little wind said "Hush!" and shook a spray
Heavy with May's white crop of opening bloom;
A silent bat went dipping in the gloom.
Night tells her rosary of stars full soon,
They drop from out her dark hand to her knees.
Upon a silhouette of woods, the moon
Leans on one horn as if beseeching ease
From all her changes which have stirred the seas.
Across the ears of Toil, Rest throws her veil.
I and a marsh bird only make a wail.
Francis Ledwidge. 1891–1917