||The Shimla Mall - Elegance
Amidst the Mountains Himachal's answer to Pall Mall of London and Fifth
Avenue of New York, Shimla Mall has come up after years of careful and
The city's main shopping
centre and promenade packed with clubs, theatres, restaurants and bars,
it houses shops filled with the latest in fashion, from Bond Street, Benares,
or Bombay. As the town grew, so came large stores like Whiteway and Laidelaw,
the Army and Navy Stores, Ranken Brothers and others. This was the seat
of imperial power and mi'lady demanded nothing but the best, so laden ships
came from over the seven seas to cater to Imperial tastes. It was impossible
to import the London theatre so the reproduction of the Old Garrick.
The Gaiety theatre, was
built, staging Shakespeare, Marlowe, Agatha Christie, Noel Coward even
T.S. Eliot; the players, amateurs, could give even the most versatile seasoned
stage star of the era, a run for his money. Young army officers and their
wives, they took to greasepaint and the boards like a duck takes to water.
The Green Room, inevitably,
turned into a social club. Soon elegant hotels like Davico's, Wengers,
Cecil and Clarke's came up providing drinks, dinner and dance. The tea
dance invariably led to the dinner dance at the Davico's Ball room or at
the Cecil Hotel, a short distance away. After a rousing game of golf, or
billiards on the Mall itself, it was the thing socially de regeur (proper)
to sip a glass of cool bear in the filtering sunlight at one of the hotels
overlooking the avenue.