Tag Archives: description

Writing description

Strange mist earlier this week obscuring the Manhattan skyline. How can I describe it?
Strange mist earlier this week obscuring the Manhattan skyline. How can I describe it?

You close your eyes and try to remember the first snow this season as it fell softly on your way to work. You relive the memory of your train ride from Calcutta to Kharagpur where you met the woman who shared aloo parathas with you. You feel the taste of the exotic Ghost Pepper at Chelsea Market in Manhattan on your tongue, after you’re home, when the burning sensation is no longer real.

Then you simply describe it in words.

Description. Of all the strategies of writing, description should be the easiest of all.

I mean, after all, what’s there to description? The original is already in existence, or must have been in existence, or can be very much like something that is or was in existence. Just go forth and make a copy. Describe it.

Can that be so hard?  Continue reading Writing description

Life is in the details

This morning was the first real snow of the season in Jersey City. At 8 am, it looked formidable outside with little lines of white zipping across the air and a fine, white dust accumulated on the shrubs and railings which melted on the concrete. It wasn’t easy to set out.

First snow in Jersey City
First snow in Jersey City

An army of darkly hooded people moved towards the train station in unison at rush hour, carefully stepping on the gaps in the little rivulets on the slippery ground and pushing through glass doors to enter buildings along the waterfront. Many had no work at all in these buildings and were walking through just to catch as much of dry warmth as possible for parts of the way avoiding the elements.

In the underground train stations that happen to be partially on the surface and hence open to the cold air, regular commuters showed an amazing knowledge of warm spots as they deftly huddled in corners with the least cold breeze. You could almost see their ears pricking up with the imperceptible distant rumble of the train as it approached. They jumped up from their corners and zipped past just in time as the train entered the station to rush through the few remaining steps to reach the open doors of the trains before they shut on them.

People shook their umbrellas and boots to get rid of the fine, white, dusty solid water. As the train emerged to light out of the darkness of the underground tunnel before reaching certain stations, the windows showed a sudden change in the industrial landscape along the train tracks. Awe-inspiring for those who had the time to look up from their electronic gadgets. Continue reading Life is in the details