Writing 101

Day Two of Writing 101: A Room with a View (Or Just a View)

Today’s challenge: Descriptive writing (hardest part for me).

We’re all drawn to certain places. If you had the power to get somewhere — anywhere — where would you go right now? For your twist, focus on building a setting description.

A place belongs forever to whoever claims it hardest, remembers it most obsessively, wrenches it from itself, shapes it, renders it, loves it so radically that he remakes it in his own image.

– Joan Didion

This will be my first time writing descriptively. So bear with me as I attempt it!

Here I go:

First of all, I am an Indian and a Hindu (there are levels but I won’t bore you with that).

The place: a small ashram near Narsimhakonda (Lord Narasimha situated on top of a hill), Nellore, India.

Note: Please pardon me for not being accurate as it has been a very longtime since I have been there. The last time I’ve been there was when I visited India, which was back in 2010.

We (as a family but minus dad) used to spend our summer hoilidays there along with my cousins. I always used to look forward to spending my time there. The surroundings of the place is not as busy as you might see in a city. It is located a little outside of Nellore, which I think is a city. The place is a huge one for my eyes. It includes a main house with kitchen, a small mandir (temple) for lord Hanuman, conjoined rooms for visitors/devotees (not sure how many rooms though – maybe 4 or 5), 2 or 3 separate bathrooms, and a vast garden of flowers, vegetables, fruits, and various types of trees. Unlike the buildings in USA made of wood, the buildings in India are made mostly of concrete.

I am stuck. How do I proceed? Hmm…a difficult task. Wish I had a picture of it to show you all!

As you enter through the front gates, you will see that the mandir is placed at the leftmost corner facing the house, which is cater-cornered from the temple. The temple is on a raised platform by a number that I am ignorant of.  There are a few steps leading to the top of the platform. The garbhagriha (shrine) is surrounded with a circumambulatory passage so it does have the space to make pradakshinams (circumambulation) around the shrine.  The idol is made out of a certain black stone. He is so attractive and beautiful. He captivates the attention and hearts of those who come to see him. He is enchantingly beautiful. On the incarnation day of Lord Hanuman, which occurs once every year, there is a big celebration done here. Hundreds of devotees from various places come to witness it! For seven days and nights till the incarnation day, his songs are sung continuously into a microphone to be heard by everyone. I have never been there to participate in the celebration though. Maybe in the near future!

I would love to describe the garden as well but it has been more then ten years since I was there. I have been to the temple a little more than three years ago during a three-week visit to India but I wasn’t able to go into the gardens though because of the snakes. Latest news is that there are monkeys now coming into the house and stealing the food. They are not harmful but will defend themselves if anyone comes in their way.

Lastly, I will try to describe the house. The house consists of four rooms – a big living room, a room containing deities for worship, a bedroom and a kitchen.

That is all I can do. As you can tell, I need lots of improvement. I don’t know the correct architectural terms to use and there is nothing much I can do with a hazy memory. Also, not having a picture of the place to guide me did not help in writing the above description. I know that is so vague and I’m sorry for that. I tried my best!

I am not happy with this piece! 😦

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