"All cities are mad: but the madness is gallant. All cities are beautiful: but the beauty is grim." - Christopher Morley, Where the Blue Begins.
School years – Your first gateway to descriptive writing
Do you remember having to write an essay describing something in particular back then at school? Well, yes, back then it probably was a mere cakewalk. We were in the process of learning and hence, to describe a thing came as a simple flick. Whereas, today, we are so preoccupied with our demanding lives that creatively describing something eventually leaves us short of words to express what we actually feel. Possessing a vast vocabulary enhances one's communication skills and brings a perspective in one's stream of imaginative thought.
As for me, my city manages to reserve an extremely niche position in my heart.
Catch the pulse of your city
It's not often that one manages to sketch out the hustle and bustle of the city; describing the texture, the color, and the appearance of a city sidewalk does get pretty tricky, even if you know how to speak in English fluently. Being able to tell one what you see in your city is good, but showing them the sight through your description stands an entire class apart! It's similar to knowing English as a language but not completely being able to master the language as a whole. Here's where the question of 'How to improve one's communication skills' comes in. Learning English might seem difficult and demanding but the language does enhance one's communication skill to the optimum.
The art of description
Describing something is an art. An art of developing an imprint by stirring through all the human senses namely: sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch. It is only through your description and choice of words and adjectives that one gets a clear picture of what you are describing. It is through the intricate details and the engraved memories that one can do justice to the assigned narrative.
"It was a town of machinery and tall chimneys, out of which interminable serpents of smoke trailed themselves for ever and ever, and never got uncoiled. It had a black canal in it, and a river that ran purple with ill-smelling dye, arid vast piles of building full of windows where there was a rattling and a trembling all day long, and where the piston of the steam-engine worked monotonously up and down, like the head of an elephant in a state of melancholy madness." - Charles Dickens, Hard Times
Describing your city could be exciting but try not to get too carried away. Being enthusiastic and upbeat to draw out a description of what you see the city as through your eyes must have its own set of boundaries between fiction and reality itself. Get appropriate information about the things you're unsure about to ensure no faulty information is being passed on. Every bit of what you speak holds value so speak wisely and factually.
"Nothing can beat the smell of dew and flowers and the odor that comes out of the earth when the sun goes down." - Ethel Waters
Possessing adequate knowledge of the language does play a vital role especially when you're required to give a detailed description about a specific thing. Having a fluent command over English as a language will definitely slash the chances of you making an unforgivable blunder. Always ensure that your sentences are crisp and imaginative. Learning English and grasping the well-assorted basics will give you a nudge in the right direction.
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- By Shailja Varma