Writing 101: Day Two: Description of a Setting
Today’s Prompt: If you could zoom through space in the speed of light, what place would you go to right now?
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
Today, choose a place to which you’d like to be transported if you could — and tell us the backstory. How does this specific location affect you? Is it somewhere you’ve been, luring you with the power of nostalgia, or a place you’re aching to explore for the first time?
Today’s twist: organize your post around the description of a setting.
Nostalgia: One Day, in a Field
Where do I want to be? My fugitive memory takes me back to an evening when I was an undergraduate student, more than two decades ago. Staying in a hostel away from home, but never homesick, I was discovering the pleasures of solitude, where I could be anonymous in a crowd. It was a time and a place when I came close to myself.
Evening, and I was with a team of girls, playing basket-ball. Games in the evenings and yoga in the mornings were compulsory for us. I’d signed up for basketball, an unlikely sport for a bookworm like me! There was this ground behind the college and hostel buildings — a vast stretch of open land, ringed by the distant hills , including one that we called, ‘the lion mountain’, since it’s peak resembled a lion’s head! The silence of the evening and the glorious views of the setting sun (each day a panorama) were interrupted by the excited cries of young women — playing ! Away from prying eyes, breathing in the sense of a fresh freedom, we dribbled the ball, passed it and threw it around, till it found its mark in the ‘basket’, hanging enticingly above — not too high, not too low! Hair flying, muscles straining, limbs unwinding, we played — lost in motion and movement, mental-emotional clutter and chatter held at bay, mind focussed on just one thing — how to get at that basket — and time stood still through all this.
When the game was done, I often felt I’d just been to another land — a place, a state of mind when thoughts were in abeyance and the mind almost did not exist. I finally understood why people play or join a sport — why athletes run and footballers risk injuries, why a Michael Schumacher dares death again and again in Formula racing, why a Saina Nehwal puts in those gruelling hours going through intensive coaching or why the movie ‘Chak de INDIA’ a movie about women’s hockey became such a hit. And yes, before I forget, why that over-rated game called cricket has normally sane people glued to TV sets for hours !
It’s all for that state of mind — notwithstanding the pride of country or spirit of adventure– knowingly by the players, unknowingly by the fans.