Descriptive: Lunch hour
The brazen buzz of a bell marks the commencement of the lunch hour at the school mess. Worksheets, notebooks and lectures bow before the rumbling stomachs of children and humbly step aside in resignation to make way for the lunch hall. The serene silence surrounding the empty mess is shattered by the echo of their fierce footsteps as they enter, ready to devour their fill of delectable delights. The endless rows of tables and benches await their presence, patient, as they march ramrod straight, in quintessential queues, into the hall. The lines dissolve themselves in the vicinity of the L-shaped food counters, tempted by the savoury secrets hidden beneath stainless steel lids, eagerly bubbling in anticipation of being revealed.
The cacophony of voices weaves a web of sounds that settles over the hall as the minutes tick by, enveloping all.
A cosmos of cheery chaos reigns over the lunch hall!
On the food counter are spread heavenly delights that engage the senses, and entrap them in hedonistic pleasure. The flaky flatbreads, fluff with pride, are kept in the close company of succulent pieces of cottage cheese, floating carefree in a rich red tomato gravy. In a deep cube container in the neighbourhood, is long-grained rice, every morsel shining clean white in well-oiled glory, longing for an amorous alliance with a generous serving of lentils. The lentils, an epitome of simplicity and spice, are a deep, dark yellow, waiting to be devoured in union with its companion, rice. The tart aroma of minced garlic and fresh coriander sends waves of hungry pleasure carousing through the body, awakening the gustatory senses from their slumber. Golden friend chunks of dry potatoes and peas smothered with spices serve as a perfect accompaniment to these delightful dishes. Next to this scrumptious spread is the salad station, offering the triple treat of crunchy cucumbers, fresh onions and tomatoes, thinly sliced in perfectly round circles. The zest of freshly diced lemons smells like summer in a food haven. The large bowl containing a smooth pool of thick, cool curd, a natural coat for the stomach, is an integral member of the salad station, a must-have in the hot weather. On the other end of the food counter is the dessert station, with soft, pillowy gulab jamuns (round stuffed dough balls, first fried, then submerged in sugar syrup), bobbing their heads up, luring one and all with a promise of syrupy ecstasy. The sight of this Epicurean feast and the sweet and spicy mix of aromas wafts down the hall, making everyone’s tummies growl in unison.
As a sea of uniformed bodies sit together for a festival of feasting, the hall buzzes with animated activity. Peals of girly laughter emerge from one corner, like bells ringing at Christmas. A group of senior boys, their eyes glued to the screen, nibble tersely at their food, munching open-mouthed, as the television flashes the highlights from today’s match. Hoots of hurrah! are heard as India wins the match.
A staff member, his face donning a regal moustache, shuttles between the tables, a guard ship in a sea of students, determined to let no food drown in the waste bin. Hands behind his back, he cranes his neck to ensure the children lick their plates clean. He watches them like a hawk, stoic in his duty, unnerved, by the sinful temptations of this place, that unlike him, affect mere mortals.
A little girl with slanty, almond eyes and a face suggestive of Korean descent looks out of the window absent-mindedly, twirling a fork between her fingers. Her pale cheeks are dotted with salmon-pink freckles. Her hair, straight as silk, is tied in a sloppy ponytail, the flicks falling loose, framing her face like a doll. Armed with a fork and knife, she deftly slices the flatbread into bite-size pieces, stacks them on top of the other, forming a flatbread plateau, and pops it into her mouth in one gigantic bite. She then chases it with a sip of the peppery lentil soup, immediately sucking in a deep cheekful of air to get some relief from the spicy aftertaste. She slurps spoonful after spoonful of cool curd to tame the swirling storm of pepper-induced fire in her mouth. Suddenly, as if struck by inspiration, she plunges her fork into the velvety ball of dough, making syrup ooze out. She lifts the fork to size up the gulab jamun and gobbles it in one feline motion, her cheekbones lifting in a syrupy sweet, joyful grin.
The bell rings, and as satiated bodies rise with renewed energy, the lunch hour ends.
Rules of writing a descriptive: 1. There are multiples senses, five being main. Visual (eyes, sight), gustatory (taste, gut), olfactory ( smell, nose), auditory (hear, ears) and tactile (skin, touch). Include atleast four out of five in your descriptive. 2. The begining: The first paragraph is an overview of the scene. 3. The zoom in technique and picking elements: Imagine describing the classroom. What are the different elements in the classroom? The teacher teaching. Children enegaged in activities like studying, talking. The bulletin board covered ib colourful posters. A child looing outside the window and the scene outside. Now pick on four to five elements and zooom in on those. That is, describe in detail. 4. Designate one paragraph for each element, each sensory imagery. Try that the parahraphs are of similar length. 5. Describe only that involves the senses in the present. Allusions to facts, history of something, feelings or abstract thoughts are not part of descriptive writing. For instance, if you have to describe an Indian wedding scene, alluding to the wedding culture, history of rituals, or your feelings about the scene are not part of the descriptive. 6. Colour words, preferrably writing in third person is important.