16 June 2010
What is your Hobby?
Oxford dictionary defines hobby as ‘an activity that you do for pleasure when you are not working’. Does that mean work is not pleasure? Alternatively, can something you do for pleasure also bring in the dough? Can your hobby become your profession & when it does, will it stop being a hobby?!
In school, my classmates had amazing hobbies – collecting coins, stamps, pens, peacock feathers (!), sketching, painting, crochet & so on. Impressed by a philatelist’s album, I tried my hand at collecting rare stamps. A year or two into it & a few ‘Gandhis’, & ‘Rajivs’ later, I stopped going after stamps & switched to coins. After the first few paisa, put a happy end to that too. My coin collection had started resembling a beggar’s bowl.
I began to worry that I had no hobby to boast of before friends. All I did, after & away from school, was garden. I liked the texture of soil on my hand. I liked putting seeds & saplings into the ground, making a mound of earth around it, sprinkling water & then, every day, bending over, & waiting patiently for the first burst of life to appear. The first sprout of leaf is so delicate, tender & exquisitely beautiful. It was my reward.
But gardening wasn’t a ‘cool’ hobby. There were girls whose hobby was cooking (eeeww) & they made it look cool. I wanted to elevate gardening to the cool status too but I wasn’t good with words. I could not articulate my love for it. So, in school, I’d go for the ‘safe’ option: What’s your hobby? Reading. It never attracted any criticism or even an attention. It was a harmless hobby!
A decade later, all those reams of A4 sheets that went into printing my resume carried the following lines:
Hobbies: Movies, Theatre, Travelling, Reading
I like doing all of these – whether it is travelling to a new place, reading a book, watching a theatrical performance or even a movie. It makes me happy. It satiates my thirst for constant entertainment. It stays with me long after the activity is over.
But none of these require any effort on my part; only money :)! Blogging, I can safely say, is my first ever ‘real’ hobby. It is therapeutic in some strange ways & I am doing it with great zeal. And coming at age 33 this is quite something, I must say.