Any age is the right age to pick a hobby - Hindustan Times
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Any age is the right age to pick a hobby

Hindustan Times | By
Apr 02, 2020 08:44 AM IST

An activity that you already enjoyed is a good pick for a hobby, or will lead you to one.

Even people who’ve always thought, oh I don’t need a hobby, are rethinking that right now. But how to begin?

Aadriti Khan, 3, is experimenting with thumb printing, paper pasting, sponge painting and more. Above right is a recent sketch by Siddhart Tallur, 34, an assistant professor at IIT-Bombay.
Aadriti Khan, 3, is experimenting with thumb printing, paper pasting, sponge painting and more. Above right is a recent sketch by Siddhart Tallur, 34, an assistant professor at IIT-Bombay.

“In India, we tend to lose touch with the hobbies we cultivated as children. In fact, we really don’t know how to relax. Our work culture discourages us from celebrating time for ourselves,” says Charles Assisi, author of The Aadhaar Effect and co-founder at Founding Fuel. “So this period can actually be a good chance for people to revisit their creativity.”

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A good way to decide what to pick — coding or painting, photography or video-making, paper crafts, doodling or sketching — Assisi says, is to think about things that you set aside because you never had the time for them. It could be gaming, writing or origami. An activity that you already enjoyed as an adult is a good pick for a hobby, or will lead you to one.

And once you’ve found the right one, it will help calm your nerves and rediscover yourself. If you’d like some virtual help, Priyadarshini Mukherjee, 23, a community manager at a co-working space, started a Facebook group, The Quarantine Dropbox, earlier this month where people send anything creative that they are doing and get feedback or suggestions from others in the group. “A lot of people I know were learning things and making art. So I thought why not get them together in a safe space,” she says.

Fun with paper

Smita Mathur, 27, an associate editor with Oxford University Press, was recently gifted origami sheets by a friend, and has turned the lockdown into an opportunity to learn.

“I’ve been fascinated with origami since I was a kid, but didn’t think until I could do it. It is harder than it sounds and needs a lot of focus and concentration, which honestly makes it the perfect hobby for these times. The cuteness of the end products is just a nice bonus,” she says.

Siddharth Tallur, 34, an assistant professor at IIT-Bombay, meanwhile, has returned to a hobby of his youth — sketching. “I used to sketch on paper but now I’ve found a sketching app that helps me experiment a lot more,” he says.

Business consultant Arkapratim Ghosh, 29, is focused on his ukulele, and is writing his own music. “Whenever a tune strikes, I play it before I forget. In my usual routine, I would have to wait to get back from work etc, and by then I would have either forgotten the tune or lost interest,” he says. He’s also developing his playing skills using online videos.

Family Time

Hobbies can also bring families closer. “I used to find so little time to do anything creative with my daughter; the lockdown gave me some time with my little Aadriti,” says Aritri Khan, a teacher, of her three-year-old. “Since she gets bored very easily, I figured that craft was a very good way to keep her engaged. And the internet has a huge variety to choose from. Together, we have now done crafts like thumb printing, paper pasting, sponge painting and more. And she’s addicted.”

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