Outline: Definition – the advantages of hobbies – examples of hobbies and the pleasures they give – hobbies not commonly cultivated in India.
Hobbies are pursuits we voluntarily take to in order to refresh and delight ourselves. They should be distinguished from the daily work we do in order to keep the pot boiling. What is one man’s profession may be another man’s hobby. Some cinema actors take to farming as a hobby, but , as we know, it is the occupation of the majority of villagers.
In this age of technology many middle class people, not to speak of the affluent, have a lot of leisure. One of the best ways of utilising it is to pursue a hobby. Those who cultivate hobbies never complain that life is dull and humdrum. They find inexhaustible interest and novelty in life. Full of zest and joy, they know not boredom and monotony. Absorbed in their favourite pursuits, they forget for the time being their professional worries and personal anxieties. They return to their daily work, relaxed and refreshed.
Stamp-collecting, coin-collecting, gardening, photography, painting, and reading are some of the well-known hobbies. One should choose one’s hobby in accordance with one’s temperament and interests. A philatelist alone knows the joy and thrill he feels when he stumbles upon a rare stamp. Gardening is a delightful hobby for those who are interested in it and who can afford it. How pleasant it is, after the day’s work, to potter about it one’s garden and stand amidst the lovely flowers and plants one has so lovingly reared! Photography too can be very exciting and rewarding. With the help of his camera the photographer captures for ever the objects, scenes and personalities that have enchanted him. They are thus saved from oblivion. Turning the pages of his album many years later, he may relive the exciting moments of his life and vividly see again the places and faces that had impressed him. Many people take to reading as a means of relaxation and recreation. Novels and stories transport them into a delightful world which is yet like our world. Reading not only pleases us but edifies us.
Unfortunately, a large number of people in India have no hobbies. Many of them are too poor to pursue any hobby, much of their time and energy being consumed by the struggle for existence. Some of them devote all their time to the worship of what Ruskin called the Goddess of Getting On, while others while away their leisure hours gossiping or just doing nothing. But, as far as possible, everybody should try to have a hobby. It imparts zest to life and is a rich source of pleasure and relaxation.