Hobbies have always been a secondary activity, a spare-time recreational pursuit. They were practiced for interest and enjoyment, rather than financial reward. Activities like collecting, creative and artistic pursuits, making things and sports lead to acquiring skill, knowledge, and experience. Personal fulfilment was the aim. A hobby horse was a child’s plaything, a wooden horse mounted on rockers and the child straddled it and pretended to be riding it.

People collected things—stamps, shells, tickets—so many things. Most people would confess to hoarding what may seem trivial today. At that time, a pebble, a feather, a half broken shell, a colourful piece of broken glass was considered precious and stored away from the sight of judgemental adults. Today children’s hobbies, collections are commercially dictated or supervised seriously by parents who set a value to the collection and how it would impact on their child’s CV years down the line.

An interest in nature was not widely perceived as a proper hobby. People who indulged in bird watching or tiger spotting have now become professional conservationists. Gardening has taken different connotations. Although a garden typically is located on the land surrounding a house or apartment, it may also be located on a roof, in an atrium, on a balcony, in a window box, or on a patio. Gardeners are growing plants, creating little nurseries and plants and flowers or advising others on it. Ikebana and Bonsai are associated interests that have also commercial potential..

A hobby nowadays can also be turned into a living. Amateur astronomers often are the first to discover a celestial body or event. A techie may take to dancing as a stress buster while a professional chef might enjoy playing and helping to debug computer games. These people are generally called ‘geeks’.

Whether cooking is a hobby is somewhat debateable. Cooking is an act of preparing food for eating. Cooking has that inexplicable quality that adds to the taste, flavour and the effect of the dish served—a quality called love. The act of cooking is not just a chore; it is performed with feeling and emotion linked to the notion called family. Women have always been the cooks at home while men have been the professional ones.

Does cooking, declared by most women as their hobby, loose this wonderful quality when it becomes a commercial enterprise? Serving food gives instant results—good or bad and the success of the dishes served leads to the success of their career. For many women, cooking and catering in small quantities from their home has turned into a lucrative activity that satisfies their desire to cook well and earns them a little pin money. For me, watching cookery shows on TV could be called a hobby!

Writing about all these hobbies has also become a lucrative proposition.

Finally my favourite hobby–too many and keeps changing–Cosswords and reading (more of an addiction I think!), Freecell, Spider Solitaire, Bookworm (recently revived thansk to my daughter paying for it online), blogging (something I do, not for a living)!

Welcome to the Friday Loose Bloggers Consortium where Akanksha, Anu, Ashok, Conrad, DeliriousGaelikaa,  GrannymarMagpie11,  Nema, Noor, Ordinary Joe, Paul, Maria the Silver Fox, Rummuser , Will Knott, and I write on the same topic. Please do visit the linked blogs to get seventeen different flavours of the same topic.

About padmum

You could call me Dame Quixote! I tilt at windmills. I have an opinion on most matters. What I don't have, my husband Raju has in plenty. Writer and story teller, columnist and contributer of articles, blogs, poems, travelogues and essays to Chennai newspapers, national magazines and websites, I review and edit books for publishers and have specialized as a Culinary Editor and contributed content, edited and collaborated on Cookbooks. My other major interest used to be acting on Tamil and English stage, Indian cinema and TV. I am a wordsmith, a voracious reader, crossword buff and write about India's heritage, culture and traditions. I am interested in Vedanta nowadays. I am now an Armchair traveller/opinionator/busybody!
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9 Responses to Hobbies

  1. Delirious says:

    Oh, I didn’t think to add gardening to my list! I am a terrible gardener, but I love it anyway! I never get much produce from my vegetable gardens, but I keep trying anyway. lol


    • padmum says:

      Delirious–Confession time….my fingers are red not green! All the plants come to a stop–only in an apartment. Whenever I had real gardens they flourished.


  2. rummuser says:

    For the relatively better off Indians, the dividing line between work and hobby is blurred except for the old faithfuls like reading, solving puzzles, collecting things etc.


  3. padmum says:

    Well! You used to play golf and in the clan that is a serious hobby alright! Another hobby bordering on obsession is CRICKET in our family!


  4. N.Srivatsa says:

    To be without a hobby is akin to be without a life. I love reading and enjoy music. A hobby that does not put off the family members is good. A hobby that the family shares is even better. But being a family of couch potatoes is not our cup of tea! My wife and son have really green fingers that they have a way with potted plants on a fourth floor balcony while mine are more like butter fingers.


  5. Grannymar says:

    For many years Needlework was my hobby, but ageing eyes do not allow me the time to lose myself in the practice any more. Short sharp bursts with good daylight and now needed. Needles are now threaded by the hit and miss method! 😦


  6. padmum says:

    Me tooooo…some cross stitch and tapestry pieces framed are hung in corners of my apartment. Used to do a lot for my daughter’s dress…my Mom was great at it and she had a son (RR) who kept her supplied with thread, needles et all. She crotcheted–but not very fond of knitting as I was. My aunt Savithri was a great knitter. Today I get a severe pain in the temple when I try11 Even gave away my sewing machine.


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