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, Delirious, Gaelikaa, Grannymar, Magpie11, 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.