This thing called hobbies

Last week, I bumped into an old friend and we indulged walking down memory lane of with this thing called hobbies.  Back in our day! One specific hobby hogged much of our time: Stamp collection (who knew it was called Philately) and stuff.  

Those were the pre-internet days. Very few in our families had travelled.  Ajman Post and Magyar Posta stood tall as exotic lands to be visited. For those were the only stamps available at Vijayam stores near home that we could afford. Small town woes if you will.

We collected those stamps, stacked them well, traded them and then lost interest in them.  Our excitement disproportionate to the value of the stamps themselves. Most of them, I now reckon, were fake. I remember spending hours in the library trying to find out where (or who or what) Magyar Posta was! 

In the absence of precise information, we made up the rest and spouted it with a great deal of confidence.  The hours flew under a favourite mango tree, where we sat talking about the lands we had a fancy for (countries whose stamps we had in our collection)!. 

Much has changed

The stamps are gone. Collecting stamps don’t figure in the list of good things to do for kids in the modern-day. 

The library is a place that lost its eminence long ago. 

All information is available in a jiffy. Imagination is tough for there are high definition LED screens to stimulate every possibility. 

And by the way, where the mango tree stood, there stands a glitzy apartment with its accompanying TV sets and mobile phones. 

Passing make-believe as facts has returned with renewed vigour though. That’s irony having a pronounced laugh. 

This thing called hobbies

We had a good laugh and went our ways. But the value of that conversation and the subject of hobbies has stayed with me. Collecting stamps may earn a cavalier dismissal today as a hobby.  Looking back, that innocence and imagination laden conversations sowed the seeds of passion for travel, exploration and conversation. 

Hobbies work at many levels and have a profound impact on shaping the mind. I was reminded of another conversation from a few months ago on hobbies. That was with an eclectic childhood friend who now sits on faraway shores of New Zealand and does some cool stuff with iPhone photography.  The simple conversation morphed to form a neat episode for his show. 

Here it is for your perusal. What do you think?

You can also listen to it by clicking here.

And then there is this wonderful quote on hobbies that I adore. 

“Find three hobbies you love: One to make you money, one to keep you in shape and one to be creative.”
― Anonymous 

I wish you all three. And I hope to keep digging for more.  This thing called hobbies shapes you well.