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         Volume 6 | Issue 13 | April 01, 2012 |


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A hobby can help one restrain himself or herself from other activities, which may be harmful to the
body and mind.

More Than Just 'Time-Pass'

Naziba Basher
Photos:Kazi Tahsin Agaz Apurbo

"My hobby saved my life!" says Nafeesa Rahman, a graduate student who has now started to pursue her career as a dancer.

Hobbies are underrated. Most people find hobbies to be useless. But whether a hobby is to dance, sing, do theatre or photography, drawing or even reading, having a hobby saves your life and there are more than a several ways it does so.

Hobbyists often find a talent or passion they may not have known they had before. Some people have sat down at the piano to learn how to play only to realise that they have always had a knack for playing it from before. Others might find they have a niche for some other craft after only one attempt. But the only way one will ever discover this hidden talent is if one tries, which is the first step is to explore one's strengths.

Music, for those with interest or not, has the power to bring understanding and calmness to one's mind.

Theatre is a great option for someone looking for a hobby.

"When I was young my mother involved me in different activities to develop my 'hobbies'. I used to go to singing class, dance class, art class and also took guitar lessons. I used to treat these extra-curricular activities just like any other activity I have to be done with. But then I experienced the feeling of clicking with one of them. I adored dancing and fell completely in love with it," says Nafeesa. "I was a business student in school and had known since then that I would probably have had to study BBA in university. But towards the end of my bachelors, I had decided to pursue my career as a dancer and right now I am working for that dream to come true. I will say that my hobby really did save my life!", she added.

"I started drawing when I was only three years old. It was just something I had in me since I was young," says professional cartoonist Sadatuddin Ahmed Amil. "I got into art school even before I got into an actual school. But that was just something I liked doing. Until my college / high school years, I did not even know I wanted this as a career." Most passions disguise themselves as hobbies initially, but the real wonders lie in the creativity, the anxiety and the sudden burst of adrenaline rush one will experience during such an activity. "I wanted to study engineering, but then suddenly changed my mind to something that involved drawing as I realised that I had to draw a line between my hobby and work! I had applied to BUET for Architecture, but could not get in. Then there was no looking back. I went straight for Fine Arts at the Institute of Fine Arts, Dhaka University (Charukala) and that is when I knew that this was what I had to do," says Sadat. Turning your hobby into your career is not an idea people generally start off with when acquiring an interest in the activity, but the wonders it may do to one's life are immeasurable. I enjoy and love and make a living out of it. That is a feeling no one should miss out on."

Having a hobby allows one to acquire new skills and discover one's hidden talents. Finding the right hobby may be difficult. You can try different activities until you realise what your interests actually are. As an example, chess can make your analytical skills better. Debating can bring a strong grasp in elocution and use of logic. Painting can improve your creativity and playing different sports can help you stay fit.

A hobby like reading can take one to a world of imagination.
A hobby like photography can change
how one views the world.

"I had never given debating a thought, at least not as a hobby. One of my friends had forced me into the debate club just because he thought I spoke well. That one push really changed a lot in me," says Sumanta Hossain Adil, a student from Maple Leaf. He says, "I found out that I actually do have pretty good public speaking skills and very good argumentative skills too and because I suddenly started liking debating and practiced it regularly, I really have gotten better. Now I always get asked to host shows and seminars in my school! And come to think of it, I did not even know I had this talent!"

Apart from turning one's life upside down by making one come face to face with passion, hobbies have other positive affects too and can sometimes turn out to be a basic necessity in one's life. With university, work, family and friends, life can become too hectic and it is absolutely important for one to have some 'alone' time. That very alone time is when hobbies come in handy and eventually help one restore balance in life again. The mind wanders and hobbyists often come up with some of their best ideas while enjoying their favourite activity and also passing time in delight.

Cooking is not only a great hobby but a talent that can come of great advantage!

Hobbies can be stress-releasers too. Anwesha Bhattacharjee is a university student who is currently learning to play the sitar at Chhayanaut. "When I am very stressed with exams and other chores, I always make sure I have at least an hour that I spend with myself when I get to play my sitar. It takes away so much of my stress and makes me feel so refreshed because I enjoy it so much. That one hour really changes my mood and affects my work in a very positive manner."

One's hobby of creating things can come of great advantage. A hand-made gift says to the recipient that you care. You cared enough to take the time and make the effort to create something truly unique for them and them alone. That gesture says a lot more than any expensive, store-bought gift ever could.

A sport hobby can help one keep fit and healthy.

"I love cooking! I absolutely adore it. I love making new things and trying out new recipes and as much as it is a hobby, it works to my advantages a lot!" says Sharmin Sultana, a university student doing her MBA. She says, "Whenever a friend's birthday comes up, I cook them a big, hearty meal and I am good to go!"

Hobbies have a great way of bringing change into one's life. It can help one shape his or her character and also give one the ability to make wiser decisions. There are many youngsters throughout the world are getting involved with dangerous activities, one being drug abuse. A hobby has the ability to save one from such problems.

Dancing, as a hobby, has the ability to take one's stress and monotony of life and turn them into beautiful actions.

"My daughter had a friend who had once run away and come to our house. As much as my daughter was worried and scared, I asked her to keep calm and had decided that I needed to talk to the girl's mother," says Mili Khan (not her real name), a parent. "When her mother had come to our house, she complained about how much trouble her daughter was getting involved in and she had broken down seeing her daughter in such distress. The only suggestion I had for her was to get her daughter involved in some activity like singing, dancing, acting or photography-- something that grabs her attention. One of the main reasons for which my daughters have not gotten into trouble that a lot of teenagers face today is because they occupy their time by reading a book or writing a journal just to spend some quality time by themselves. They barely have time to get involved in other things,” adds Mili.

Clearly, there are a number of hobbies out there to choose from. One can get into sports such as tennis, golf, basketball or soccer. Others prefer arts like photography, drawing and painting. Whatever activity you choose, it will lead to self-development and empowerment, because as long as you enjoy and you are interested in it, your hobby is bound to improve your quality of life!

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