It is not serious study or profession that makes life interesting and worth living. It is something other than the main work that makes life worth living. Naturally a hobby would add a pleasure to one’s life. But most of us in India have no hobby. It has generally become a prerogative of the rich and the well-to-do people. A humble man has neither time nor resources to copy the people who are well off.
Photography and stamp collection are the most common hobbies. But a student of my financial resources can’t go for them. Portrait painting on canvass too is too costly to afford. The other day I saw one Mr. Bapat on T. V. preparing leather bags as a hobby—quite a costly affair. Moreover all these hobbies engage only one person. In a way they are personal or individual things a person gives himself to.
Of late I have been thinking of having a hobby that has a social bearing. Haifa kilometer from my residence we have a locality of the people from weaker section. One evening I visited the locality and found sweet children simply playing. I knew they do not go to school. I just collected some of them, played with them for a while. It was quite interesting. I started going there every day in the evening. The children would run to me. We would play and I would tell them stories.
Gradually they were so close to me that they would do what I asked them. I would teach them. In the beginning they did not take much interest in it. But gradually they took this too a game. To them it was a fun to me it became a hobby. Some of my friends asked me what I gained from it. I would tell them it was my hobby and I got a great personal and social satisfaction from it.
These friends too associated themselves with me in these activities in two or three more localities. From every area we selected a team of intelligent children who would study and play some Indian games. The school organized a hobby day after Diwali. We requested the Principal for a separate evening for our display. On the first day there was an exhibition of different photographs, paintings, stamps and a lot of things beautifully decorated. On the second evening we demonstrated all the social activities of the children-games, classes being taken, their simple art of storytelling, the clay toys that they made. It was our social hobby—we named it the ‘Holiday of Tomorrow’ it was applauded by whole of the staff. We won first prize for this unconventional hobby.