What’s your hobby?

hobby A leading newspaper reported that the word ‘hobby’ is becoming obsolete  these days. When our very own desi babus were asked about their hobbies, some very funny answers were revealed. Some mentioned talking on the phone, wearing neat clothes were among their hobbies!!! And I thought that was all about networking and hygiene!

Surely, they were not serious when they mentioned talking as a ‘hobby’! Somehow in this world of technology, ‘hobby’ is a lost cause. Hobby is an activity which is pursued in one’s leisure time to relax oneself. Collecting stamps and coins used to be a favorite hobby for many of us and still is. It is a great way of keeping in touch with our roots.

I find reading purely therapeutic. I can sit with a book without budging for days on end. This is how I used to spend my vacations during my schooling years. :) Books can be the best companions. Lately, I have developed interest in arts and crafts. I love the idea of recycling. A carton box turning into a book stand, old magazines  into a beautiful collage, cold drink cans turning into lanterns and what not!! It’s amazing to see things getting revived and holding the fort among the new stuff.

With internet at our beck and call, it’s not hard to come up with creative ideas. But with social networking sites, Playstation and television keeping us busy, who’s got the time to indulge in creative and artistic things? Thankfully reading remains a favorite pastime for many of us even today. An ebook reader can never replace the joy of holding a hardback. Such is the bane of technology. It is up to us how we use technology to bring about self-development and growth. Do share some of your hobbies with me.

Hennaed…

What do you do on a lazy Saturday afternoon? (Obviously the lucky ones who do not work on Saturdays!! :))

I hennaedindian henna designs my hands! Yes that’s what I did to kill time! The last time I put henna was on my wedding and I was taken in by its strong smell.  It was a traditional bridal Indian design for my wedding and it went right up to my elbows and halfway up my calf on my legs , all done by a professional.

So this time I decided to try my hand at putting henna without any formal practice. I had never even attempted putting henna on others hands because I simply didn’t know how to go about. I remember a couple of my Gujrati and Marwari friends who were very good with this. The designs seemed to flow out of the mehendi or henna cones without any smudging. I always wished that I could put up a henna design myself.  I had this henna cone lying around in my refrigerator since ages and thus began my venture with the traditional art.

Since I did not have a mehendi book, the next best resource I could think of was the internet.  After scouring the net for easy designs and patterns (you see, I am a beginner), finally I picked up a simple design. Although all the designs looked a bit topsy turvy and coiled up, I decided to go ahead with the chosen one!A mehendi cone is nothing but plastic sheets twisted into cones, and filled with the mehendi or the henna leaf paste. Initially the paste wasn’t coming out as fine as it should be but with a few nicks, it came out well. And then curve by curve, and with a few creative imagination of my own, I completed the whole design.

Then began the long long wait for the henna to stick to my hands and dry. Usually we used  to put henna on our hands at night and then  scrape it off in the morning for that lovely colour. The henna used to scrape off on its own while sleeping and when we got up in the morning, the first thing would be to clean up the sheets. I hated that part the most! To end this rigorous task, we simply used to cover up our hands with a cover and sleep peacefully at night without the fear of staining the pillow covers with henna.

Once dry, I lightly applied a sugar and lemon syrup coating on the henna with a cotton swab, so that the henna doesn’t flake off.  Now once your hands are covered with henna, all you want to do is scratch your head or your back, or suddenly relieve yourself!! Aaaaaarghh!! Need to take out my Physics book and check out if any of the great scientists know what theory fits here! All I wished for is the morning sun…and voila, the henna had developed a deep color on my palms already. After keeping my palms ramrod straight for 12 hours, the pleasure I derived was amazing when I scraped off the henna from my palms. What lay beneath was beautiful…the fruits of my labour!!!