What’s in a HOBBY?
You got to go out to hunt a job? Or a college admission? Or for any simpler kind of interview? Then, you would probably see the lioness there asking you to list down your hobbies, skills, sometimes the special ones, interests, sometimes the special ones, and somewhere down the line this would instigate your inner vulture while she would keep justifying that it’s a kind of a retrospection to help us understand ourselves better? Do hell with it. To know ourselves better? Who wants it?
Let’s assume you to be an engineer just to make things more explicable for me for I am an engineer. You are a final year average student and desperate to get a job. Options? Softwares! So, you start mustering your nerves and notions to take the job. You solve many puzzle books, language test books, building your aptitude and other so called skills in order to sail smoothly through the test. Luck favors you and you are up for the second round. It’s a personal interview round. But, wait! Before that you need to fill a form. And there they ask your hobbies, your special skills and lots of other petty stuffs. You try. Hard enough to strain your brain! But nah, nothing can really be summed up as a hobby. You remember your ragging days; seniors used to fire the same cannon at you asking you your hobbies. Oh! Not again. You wonder if this is a ragging session, though somewhat official. You struggle yourself to trace out your hobbies. But to no avail. Like seniors, your employer would be laughing at you now.
Stressed? There is a clue.
One senior had once told righteously the definition of hobby. He said hobby is something that you pursue in your leisure time. At first, I don’t get leisure, and even if I get I don’t want my brain to work overtime for me. After all, it too does need some peace from the rapid grinding. “But still there ought to be something that you like doing most”, he said. Hmmm! Yes! Sleeping. Is it what they call hobby? And if this is the stuff they want to listen to I am sure they are as worthless as the hobbies are. Probably not. I didn’t answer him and he went wild forcing me to think – against thinking. What do I like to do most? Sleeping! But it’s not a hobby. Thinking of girls! No, it can’t be a hobby either.
Shobha de, while releasing her latest myth resolving tool “spouse”, said “people watch birds, I watch marriages.” So, watching marriages can be a hobby. But do I watch it? Of course not. who will? When he has so many glittering, gleaming, charming girls around. Hah! So I don’t have a hobby. But I needed one to answer. None! Eventually, my senior couldn’t persevere much and stamped, god knows how many, slaps on my face. Even that couldn’t help me finding a hobby. But, perhaps, I knew his. Then onwards, to save myself from their curse, I kept changing my hobbies ranging from “wandering in fields” to “cricket” to “watching TV” to “reading books”. But the questionnaire doesn’t end here. They chase you to prove that what you claim is not your hobby just because you don’t have enough profoundness in it. Then, why the hell they ask us to choose one for ourselves?
Don’t worry! Do you watch TV and are able to name few serials with their directors and all? Then this could be your hobby. If you read novels and remember few authors, this too could be your hobby. So, write something. Anything! Just fill the blank.
To add more hazards to your nightmares, your employer asks you nothing but your hobbies? You fear him like you feared your seniors. Why is he interested to know if you play cricket and remember the latest records of Tendulkar? Your prospects of programming are ruined by your ignorance of TV serials. How unfair?
Hobby is ok. You can somehow mould things coming up here-and-there in different directions. But, what about the special skills?
I have to apply for journalism course and having a background in engineering, what special skills can I show to secure a seat there? I tried to discover some hidden skills and when I got nothing I went to my friends. They said I can present well, I can talk convincingly, I am good at computers, and I am eloquent at languages. Phew! Are these the special skills they want to know? I personally don’t even know what non-special skills of mine are, how come I can list down the special ones? And even if I do, how will it affect my decision to pursue journalism? What if, I have a special skill to rotate my ears in some weird manner, should I write it too? Yes, why not? I can get into circus without much toil or training but it is a complete no-no to journalism.
My mentor explained this. The process is not of selection, but of rejection. If you don’t stand out you will be made to stand out. And this is not merely a lip-service, they do mean it. Thousands of applications are sent every year for admissions. If they find a guy who knows “French” why should not they pick him onboard than offering your haunches a place? If this is the case, skills certainly got to play an important role. She said, your interests should be the one to decide your career. Yes. True. But, then if I feel interested, why do I need to explain it to a mortal?
Imagine you are a 24 years old guy with no music background so far. And, suddenly one fine day you start fascinating guitar and want to learn playing it. Now, what words can you frame to convince the music teacher about your dedication toward it? It’s absurd.
Our system or say our society fears giving us the liberty to choose because it drives on the past and is stagnant on risk taking activities making it impossible to foster new ideas. That is exactly why you need degrees, insignias that too from good colleges to prove your worth. We need a flexible channel to channelize our skills. Then the question is: is skill a by-product of hobbies or an aftermath of evolution?
Whatever! If every one endorses its importance, why doesn’t our system support its incarnation? Why is it always when to get a job we are forced to think about ourselves? Why is it not in our daily life, in our culture?
Alas! Even after writing a treatise on “SKILLS”, I am at a loss. Hey wait! I got mine. I can elaborate things well. I can talk for hours without actually saying anything. I just did that. Would this help me get in? See, even our politicians have it in them.