I am 61 years of age but I feel like 16! I am just like many of you, and love to do creative things to keep myself busy. That also keeps me fit, physically as well as mentally.

Just as exercise is necessary for physical health, hobbies are necessary for mental health.

My first hobby was reading, and it opened so many doors for me. When I was growing up, there was no TV, so whatever exposure of the world I had was through reading only. I started making dolls and collages at the age of 11 and then started making decorative items. While doing so I always felt a sense of achievement. At the age of 18. I learned swimming and skating, which I enjoyed a lot. These hobbies kept me fit and focused.

Even though I got busy after marriage, I continued to read (it’s like the first love you cannot forget!). I love cooking and baking too. Cooking is therapeutic for me. I love to cook and decorate food. I always used to gift cakes on birthdays as there were not many bakeries around at that time.

After a few years of our marriage, I began glass painting and made almost 80 of those. I gifted most of them because I believe when you give something you feel happy.

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My hobbies have helped me so much in the last one and half years (during the lockdown). I never had an urge to go out or never felt depressed or not missing travelling, something we love doing otherwise.

When you are engaged in any hobby, you will get a sense of achievement. One must develop any hobby be it reading, singing, dancing, playing musical instruments, cooking, painting – absolutely anything. You will get so much satisfaction and I know that each one of us has the ability to develop some or other hobby.

I have created a lot many things since March 2020. I have made things from parts of my old washing machine, planters and bird feeders from plastic jars, swings for birds from old toothbrushes. Now we have so many peacocks and parrots visiting our terrace. Every morning and evening I watch them and feel so relaxed.

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I have made paper flowers and used thermocol packing for decorating items. I made a frame from thermocol and paper flowers for my friend’s daughter and she used it as a prop at her wedding. It was not only a personalised gift, but it was a small effort to save the environment as well.

My most recent hobby is making rugs from milk packets. It kept me engaged daily for nine months. After nine months of labour, I have made two beautiful milk bag rugs. I gave one to my househelp and the second one to her mother.

Lately, I have developed an interest in gardening. It helps me stay fit and adds more greenery to our garden. I started composting and it keeps me busy every day. This way my garden is greener and no more addition to the already overburdened garbage dump of our city.

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My hobbies have won me a few awards in the last one year. When you get appreciated then you want to do more and you get encouraged to do more.

I love sports and adventure as well. I’ve done bungee jumping and it gave me quite an adrenaline rush. I have also participated in a car rally organised by the Blind People’s Association 10 times and won seven of them. It’s a very unique experience, one you can understand only if you participate.

Hobbies are stress busters for me. What I started as activities to kill time became my passion. You will feel so relaxed when you are doing something you love and you enjoy.

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