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  • Neha Dicholkar

The gift of a hobby!

Updated: May 12, 2020

How has my art helped me?

'When I dance, I forget everything. It transports me into another world'

The above lines may sound cliché but they are true. Dance has taught me that the truest form of happiness lies within. Your hobby is your best stress buster. It’s like that super power switch of happiness you have, nobody can take it away from you.

A few reasons why one should have a hobby:

Being good at something makes one confident 

My first stage performance was at the age of 7. Of course I don’t remember it. But what I also don’t remember is, fearing a crowd of hundreds to perform to. In Bharatanatyam many of the times you have to also explain about your performance to the audience and hence I am not scared to speak on stage to large audiences as well. Before every performance I have butterflies in my stomach but that cannot be compared to fear, those butterflies are what make each performance so special.

I know so many people who enjoy reading, their capability of processing and responding to written content is extraordinary. Hobbies be it any, help building self-confidence and personal growth.

It makes you a Pro at managing your time

If you are someone who has a hobby, you know that even though you have had exams or lots of homework to finish, you have always found your way for your hobby. This subconsciously has trained you over the years to manage your time. In a world where most people’s rhetoric is that they don’t find the time, people with a hobby they are passionate of, are much better at time and stress management than others.

It helps you attain Nirvana :-P

If you have learned any classical form you know what I am talking about. For the first few years you will be only learning basic Adavus or steps. Until your guru decides that you are ready to learn the pieces from the repertoire. Basically any hobby trains your mind to focus on one thing for a long period of time. In short, Patience building exercises over the years, you have no other choice other than attaining Nirvana :-P

If you are a parent, you could follow the following process:

Identify their Interest:  

Enroll your child in different classes, whatever is possible for you. And identify their interests. When I was a child my parents enrolled me into different classes, to name a few- skating, badminton, basketball, table tennis, drawing, craftwork , Hindustani classical singing, Carnatic classical singing, Kathak , harmonium. Apart from this I would attend athletic coaching summer camps every year as well( trust me I was pretty bad at it). My Papa is a sports person, Sports was not just his hobby but his profession too and that’s the reason he tried all possible sports coaching with us, my brother even did coaching in Archery :P Just FYI neither me nor my brother are into sports now. But the point here is that this process helped us identify our true interests, for me that was Bharatanatyam.


Once you identify their interests, encourage them to do their hobby activities often. Appreciate their effort. Don’t look for outcomes let them grow and mould themselves at their own pace.

Give them some Encourage mint ;)

Discipline & Persistence:

 The most important point being- instilling discipline. I think it’s most difficult for the parents to cope with the process of instilling discipline in their children to practice their hobbies. You might be amazing at something and having interest in it as well. But distractions are real, especially for children now a days with so many things to do on the mobiles and TVs. It is the responsibility of the parent to discipline their child to practice their hobby and make sure they attend classes regularly. I know of so many friends who used to go for classes with me, most of them left in between, some really talented ones. But talent does not have any value if you lose in the journey of persistence.

Irrespective of whether you are a parent or you want to get back to nurturing your long lost hobby then the best time is now. And I am not saying so because of the quarantine, if you are passionate about something irrespective of the situation, go ahead! If you feel that the time has passed and you feel too old for it, then think about it – Hasn’t your your clarity of mind and focus increased with age? You are going to be better at doing your thing today than ever before.

Trust me all the effort you put will be totally worth it. All the effort, money and patience you invest, your child will only be thankful when they grow up. I remember as a child, My class would usually end at 7:30pm and papa was always on time to pick me up, but sometimes my guru would extend even until 9pm without any notice and my papa would wait outside on his scooter after a tiring day of work and did not complain even once. My mamma used to get back from college ( she teaches) at 3:30 pm, sometimes her bus would be late and she would take Kedar, my brother to class without having her lunch just to make sure he doesn’t get late for his music class. My parents went through a lot of hardships to make sure we get the best training possible. I am really thankful to them for everything they have done and more for giving me the gift of dance.

I am no expert, I've just tried to pen down my thoughts on how dance has helped me. So go ahead gift yourself or your child, the gift of a hobby! :-)

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