Hobby - Turns a Successful Career
Part -I
This lesson is about hobbies. Hobbies are usually activities done in free time or leisure time. But even such activities can help us build a career for ourselves. Let us study about a boy named Mani, who studies in a village. He had difficulty in reading and writing. His grandfather saw his problem and tried to help him. He started reading out stories to Mani every night before he slept. Reading bedtime stories are a traditional form of storytelling. Gradually Mani started reading stories by himself. Moreover, he also started writing stories on his own. This section is an essay written by Mani.
Mani says hobbies are activities that are done in extra time. Each person has a different hobby - gardening, photography, book reading, swimming, stamp collection, playing video games etc.
By doing hobbies, it also solves another purpose of doing something useful like:
  • Learning new things.
  • To relax the mind after a busy day.
  • To energize the mind and body.
Mani says writing is his hobby. It is very different from other hobbies like gardening because it does not have any physical work. Physical work will make us tired, and some people don't prefer to do it in their free time. Similarly, writing may be tough for others, but not for Mani. He feels writing like is like painting his thoughts with words; so whenever he gets free time, he picks up a notebook and pen and starts writing stories, poems and even about his feelings at times. His mind gets relaxed when he does so and energizes him.
Mani feels his imagination is very good when he writes. His thoughts are endless - he imagines a world with magic and magicians, where he can fly, and birds can talk. He feels writing can absorb him into that world completely. Sometimes he shares his imaginary stories with small children, and they also enjoy his stories. The happiness he sees on their faces motivates him to write more.
Writing is not just a hobby for Mani - he has many other benefits:
  • He thinks beyond small things with a broader viewpoint.
  • Makes him feel strong about his life.
  • Makes him learn new things.
  • He enjoys every minute of his life because of the benefits of writing.
  • Helps him improve his studies also - able to explain answers exactly.
  • Able to describe all new ideas clearly now - so he has become a better writer also.
Now he sees everything in a different view. He is now more vigilant and looks for things that he could not see before. So he is able to describe clearly. English essays have become very easy as it is his hobby. He spends time learning the different types of writing - fiction and non-fiction so that he is able to improve his skills. He emphasizes the importance to learn and improve hobbies. He also hopes he will become a writer someday, like the famous writer R.K.Narayan - who wrote famous books like Malgudi days.
Part - II
Next, let us take up the story of Ajay Kumar Garg. He is a very skilled young artist from Jaipur, India. He had a normal childhood like other children, but at the age of three, he was injured. When he undertook treatment for the same, there were some side effects that made him permanently deaf. He could not hear after that in spite of many treatments. His parents tried to treat him in many hospitals to cure his deafness but it did not work.
One day, his father got him a paint set to play. He started painting happily, Slowly his interest grew, and he started painting on walls and floors. Ajay's parents realized Ajay's talent in painting. A court artist (who painted for the members of the royalty) of Dholpur, in Rajasthan, saw his paintings and he was impressed that a five-year-old child could paint so well. His name was Shri Sua Lal, and he agreed to train Ajay.
Ajay grew up and completed education. He tried other hobbies like tailoring, but he was not happy. So Ajay went back to painting. He became a trainee under Asha Devi, who taught him the basics of miniature painting. Miniature painting refers to a very small and highly detailed portrait or other painting. The art is a very traditional form and was slowly vanishing in the country. But Ajay, under the guidance of Asha Devi, mastered the technique of preparing the correct colours and brushes and studied about the paintings. Soon he became highly skilled in the miniature art form. He uses a magnifying glass to see the enlarged image of what he was painting; he used the brush with just one hair for painting miniatures, which depicted Indian culture. Ajay is also talented in creating images on a grain of rice.
Ajay displayed his artworks and sold 144 paintings out of 150 paintings that he displayed. He displayed his works not only in India but also throughout the United States and the United Kingdom. In 2004, Ajay received a National Award of Accomplishment from the then President Dr.A.P.J. Abdul Kalam.
Ajay also participates actively in the welfare of people with hearing disabilities. He has been the Executive member of the "Deaf and Dumb Association", Rajasthan. He trains hearing impaired children in Jaipur and in an orphanage in Gandhi Nagar, for free. Ajay aims to revive the dying art of traditional miniature Indian paintings.
There is an important lesson to learn from Ajay's life. It shows that our hobbies can be made into a successful career option if we are ready to learn and develop the skills.
Part- III
The next story is about Ilavazhagi, who also proved that hard work and passion for what you do, always helps you achieve your dreams. Ilavazhagi is one of the many people who have won in spite of many problems. Her father A.Irudayaraj was a carrom board champion; but his family did not encourage or support him. He was a district-level champion, but his dreams were shattered. He wanted to achieve his dream through his daughter. When she was a baby, he used to make his daughter lie down on the carrom board and she used to listen to the sounds of the coins and striker. When she was two years old, he would carry her to the tournaments which he played with his friends at local clubs. Ilavazhagi's father started training her when she was around five years old. One day her father asked her to compete against him in a match. She won the match, and it gave her confidence. Starting from there, she went on to win Asia Cup, SAARC Cup and world championships.
Her father Irudayaraj is a fish-cart driver. His job is to transport materials like pipes in the cart. The income he earns is not enough to support himself and his family. He has a wife and three daughters. They lie in a small one-room apartment in Vyasarpadi, Chennai. But Ilavazhagi, in spite of her poverty, she has won so many trophies. She has so many trophies that her house does not have enough space to store them. She keeps them under her bed, but she gave off many trophies to her neighbours and relatives because she does not have space. She has been playing for Tamil Nadu state for almost 14 years and every time she has travel, financing the travel has been a big problem for her. But still, she has not given up - she says "Victories follow me".
Ilavazhagi is a member of the Thiruvallur District Carrom Association and also represented India at the Carrom World Championships, Asian Championships.
1. \(5th\) World Carrom Champion, \(2008\) in France.
2. Women’s singles title at the \(38th\) Senior National Carrom Championships in Visakhapatnam, \(2009\).
3. Women’s singles title in the \(37th\) National Carrom Championship in Chennai, \(2008\).
4. \(13th\) SAARC Carrom Championship women’s doubles with Rashmi Kumari in \(2009\).
5. The two time SAARC Carrom Championship women’s singles title in \(2009\).
6. World Cup winner in \(2006\) and The next was the \(2010\) championship in the US where she secured the first place in singles and doubles.
Ilavazhagi's medals tally in competitions:
Grand total          260 medals
Her hobby of playing carrom took her to the level of world champion because of her hard work and determination.
Meanings of difficult words:






Very small of its kind.


Make something appear larger than it is.


Highly trained or skilled.


Having exceptional talent or natural ability.


Feeling or showing admiration or respect.




Bring back to life.


Additional, extra.


Distinct, not common.


Give enthusiasm/energy.


Tire out.






Imaginative writing.

Look out

(phrasal verb) Be vigilant and take notice.