So we’re at home now. Waking up each day in our own rooms, the heat and dreariness of college already forgotten. The novelty of the holidays is fading fast and the question is in everyone’s minds- what do I do? To this question are infinite replies. The simplest and oldest suggestion would be to read a book. The wildest might be to make a Molotov cocktail. The snappiest would suggest the bearer of the question to amuse himself or herself as best as he or she can. Over-bearing and pompous aunts might imperiously state that so much time is not meant to be wasted and reel off the usual list- read, write, draw, sing, paint, and so on. Kindly uncles might suggest starting a side-career as a philatelist. Fond parents might suggest the Classical arts. However, none of them seem to appeal. We know what we don’t want, but not what we want.
Here are a couple of things which might enliven the summer. The ones we’ve heard since the ages of ten and eleven, will do their utmost to keep out of this article. For the others, however-
The one name says it all. Don’t turn away in disgust and remark, “It’s only for kids!” You’d be amazed at how long Lego can keep you occupied, and how much fun it can be! A decent Lego set costs around five hundred rupees. The bigger ones cost around two thousand, but it’s money well spent! Also, the blocks are universal. So yes, you can mix up the Lego pieces from your childhood set and the one Flipkart newly delivered and they will fit perfectly!
For those of you who have no idea how to while away the afternoon when all your friends are occupied, jigsaws are great. You could finish a jigsaw in one sitting or keep at them for hours and days, especially the ones with five hundred pieces. To make things more complicated, you could try the 3-D jigsaws, they’re really hard! Ravensburg is a well-known name in 3-D jigsaws, they cost anywhere between one thousand to two thousand rupees. Just keep in mind the old rule though, start with the corner pieces, create the border and then fill it in.
Ever felt just a little bit jealous when your friend switches effortlessly between two or even three languages? Why not try another language? Perhaps something you stopped in school? Or a language completely foreign to you, in which you’re ignorant of even the smattering of phrases which are reputedly the most common? Online courses are all too easy to sign up for. Or you could learn by yourself from books and the internet. Or you could do it the old-fashioned way and take classes. Make it harder for yourself and take up Mandarin- supposedly there are four different intonations to saying ‘Maa’ which, if placed in the right sequence, would translate to ‘My mother is a horse’!
This might appear a tad outdated- who writes letters anymore? You’d be surprised at how long you can spend writing a letter, even if you wish it to be quite brief. There are dozens of websites which allow you to contact people interested in finding pen pals. However, you might not end up writing actual letters though, if you correspond internationally- the postage can be quite dear! You’ll write emails, which is still good. If you’re learning a foreign language, then you can correspond with a person who speaks that language. Alternatively, you could just write to a friend and flood him or her with letters!
How much do you actually know about your own city? Do you know all the tourist spots? Have you been there? Have you ever explored your city thoroughly, apart from the area you live in? Have you ridden the buses to the last stop? Do you know where to get the cheapest rooms? Have you ever visited that museum or restaurant or theatre right down your street? It’s a great way of spending your time, as well as getting to know your city!
Here’s another way of getting to know your city stone by stone- literally! Why not go for a run every morning? Or evening, as the fancy takes you? It’ll keep you fit, help work off all those rich, home-cooked meals you’ll have been feasting on after the nearly inedible hostel food! Start out small, perhaps a couple of rounds around the park? Then increase the number. Shift to a route perhaps. Vary it. The monotony gets to you. Drag a friend with you. Another person running beside you keeps you going when you’d ordinarily stop. Plug in your iPod, load your favourite playlist, lace up your running shoes and you’re good to go. Do watch out for traffic, it wouldn’t do to get run over by a bus if you’re busy humming to ‘Eye of the Tiger’!
So you don’t like running. You don’t like any sort of activity. You have no desire to ‘work off’ those rich, home-cooked meals. You like your food. How about baking? The only thing you need there is an oven and some great recipes! You’ll have a whale of a time mixing and beating and tasting, especially the tasting! There’s also the comfort of knowing that no matter how bad your cake turns out to be, as long as it isn’t burnt, it will be consumed by eager friends or members of your family!
Sounds wacky? Yes, I suppose it does. However, this is closest those of you whose parents turn a deaf ear to your ardent pleas for a pet are going to have. Fish are relatively easy pets to keep, especially in a bowl. All you need to do is to buy some fish food. If you’re feeling experimental however, you can feed it scraps. Don’t expect it to live for too long though, if that’s the diet you plan on keeping it on!
- Become ambidextrous
Ever thought of how cool it would be to be able to write with both hands? To have equally dominant hands? Well, if nature didn’t favour you with the ability to be equally dominant in both hands, she has favoured you with the means to try! Try writing a couple of sentences with your non-dominant hand each day, you’ll soon notice a difference! Even you can’t write well with your non-dominant hand at the end of the holidays, you will at least be able to boast of being able to write!
All those newspaper articles you’ve been saving up in a plastic bag- why not stick them in a scrapbook? Or an empty sketchbook, in which you can design the borders? You needn’t restrict yourself to only newspaper articles, it can even be pictures, greeting cards you don’t wish to throw out, chocolate wrappers, business cards, bookmarks- anything at all!
Hiking needn’t necessarily be a week-long event, it can even be an overnight camp. There’s no shortage of organizations which announce a hike to the nearby suburbs, hitch yourself to of them.
Stay tuned for more!