Everyone needs a form of escape from the constant rat race encircling most of our lives. The monotonous routine is a common problem amongst even the best of us, and a respite is of utmost importance. Sometimes, a good way to break the everyday habit is to maintain a hobby.
If you're someone who lost touch with hobbies a long time ago, now is a good time as any to acquire a new one. The real challenge is setting aside a time of day to spend some time concentrating on a particular hobby.
The most effective way to do this is by enrolling in a short course on any of a variety of interesting topics. Not only will this be a new learning experience and a more productive pastime than watching the same old talk shows on TV, the financial implication and prescheduled timetable mean that you have all the more incentive to attend the classes and not procrastinate!
Interior Design courses
Home is where you spend a majority of your time. Why not invest a little time to learn about new ways to rejuvenate your living spaces? Who knows, when you gain more expertise on this topic you might even consider this as a career!
Learning more about interior design will automatically equip you with skills to make your home the envy of everyone else's. If nothing else, at least you will see some of your Martha Stewart fantasies come alive.
Alliance Francaise in Gulshan and Dhanmondi offer a three-month appreciation course three times a year, and a twelve-month comprehensive course twice a year. Contact Alliance Francaise Gulshan at 0171 409 9292 and Dhanmondi at 967 5249.
For a well-equipped faculty, one of your best bets will be Shanto Marium University of Creative Technology, where you can get a one year diploma or six month certificate in Interior Design in the Academy of Creative Technology.
This course is open for all; you can contact them at 891 8932, 891 9366, 895 8048, 895 2610.
The Bangladesh Institute of Fashion and Design Technology also provides either a one-year diploma or six month certificate. They are situated in Shyamoli and can be reached at 0155 264 4479, 0191 567 0540, 0172 643 974.
In the new digital age, who can deny the allure of a photo on Facebook that has been taken with great care using a state of the art camera?
A picture is worth a thousand words, and those who are lucky to be blessed with a photographer's eye can therefore express more in a few photos than this poor writer can express in the whole of this article.
If you are the type of person who likes to talk less and observe the day to day eccentricities of life, you should try to document those moments as much as possible.
Just buying a camera with your monthly salary is not enough; to make your investment worth it, you must attempt to learn the technicalities behind the lens.
The most popular place to learn about photography these days would have to be Pathshala.
Pathshala offers some Basic Photography and Foundation Photography courses that can be taken on weekdays or weekends, as well as some courses on the basics of Photoshop. For example, a new batch of the Basic Photography course is taken every month, and classes are three days a week for two hours in the evening. For more comprehensive information on time, cost and study topics, visit www.pathshala.net or call 911 5044.
Alliance Francaise also has photography, videography, screenplay techniques and digital cinematography courses available. You can do either a basic photography course or a diploma on photography. The Dhaka Photographic Institute, situated on Elephant Road, also offers a basic course on Digital Photography on Fridays for 8 weeks. You can contact them on 0181 928 5584.
Arts and Crafts
One of the great tragedies of life is that some of us are born artists; there are many who aspire to create art, but only a few really have the talent to touch other people through their expressions in colours and ink.
If you're one of the lucky few who know their way round a canvas, it's high time that you explore the full extent of your talent.
To learn art, once again the Shanto Marium Academy of Creative Technology will provide you with experienced faculty and well-equipped facilities to adopt art as a serious hobby. Other than that, a famous and long established art school is Zia's Art Gallery School of Fine Arts, which offers courses from 6 months to 2 years for all age groups. You can call them up to ask about what courses are on offer at 0197 182 6525.
For those who don't really want to draw but would love to venture into artsy endeavours, there are a few alternatives for you to consider. The Bangladesh Bonsai Society provides Bonsai training sessions to teach you the proper methods of rearing a Bonsai. Classes are taken on Fridays in Dhanmondi, and you can call 017 118 10262 for details.
The Japanese Universities Alumni Association in Bangladesh (JUAAB) offers courses in Ikebana, a Japanese style of flower arrangement, for three months and the Association is located in Farmgate. Contact JUAAB at 0174 9762539.
AADI by Amman Rashid holds jewellery making workshops for adults. AADI can be reached via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
So there you have it. Choose a pastime, any pastime and you will feel the reward in no time.