Ramblings Diaries - #The Idea



The year is 2011. The month is October. And the date should be somewhere towards the end of the month. I have recently moved into a new house; and am recovering from a recent unfortunate medical complication. My parents have come down from Mumbai to provide moral support as I recuperate; and after a rough few past weeks, I am just about beginning to get my life back on track.

The time is 11.00 am. Morning chores are done, and everyone who had to go out for work (or school), has left for the day. 
With a cup of coffee in hand, I venture into the study/playroom and take my place on the reading couch with my laptop. 

First order of business, I check the trending news for the day. I read the e-paper, because we do not subscribe to newspapers for the past couple of years, not because we are skimping on money, but because we now have smart phones that have the Apps for every newspaper that we would ever want to read! And that is why, we subscribe to actual physical newspapers every couple of months when my Dad-in-Law to visits us.

Next on agenda, I login to check my email. There is really not too much here to look forward to - I haven't worked in the past three years, and not surprisingly, therefore - there is a dismal amount of mostly impersonal mails in my inbox. After sorting through and disposing of the few promotional and social emails and oh, an occasional one from a friend, (Gmail is yet to come up with its amazing new organised inbox, hence I have to do this myself), I logout.

I then check the New York Times Bestsellers List, looking for my next read. I see that The Help is still at the top and that John Grisham is coming up with a new book in November - something to look forward to! Of course, I have been looking forward to reading The Help for the past month. But haven't actually gotten around to doing so. I make a note to myself to finally get the book. 

Next, I check Facebook. Yes, I have recently joined the herd of the socially hep! My younger sibling has been on Facebook for sometime now; and has been telling me that Orkut is passe and "fb" is the new 'in thing'! And so it happens, that I have allowed myself to become a part of this global reunion party! 

Okay, to be honest, fb is not all that bad - it is fun to see your old friends after a long time, connect with your favourite friends who moved abroad and you somehow forgot to exchange numbers (this refers to my occasionally emailing friends) and it is super exciting to see even your old teachers on this social network! But what is really disconcerting, is to see the skeletons of old boyfriends coming out of the closets (and it definitely gets weird when one tries to get in touch with you newly.....ok, you know what, I think some people in the past must stay in the past, period!) 

I am still battling these unsettling thoughts when Mum calls me for lunch. Gosh, its 1:00 pm! I have to finish lunch and then go pick up my little one from school..."Coming!!" I scream and am about to shut down the computer, when a link on the Google search page I had opened earlier catches my eye - "Can your hobby make you enough money to let you quit your day job?" it says.

Intrigued, I read on to find that the article is about people who write as a passion; and how, pursuing this hobby, they have been able to support themselves - in some cases, they earn enough to let them quit their job, in others they earn even more! One travel writer/blogger interviewed for the article even says that he makes a lot of dough as a freelance writer. In fact, he is so happy and content to write, that he thinks that quitting his job as an HR executive in an MNC was the best decision of his life!

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It's later in the day and the time now is 3:00 pm. My little one is back from school, has had food, watched TV; and is finally settled to finish the homework. I sit next to her for company; and fire up my laptop once again.  

I go back to the link I saw in the morning, "Can your hobby make you enough money to let you quit your day job?"...I am hooked!
I read the article one more time, and I feel something stir inside me. The prospect seems very interesting. Find what you love to do, and then do it for a living! Amazing, isn't it? 

I feel that I have finally found the simple answer to the most complicated question: How do you make money without actually going to work? (I haven't worked for over 3 years, you see, and I am getting restless, and frankly feeling a little guilty too, about being at home and not being 'out there' earning money - I love the time I get to spend with my little one, no doubt about that; but I also feel that it is about time I did something else, besides playing with a 3 year-old all day.) 

So, when I read this article, I feel wow! And then I feel, wow! how hypocritical! On the one hand, one is fed up of a full time job; and on the other hand, now you are supposed to work hard, full time, at pursuing your hobby? How does that not make the hobby boring? (Twisted thoughts? Well, I do have a lot of time to think right now....the little one has one more page of writing left...)

I am still mulling this over, when it is tea time and Mum calls us out to tea. Over tea, while the little one plays with the milk and Parle-G biscuits, I have a chat with Mum and Papa, as to how people are making money pursuing their hobbies these days. 

Papa, an old Central Government loyalist, says these are all new-age stories floated by swindlers; scams that have no foundation in real life. "The  best way to earn an honest living is to work hard in a 9 to 5 job!" he says. "Hobbies are for spare time, and hard work is what earns you any decent money." 

He is 64, I tell myself, and proud of having worked for the Government all his life! He is yet to realise, how Google has taken over the internet today; and blogging, which is already a big thing in the West, and is now gaining popularity in our country too; is still a foreign concept to him...

Mum, (obviously) begs to differ. "Hard work is what will earn you money I agree," she says, "but what is wrong if you work hard at your hobby?" 

"Ah, but that's exactly the point, Mum!" I say. "You see, if you are working hard at it, then its not a pleasurable experience anymore! Its the same as your job then, and then you will start hating it!"

Our debate continues till the little one spills her milk; and then we all just forget about it and get on with the rest of our day.

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Later in the night. It is 10:00 pm, my little one is in bed; and I am still reading her story book long after she has slept; when Papa comes in to wish me goodnight. 

Mum has been walking her post-dinner walk on the terrace. She makes sure Papa is out of earshot, and then comes to tell me that she likes this whole idea of 'making something you like to do, work for you to make money.' I tell her I love to read, how is that going to make me any money? We both laugh at the joke and she says 'worth a thought...'; and then she too, eventually retires to bed. 

Since the breadwinner of the house is travelling on work, I decide to go read my book now till I finally succumb to sleep. 

But then, I feel this undeniable urge to put my thoughts in writing. You see, I learnt as a child, that instead of actually speaking out what's on your mind, it always helps to put it on paper and then read it after you are done. Sometimes this helps you realise that if it sounds ridiculous to you, it probably might sound ridiculous to others too; and then you won't actually say it out aloud and everyone can sleep better at night :) 

So I fire up my laptop instead and on a fresh word doc, write up my thoughts on the article about earning money through your hobby...(Yes, I belong to the generation that thinks that putting your thoughts in writing is typing them up on a word doc...)

So, I 'write' it all out and when I think I have done a decent job of it, I decide I feel better now; and then I finally lie down to sleep. 

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