In an age where the CAT score defines the success of an individual, many lost touch with their inner selves. While many didn't.
This series is going to be an effort to explore what made certain people stay in touch with their true selves by sticking to their passions or hobbies.
We hope it inspires other MBA's to revive their long gone passion and manifest in a form of a hobby.
We got in touch with Swapnil Waichale from IIM Ahemadabad to know what keeps him busy apart from his academics.
What is the Hobby that you pursue?
I pursue a lot of hobbies! It depends on availability of time and other people. For example, I like playing TT, Tennis, Football, Volley-ball, Chess when I find like-minded people free. When no-one is free and I have to pass good time, I try singing, playing flute, Pencil-sketching, etc. I also like to express my feelings through poetry in Marathi, Hindi, and English. I have published 30 marathi poems on marathikavita.co.in.
करलोदुनियामुठ्ठीमें हेमनुष्यजिंदगीमेंजीतनेकीप्यासहो यादरखनाबातयेऊँचेतेरेध्यासहो दिलमेंजिसविश्वासनहींऊँचाउसकासरनहीं पानाहैमंजिलोकोमुश्किलोंसेडरनहीं उड़नासारेजोरसेछूनाहैवोआसमां मूडनाजानामोड़पेजीतनासाराजहाँ दिललगाकेकामकरपूरीअपनीनिष्ठांसे आएगीमिलनेगलेविजयमालाइच्छासे -स्वप्निलवायचले (Old one…written before coming to IIMA)
I have represented IIM-Ahmedabad in Inter-IIM Sports Meet called Sangharsh 2012 in Tennis and as a part of the team, won Gold medal. I have represented IIM-Ahmedabad in National Inter-B-School Sports meet of MICA called SAMAR 2012 in TT, Tennis, Volleyball, Chess and Cricket. In this competition, I was part of teams that won gold in chess, Silver in Tennis Men’s doubles, Tennis Mixed doubles, TT Mixed-Doubles, and Cricket.
From how long have you been pursuing it?
Different hobbies started enchanting me at different points of time. Because of my mother’s guidance and teaching, I managed to get admission in IIT-Bombay and my journey in the worlds of hobbies began!
In my tenure of 5 years in IIT-B (2004-2009) (Dual Degree mechanical), I learnt to play TT in first year, Football in second year, Pencil sketching in 2nd year summer holidays, Volley-ball in third year, Poetry in 4th year, & Tennis in 5th year. Everything continued since then!
After my engineering days were over (2009), I got placed in ONGC in which I used to work in offshore drilling rig called Sagar-Gaurav. There I used to work in adventurous and physically challenging conditions in both day and night shifts. The machines used to be so noisy, that we couldn’t hear anything. There I started singing aloud. I am not a very good singer, only an amateur! But I would love to improve!
Then in 2011, I got admission into IIM-Ahmedabad. In my first year (1 months after my admission), I started learning to play flute on my own, and I can play quite a few combinations and can imitate quite a few songs easily.
So, every year, I started learning a new art/sport and I tried to improve in all of them, as much as I can.
All these hobbies I have learnt on my own, without any coaching. It’s not because I have something against coaching, but most of the time, finding a coach was costly and time-consuming. So I just started on my own. I would like to stress that leaving aside my Tennis racquet; all my hobbies have been very economical! So it doesn’t cost you anything apart from curiosity and will-power to excel at something!
How much time in a week are you able to devote to it. ?
When I am busy in curriculum or work, I spend at least 1 hour daily on my hobbies. When relatively free, I spend more time (2-3 hours daily)
How do you manage to maintain a balance between the MBA course and your hobby?
I feel that pursuing hobbies helps in relaxing. Physical activities help me in being physically fit, while the art forms keep my mind free and relaxed. Therefore, I find myself to be more productive in work. Therefore, I plan accordingly to get myself free time.
Does pursuing the hobby in fact help you perform better in academics?
Yes. Being physically fit and mentally relaxed helps me in being fresh, thinking on my feet, and thinking differently. It helps me to optimize my time better by doing work efficiently. In fact, you can never find me out of enthusiasm or energy. My hobbies let me get high on enthusiasm and energy!
Would you let go of the hobby if you start to face a time crunch?
I generally see to it that I do not fall into time crunch situations. If at all I find myself in one, it’s just a question of priorities. If the work is at higher priority, I will devote my time to it. I always get back to my hobbies once the work is finished.
What would you like to say to those who have let go of their passion plainly to focus on academics?
I have experienced that a human being has enormous capabilities and can achieve seemingly impossible things if one believes in oneself. Mostly it happens that we don’t believe in ourselves that we could, for example, play tennis or write poems. I sincerely believe that if one tries, one can get better at almost anything.
Developing and pursuing hobbies is the best relaxing activity according to me. In addition, I can connect easily with many people just because we share some hobby in common. So, just follow your heart.