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Losing ourselves in the labyrinth of online space is the obvious pastime of choice for our generation, but unfortunately swiping a touchscreen or staring at screens don’t count as a legitimate hobbies. So, we thought we’d look for some real hobbies instead that people are dedicated to IRL. We found many (shocking!).

In fact, we’re confident that some of these awesome clubs might tear you away from Netflix for a couple of hours too!

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Infinity Hackerbase

What do coding, hula-hooping, and the Himalayas have in common? The answer is a unique space called Infinity Hackerbase set up by a group of creative techies in Rakkar village in Dharamsala. They boast an impressive stack of electronics and unicycles in a spectacular, eco-friendly setting. But, more interestingly, they host projects that bring together thinking minds from different fields. Such as Hillhacks, an ‘un-conference’ where hackers, artists, students, and enthusiasts mingle. Or CodeCamp, which combines pranayaam with coding. And if you have a skill to share, there’s the School Program that lets you volunteer in conducting workshops and teaching in local schools.

Amateur Astronomers Association Delhi

AAAD is located at the ‘Planee’, as the ardent astronomers of Delhi call the Nehru Planetarium. Unlike many other amateur astronomy clubs around India, this one is very much active on-field and online. Plus, you can be sure they really love the stars when you consider how polluted the odds stacked against them in the capital sky are. They congregate for super moons and eclipses, talks, telescope making workshops, and on occasion they take the party outside the city for overnight sky observations. You, too, can become a member by filling a form and showing up for a Sunday meet. See you at the Planee!

Hash House Harriers

‘A drinking club with a running problem’ – HHH define themselves aptly. It’s a community that originated in Malaysia in 1938, eventually extending onto several local chapters in cities around the world. Here’s a good place to check out their history. In our own backyard you can find them in all the major metros, usually attracting people with a taste for wit. They run, sometimes long distances, and then follow up with a beer binge and plenty of bonding over jokes. The price to join a Hash Run is Rs 150. 

Great Hyderabad Adventure Club

GHAC is a community of adventurers based in Hyderabad. Although they organise a diverse range of activities such as trekking, climbing and rappelling across India, and are affiliated with Indian Mountaineering Foundation, what sets them apart from any other adventure club is their love for rock climbing. Hyderabad being home to boulders half the Earth’s age (some of the oldest rocks in the world!), GHAC can make you fall in love with the city again through its lessons in rock climbing and bouldering.

Poetry Couture

Poetry slams are hardly a novel concept anymore, and still we don’t have enough platforms in India for all of us (I mean even the dodgiest of us poets) to step up and perform. It is because of this severe dearth that Poetry Couture becomes special. Started by Raghuvendra Madhu when open-mic nights were just gaining foothold in Delhi, Poetry Couture soon grew to create a thriving performance poetry scene across cities. What’s more, it has done so by shedding the heavy air of academia that often keeps aspiring poets at bay. The kind of poem that would make an elitist squirm is exactly what Poetry Couture would gladly welcome on stage. Here’s one quoted from the Raghuvendra’s collection: “She hash-tagged me / and I hash-tagged her / She lost track of hash sticks / and I turned into that blue bird on Twitter.”

Image courtesy Poetry Couture / Afreen Faridi

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