As a 6th grader I had the splendid opportunity to sail with my dad on an oil tanker ship. It all started there. A crew member whom I was good friends with introduced me to the hobby of ship modelling . I saw the model he was making and asked if he would help me build one.One and a half month later I was holding what was the first model of a ship that I ever built.
Back in India, school life, lack of knowledge and tools were the reasons I couldn’t build more. But the burning desire still remained. Summer holidays were spent (or wasted) trying to conjure something out of cheap 10 rupee ice -cream sticks. One attempt almost succeeded before becoming a mess and utter failure. But the desire did not die out.
Soon after 10th grade I was in a small village in Germany with an incredible host family. The Exchange year did two very important things. One it gave me lot of free time on my hands, without the tension of homework and school. Secondly my host family had a small cozy workshop with all the tools and materials I would need. One fine day I started to build my second model. Armed with power of Google, experienced advice it finally happened. Then model after model, I started gaining experience and making my own observations.
On coming back to India, bit by bit I created a workshop right on my desk in my room. It meant facing daily –
“Better clear it up now !”
warnings from my Mother.
But I resisted and continued building them. On seeing the results, my family finally decided to build me a shed on our terrace where I can have a workshop and have place to sleep in my room. I gathered new tools, new methods, better perspective on ship modelling. In my three years in Fergusson College I built various models of sizes ranging from 20 cm long to just 4-5 cm long miniatures. The miniatures are my personal favorites. They developed my patience, attention to detail and many more attributes. At those small scales, materials tend to behave very different compared to their larger counterparts. Wood becomes flexible or behaves like a spring. Miniature modelling greatly enhanced my understanding of materials.
Alongside Ship modelling, I also started doing wood carving. Sourcing my wood from Industrial Pallets, Mango boxes, scrap pieces etc. Tools were simple hammer, chisel and in very few instances a hand held machine tool.
I hope to continue the hobby and make many beautiful pieces. Hobbies form an important part of our personality. No matter how busy, tedious, stressed the professional life is, time spent on a hobby is Inner Peace (the one Master Shifu tries to attain).