Hobby Talk: Somy Ali shares a list of things that help her de-stress

Somy Ali has evolved, both spiritually and professionally. The actress of the ‘90s, who was largely perceived a ditzy pouting glamour doll now spouts pithy comments and shares astute observations. She empowers battered women with her project No More Tears. Helping distressed women, and children as well as men, would have taken a toll on Somy but she keeps her spirits high by dedicating some hours every day to her hobbies. Here she talks about what she likes to do de-stress. Excerpts from the interview:

Tell us about your hobbies.

I enjoy a mix of activities depending on the kind of mood I am. I have made it a habit to learn at least one new thing daily and have been doing so for the past 15 years. I picked up this habit/hobby when I was in college. I began opening the dictionary randomly and learning definitions of words I didn’t know. I realise the epitome of nerdiness related to this hobby, but what can I say, I am a proud nerd! I also enjoy looking up the origin of expressions. Where did they come from or who came up with a specific metaphor... It’s all fun!

Your work entails a lot of travelling, how do you make time for them?

Since I have so many of them, I am always able to squeeze in what I enjoy no matter how my day is going. Considering I am driving victims to appointments with cops pretty much all day long or I am rescuing them with the help of cops, I am perpetually on the road. In that case, I rely on audio books. While I enjoy music, I am absolutely obsessed with audio books.

What acts as a stress-buster for you?

For stress-busting, I work out. I prefer weight training over cardio as it builds muscle and burns fat simultaneously. It’s the perfect workout and yes, a total stress buster. In my 40’s, my focus is to have a toned body, not a skinny one.

How did you get hooked on to reading and fitness?

Since I have several hobbies and not just one, each hobby happened with time. Working out was instilled in me through my ex at a very young age in Mumbai. Books and learning new words began in college in my early 20’s. I suffer from mild depression genetically from my mom’s side, so exercising is an absolute must for me. It literally helps me feel better, both physically and emotionally.

What are the takeaways?

Growth, of course. Listening to books and learning from other individual’s experiences is the only way for us to escape intellectual stagnancy. Books are a world we should all get lost in and I always say, we all have a book in us. My hobbies have helped me grow exponentially. They have taught me about humanity and what makes people tick.

Does your hobby involve other people, something akin to sharing stamps, for instance?

I love watching documentaries and biographies about various individuals. Given my bachelor’s degree is in psychology, I love to learn why people do and say the things they do. And watching biographies helps me dig deeper into the insatiable thirst I have about mankind.

Do you think everybody should have a hobby?

I can’t speak for others. For me, I have to have distractions because I see horrible things being done to women, children and men on a daily basis.

How did your hobby evolve into a passion?

My passion is No More Tears. Nothing supersedes the privilege of getting up every single day and saving lives. The rest are mere activities I enjoy and help me grow and work towards becoming a better human being.

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