Life & Style

Step out of your zone

Here are five classes you might want to take this year

Once in a while, make sure that you are that person in the room who knows the least. Step out of your zone, and be that wide-eyed student that you once used to be. Are you a finance guy? Then, spend the weekend learning a new language. IT professional? Be game for a little adventure sport. Taking the first step has never been easier, with a plethora of options in the city. Here are our top five suggestions for this year.

Stand-up paddling

Stand-up paddling, probably the fastest-growing crossover sport in the world, is our top pick. Just strap on a life jacket and slice your paddle through the water. A sport that originated in Hawaii, paddled its way to this part of the world, and has now become a rage among adults and children — thanks to schools such as Covelong Point Surf School, Bay of Life and Mumu Surf School.

High: An intense session will help you burn 1,300-1,400 calories.

Low: The cost. Prices start at Rs. 50,000 for inflatable boards and Rs. 90,000 for the rigid ones.

Golf for kids

It is no longer a hobby for just the retired. Kids as young as seven are travelling the globe for golf tournaments. And those from abroad, especially Dubai and the U.S., come to India to get trained, according to Tarun Sardesai, coach at Zion Hills Golf County, who has trained international golfers such as Sharmila Nicollet. The number of junior training programmes and certified coaches has increased. The good news is that golf training in India is less expensive when compared to other countries.

What’s more, Tamil Nadu (The Junior Development Programme under the umbrella of the Tamil Nadu Golf Federation) offers the least expensive course (Rs. 1,500 for a child who is under eight, and Rs. 2,500 for those under 18). Madras Gymkhana Club and AKDR Golf Village are the other places that offer golf training.

High: The sport helps quieten the mind, better functional motor skills and attention span.

Low: You will probably have to travel to the outskirts of the city where most of the golf courses are.


There is something therapeutic about moulding a block of clay into a bowl. It’s an art that you can learn from the many studios that dot the city. A few of them include Life & Art Academy, Adyar and Kamla Ravikumar’s Studio 41 in Kalakshetra Colony, and Malini’s Pottery in Teynampet. The Ceramic Centre in DakshinaChitra, Muttukadu hosts international professional artists’ residencies, and organises regular workshops for those interested.

High: Reduces stress and anxiety, increases positive emotions and spontaneity.

Low: A pottery wheel and electric kiln can be expensive, and be ready to clean up thoroughly after each session.


The art of storytelling is undergoing a revival, and now there are workshops for college students to train them in group discussions and design resumes, for women who want to get back to work after a break, for media persons, fashion designers, corporates, visual artistes and even doctors. This demand has in turn led to a rise in the number of storytelling institutes over the years.

Indian Storytelling Network on the web includes a comprehensive list categorised city-wise. Madras Story Works, World Storytelling Institute and The Narrative are in Chennai.

High: The classes are almost like an informal meet-up with friends.

Low: The pay. It’s still picking up as a full-time profession.


Don’t have good handwriting? Here’s your chance to change that. Calligraphy, an art that uses the technique of drag and flick, is no extension of your handwriting but a whole new skill.

The art is making a comeback, with organisations like Wrapistry holding four-hour workshops, and city-based Christina’s Art Studio offering exclusive calligraphy lessons.

High: The basics are simple: learn the up and down strokes.

Low: Be ready to have a stack of calligraphy nibs, especially if you are a fresher.

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Printable version | Mar 29, 2020 9:51:09 PM |

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