In a world of her own

Unique hobbies

In a world of her own

Her sweet voice and shy demeanour are what strike you first. Cocooned in her small world, Monica Agrahara Hanumaiah rarely ventures out to meet new people. She would rather spend time pursuing her favourite hobby- origami.

A student of Visveswarapura Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Monica says she started trying her hand at paper folding during the summer break after second PU. “I had already heard about this art and was quite interested but somehow never managed to find the time for it. During those holidays, I was looking for ways to keep myself entertained when I came across an old book. It was on origami. I had had it for many years but I opened it for the first time only then. And after that, I was hooked.”

Ask her what all she has made and she rattles off a list in a delightfully childlike way. “Rose, penguin, butterfly, dog, crow, peacock, fish, turtle...” “The peacock was the very first item I made but the rose is my favourite,” she adds.

She says she didn’t think what she was doing was that amazing or creative so she never highlighted her efforts. After every model was made, she would go and quietly place it in her showcase. It was when the showcase started overflowing with paper models of animals and flowers that her parents noticed their daughter's interest. “They were quite happy about the entire thing but they didn't make a fuss about it,” she says with a shrug.

“But I was quite happy with my efforts and I had a lot of fun in the process,” she adds. “Also I was able to do something that my elder sister couldn’t. She was quite jealous and that made me more determined to continue with this hobby,” she says with a laugh.

But jokes aside, Monica confesses that she is quite close to her sister Madhuri. “She has been very supportive and encouraging of the entire process. She loves the models I made. A lot of her friends are into arts and crafts and she told me that I was as good as them,” says Monica. In fact, it was Madhuri herself who gifted that origami book to her years ago.

“She said I could even sell these or gift them to my friends,” says Monica with a smile.

So does she gift them to her friends? “Actually no. I wasn't very confident about my products. I have seen YouTube videos and the people there make great stuff, original designs. I just copy from them. So I wasn’t sure if they will like them,” she confesses, adding that she hasn’t even put up pictures on her Facebook page. “I didn’t think they deserved so much attention. I haven’t even shown my designs to anyone, except for my family and a few relatives. My relatives were quite shocked that I could make something like this,” she says.

Though Monica prefers to use proper origami paper; “it has a feel of cloth and resembles handmade paper,” she explains helpfully;  she can make-do with anything that she gets. “Since college has started, I haven’t got that much time to devote to this hobby. But when we get a free period, I tear off a page from my notebook and make something,” she says.

So what next? “I am trying my hand at kirigami now. Origami is the art of paper folding while kirigami is the art of paper cutting. It involves using scissors, something that is unthinkable in origami. I have already made a pouch for stationery under this new art,” she says, adding that she likes doing stuff with paper. “I like  doing things sitting at my table. I am the happiest during that time.”

(Monica can be contacted at

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