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Midnight's angels

They never get to celebrate New Year —they are too busy ensuring you do. Lalita Iyer talks to women who make hay while the New Year moon shines.

india Updated: Dec 28, 2008 22:40 IST
Lalita Iyer

It’s a culmination: Madhu Krishnan, Chefhttp://www.hindustantimes.com/news/images/New%20Year.jpg

For Chef Madhu Krishnan, it has been a working new year for the last 18 years. In fact, 31st December, for her is a culmination of 365 days of culinary excellence and her new year’s eve menu is a tribute to that. It helps that her husband is a hotelier, and therefore also working on new year’s eve. As a result, Krishnan and her family bring in the new year on January 1, and she can foresee it being this way for years.

In-between stuffing turkeys for her Christmas dinner, she takes a breather to tell us, “Working on new year’s eve is like my religion. It’s not something that I have to do, but something that I want to do. So much goes into creating our new year’s eve menu that it’s really special, year after year, and we’d like the meal to be the high point in everyone’s life.”

Ashrafi Oshidar, Deejay

'It’s easy to get the party going’

Sound engineer by day and party rocker by night, DJ Ashrafi prefers spinning discs on New Year’s eve rather than being stuck on the road trying to get to a party, like most of her friends usually are.

Besides, says Oshidar, “Why not? After all you are ‘rewarded’ so much more (read, you can make at least three to four times what you normally make for a gig). It’s easier because her family doesn’t live with her, she adds.

Besides, she says, “It is also easier working on new year’s eve. The crowd has come to party, so the vibe is already good and it takes very little to get the party going.”

She has performed at top clubs and gigs across Indian cities and abroad such as Delhi’s F-bar, Elevate, and Mumbai’s Prive, Olive bar and kitchen, Provogue Lounge, Tantra and Enigma and Dublin’s Lush and Capitol Orange. She plays a range of music from Bollywood to hip hop, club to house, retro to lounge. This year she was scheduled to be at a suburban five-star hotel in Mumbai, but after it was called off, she’s headed to Hyderabad.

Shibani Kashyap, Entertainerhttp://www.hindustantimes.com/news/images/Guitar.jpg

'I make three times as much at New Year gigs’

New year’s eve is always show time for this singer-composer, who could be performing in any part of the world. This year, it’s for the Country Club gig in Dubai, along with Adnan Sami, Usha Uthup, and Mallika Sherawat. Kashyap has been working on every new year’s eve for the last 10 years, and enjoys it.

"This year, because of the recession and the Mumbai terror attack, I thought there would be no major shows. But it turns out all of us are performing in Dubai.” Far from complaining about working on December 31, she says, “I’m thankful I’ve got work even in such bad times. Besides, I’m making three times as much money, so it’s great!”

What about family or that special someone? “Well, right now there’s no one, but a few years ago, when I was seeing someone, he flew with me to Bangalore for my gig and we had a great time. That’s the best part of being in a relationship — I get to be with someone who likes me for who I am. It’s a package deal — me, my work. I’m happiest when at work, so the person gets to be with the best part of me!”

Besides, she points out, she doesn’t have to perform all night. “The minute the clock strikes 12, I can be with my friends or loved ones and have a great time myself,” she says.

Kashyap is in no mood to take it easy and she’d rather make the most of it when the going is good. “There’s always a right time to retire gracefully later. This year, a whole bunch of my friends are flying to Dubai for my show, since there’s not much happening in Bombay. I get to work and party at the same time, so new year’s is a win-win for me.”

'They’re so much more fun'

Mareesha Parikh, Emcee

Where there’s a party, there’s an emcee. 28-year-old Mareesha Parikh,in the business for seven years, has never had a dull new year. This year, Parikh is hosting Country Club’s new year party at Dubai.

“I usually have some party to host either in Mumbai or some other city. If it’s Mumbai, I get my family to come over and party while I work. My sister is also in the same field, so my parents have learnt to divide their time between us on new year’s eve, depending on who’s in town.

Even though Parikh ends up working till 5 am, she still finds new year dos much easier than say, corporate shows. “The vibe is such that everyone has a blast and all you have to do is keep the spirits going,” she says. “They’re so much more fun and lucrative than corporate shows, where one has to very particular and technically correct about things.”

What about friends and boyfriends? Are they as supportive?

“I don’t really have a significant other right now, so haven’t had trouble on that front, but yes, friends do get a little sarcastic sometimes. But December 31st is a windfall for me, since I end up making at least three to four times my normal fee,” she says, “so I’d rather listen to their nagging than let go of the opportunity.”