Does your weekend start on a Friday night or Saturday morning? If yes, you may rapidly be approaching minority status.
With several sectors giving employees their weekly off mid-week, thousands of working professionals in Delhi have shifted their ‘weekend’ to weekdays.
“Barring the fact that one can’t really party till 4 am on a Sunday night, I am very happy with my Monday offs,” laughs Varsha Sindhu, a senior associate of a Delhi-based production unit.
She takes the relatively empty weekday markets as a blessing. “The flip side is that most friends aren’t game to socialise on a Sunday night. Even my husband who’s a banker has to wind up early because he works Mondays.”
A lecturer at Delhi University’s Gargi College, Pragya Gupta is quite happy with how her week maps out. She has Thursdays to herself and points out that most university professors have a midweek break, which is “a lot more convenient than say, a Saturday off”.
Gupta uses her Thursdays to relax and prepare lectures for the next few days. “When one is married, and with a kid, weekday offs make a lot of sense,” says Gupta.
For hospitality professional, Vivek Tyagi, the concept of a ‘weekend’ never really existed. Twelve years into the profession, the restaurant manager at Shangri La Hotel is used to working when the world is partying and vice versa. “The weekend as concept doesn’t really matter. What matters is that I get to spend time with my friends,” says 33-year-old Tyagi.
"Going out shopping or for a meal on a weekday is as much fun as on a weekend. We fix up with each other a bit in advance, so that we can get a common off day,” he adds.
Having a weekday, in fact, could be more fun actually, reasons 24-year-old Kanika Sharma, who works with a city-based website.
"Movie ticket prices and restaurant rates are much lower on a weekday. So I end up saving, even as I have fun with my friends,” says Sharma. She also manages to visit relatives — “something that people of my generation don’t usually have time for.”
While restaurants and pubs don’t really look at this crowd as a separate client base, it’s a win-win situation for both. Most restaurants and pubs run special discounts or promotions to boost sales on weekdays, and those who want to party or eat out can make the most of the discounted rates.
According to Kashif Farooq, the owner of Urban Pind, Urban Bar at GK I, “We run promotions from Tuesday to Thursday.” Shrivant Rajgarhia of Azzurro Kitchen and Bar in Saket says, “Since weekend sales are still a priority for restaurateurs, groups who visit us on weekdays get much lower rates.”
While the going is good for this crowd, do they miss weekends? “Only when family outings can’t work out for you,” says Sharma. Sindhu’s only grudge is that her daughter is at school on her off day.
A customer service executive at a call centre in Gurgaon, Ritin Aneja hates missing out on family time. “I have Thursdays and Fridays off but my father comes home after 10 p.m. and I am never home then.”
Their misery notwithstanding, the fact is that weekday offs have become a way of life and what’s shifted along with the off-day is the weekend partying and socialising that was usually conducted on Friday and Saturday nights.