Shaaz Khan, an advertising executive, called his friends over to his Andheri home to ring in the New Year.
His idea of organising a house party was to escape the usual hustle-bustle on New Year’s Eve.
“House parties are comfortable and fun as people can dance, eat and sleep and don’t have to struggle through traffic,” said the 26-year-old, adding that he had gone for a stroll to Juhu beach, as an after party. “It was 3:30am but the place was packed.”
Many who wanted to get out of the city, left a day ago. For instance, Sonal Panchal, 23, had a quiet celebration at Nashik’s vineyards.
“A day prior, my friends and I travelled to Nashik to spend New Year’s Eve, visiting different vineyards. It was a very relaxing,” said Panchal.
The usual rush at the city’s hotspots, such as the Gateway of India, Marine Drive and Juhu Beach defied general expectation as they were not low-key affairs, in wake of demonetisation. “The cash crunch was worrying me but we got our salaries early and ended up having a good time,” said Parag Desai, an accountant at a law firm, who took his family to see the fireworks at Marine Drive.
Suburban trains are usually packed in the dead of the night. “At 1am, Churchgate station looked like it was rush hour,” said Byculla resident Rohan D’Souza, adding that despite the rush, the mood was “extremely festive”
Some tried old-world tricks. Law professionals Harshal Pradhan and his wife, for instance, spent the evening playing cards at a friend’s place. “It was a fun evening. We played Poker with a proper set of chips after a long time,” he said.