Boat parties might be off limits this December 31, but college student Upasna Saimy, 23, and two of her friends will be spending the early hours of the New Year on a boat on the Ganga, wandering by the ghats of Varanasi. Being hung over is not part of their plan.
With a weekend ushering in 2011, the city is likely to witness a mini exodus.
Saimy, who boarded a train to the city of light on Thursday evening, said Mumbai’s parties were uninspiring and overrated. Hence, the effort to do something different. “We didn’t want to do the Mumbai party scene with places being super crowded, people being super drunk and everything being pretty crappy,” she said.
The departures are omni-directional: from Varanasi to Igatpuri to Goa, city folk, jaded by the monotony of clubs, pubs and five-star shindigs are taking the party outside.
Urvi Pandya, 31, and her husband are heading to nearby Lonavla for the long weekend, armed with board games, alcohol, good music and 15 other friends. “We’ve realised over the last couple of years that there is no point going to a hotel; we’d much rather go some place where we can actually spend time with each other,” said Pandya. Therefore, a house party at a conveniently distant but accessible location.
Security concerns are also driving some people out. “With so many restrictions on partying here, traffic and the feeling of insecurity, some of us will be taking off,” said Mansi Deshmukh, 26, who will soak up the party and its aftermath at a farmhouse in Karjat.
For others, the end of the year means an opportunity to relax and slow things down instead of live it up.
“We have been waiting for a good time to take a break; this weekend was ideal because there’s less work with the year ending,” said Pooja Roy, who is leaving for Igatpuri with her husband on Friday. “It was an ideal choice because we wanted to go to a hill station nearby where the climate would be pleasant.”