This New Year's eve, a few club-hopping Mumbaiites are going to give the dance floor a miss and instead head to a more 'earthy' place - where kerosene lamps will replace neon bulbs, tribal beats will triumph over disc jockeys and farm animals will nudge out other party animals.
A handful of eco-tourism enthusiasts will bring in the New Year at Purushwadi, a village located 220 km from Mumbai. "Living the life of a villager during the weekend will help me detox and relax before resuming work. This is a much-deserved break from the noise that prevails in the city due to New Year celebrations," said Rahul Divay, 24, an advertising professional.
Divay will be travelling to Purushwadi with a group of other residents on a trip organised by city-based organisation, Grassroutes. "I will rear cattle, plough fields and bathe in the river on January 1."
Divay is also excited about preparing and sampling the local village cuisine as part of his trip.
Arun Aggarwal, 48, will bring in the New Year at his newly purchased farmhouse in Talegaon. The Goregaon-based businessman has invited close friends and family, who will begin their 135 km journey from the city on Friday.
"Hotels are reserved in advance, clubs and pubs are crowded, and roads are too noisy and packed," said Aggarwal. "A New Year party away from the city will give us the opportunity to spend time with each other."
The Datey family from Mulund will head to Kerala's backwaters. "This trip was planned in August. We look forward to the picturesque locales," said Payal Datey, 22, a copywriter. "We had earlier planned to travel to Goa. However, we realised that half the city would be present there during this time of the year, making it equally noisy and chaotic."
Unlike the Dateys, who had planned their trip months in advance, the Mulay family from Bhandup will take a short trip to Matheran this weekend.
"This is the first time we are going to spend December 31 out of the city. With so many restrictions on partying in the city, traffic woes and the potential safety hazards during the new year, I decided to take a leave from my job for the short trip," said Bhushan Mulay, 24, a banker, who will drive to Matheran with his family.