I had winter vacations for 3 months starting in December because Mt Abu has (or atleast it had) severe winters. Or maybe it was because the nuns didn’t want us around during X’mas. 31st was spent at home with family in a small town. There are no pubs and it didn’t even have a multiplex or a decent restaurant. We would stay up all night watching crappy television and then fall asleep disappointed. Next day we were expected to be up early because one should start the New Year on a disciplined note, or so my parents thought.
There was one year where the tradition of watching crappy television was broken. My parents were invited to a Doctors’ party on the outskirts of the town. We jumped with joy, excitedly got dressed and turned off the TV even though Titanic was playing for the very first time. The party was on a terrace in a hotel. We arrived to find ghazals playing (is this why I don’t have patience with ghazals?), there were some bored chaat walas and the cake my mom had baked for the occasion was cut. There were no good looking guys or anyone of my age I could talk to. Someone popped open a champagne. Take a pause. This was in Gujarat- the land of prohibition. All the doctors, except my dad, rushed for a sip. My parents are anti liquor, anti smoking, anti short skirts, anti Muslims, anti love marriage. Basically, they are normal Indian parents living in Gujarat. Anyway, we came home, disappointed and hungry, to Jack dying on Star TV. I probably even cried a little. There was another party the next night (1st Jan) but we wisely decided to stay home and watch the re-runs of Titanic.
31st is overrated. It always has been. When I was doing my MBA in Manipal, we gathered on KMC lawns and wished our friends. It was one night of the year we were allowed to stay out till midnight. In my 2nd year, we had gone to Turtle Bay for a day trip, had snacks at Diana in Udipi after which I dumped my friends to gate crash a birthday party with the guy I was hooking up with then, got bored and drunk, could barely walk back into the hostel, missed the midnight wishes with my friends and woke up with a hangover. I remember calling APC in the morning with a “Help. I am hungover”. I even called him from Australia at 2 am (his time) with “Help. I am hungover and have to get on a long flight in a few hours”.
When KC and I started dating, we made a low key plan of having dinner at our regular restaurant in Mulund. He drove from Vashi to Thane to pick me up and it took us 2 hours to get from Thane to Mulund- a journey that normally took less than 30 mins on a bike. We were mind fucked to find the restaurant packed and a long queue. Everything was packed and we managed to get a table at Domino’s around midnight. Another fucked up New Year’s Eve.
Since then I have stopped making a big deal about NYE. It is just another day of the year. Unless you are outdoors and then you will regret it all your life. We take a trip somewhere close in the year end but are home before evening on 31st. We watch movies on 31st, wish each other and fall asleep.
The only way to make 31st epic is to get good sleep. Nothing beats good sleep and a good book.