This last day of the year is flashing back many memories, some recent and some from my childhood.
When we were children, the concept of celebrating a New Year’s Eve was limited to the extent that we were, as a very special gesture, allowed to stay up late and watch TV till 12. Don’t be surprised if you think there’s nothing special in watching TV as this is the most common pass-time for everyone. I really don’t know about other places, but in India you may find TV in almost every house even in slum dwelling units. Yes…its true. That too, a color TV so to say. Ok, so coming back to our watching TV, what made it special was that there used to be only one TV set in a household and only one Channel was aired, which was ‘Doordarshan’ and everyone in the family had to watch together. There was a fixed time the programs were aired, around 6pm till 11pm. That’s it…nothing else. So, every year on this New Year Eve, there used to be a special program which will go on till 12 and had elements of poetry, dance, skits as also comedy and we would enjoy the whole program. Probably it was the only choice we had or may be the programs were prepared painstakingly so everyone in the family would find something of their interest. In fact I still remember one of the comedy skits..though surprising but yeah that was the impact. My mother would make ‘Gajar Ka Halwa’ also called ‘Gajrela’ (a sweet dish prepared with Carrots) and we would all be watching TV and enjoying Gajrela with a hot cup of tea.
Now, with the changing times, lot of things have changed. We can watch TV 24×7 and choose from n number of channels. May be good in a way that we are fed more information on every subject but somewhere this is taking away the precious time families spent together while watching TV. On New Year’s Eve, every TV channel though advertises to show something special, but most of them would show an Award function, some of them even repeating an old Award function while others would stick to their regular shows. In the last few years, I have not find anything specially created for New Year celebrations. May be these channels think that an Award show is the only thing people sitting at home would enjoy.
Coming back to the New Year’s Eve, in India, with more and more people looking out to do something special, almost every good restaurant/Club, Hotel and Resort organize New Year Celebrations. While youngsters are more interested in staying put in their own city and exploring various options, families with children prefer taking a small vacation while staying at a Hotel or Resort having special program for New Year’s Eve. But, a good number of people still prefer staying at home spending the evening with their family, especially in Tier II cities and rural areas and watching TV. Though in most of these households Cakes have replaced our dear traditional sweets, the one good gesture I still find is that whether in the city or out, with parents around or not, just as the clock struck 12, everyone tries to call their family members & close friends to wish them a Happy New Year. This is true with the majority of people unless either for some reason its just not possible to call at that moment or they know their parents/ family members would have slept by now. True, even in today’s world you would find lot many people for whom its just another day and they would prefer going to bed as usual.
For all of you who still don’t know much about India, if you are going to be in India on New Year’s Eve, you will find many places to enjoy. As I mentioned earlier, almost all the good hotels organize a New Year party. In Delhi, Ardor, The Claridges, Taj Hotels, Radisson Blu, Caffe 9, Ambrosia are some of the most famous places around Connaught Place. Another good area where you can have a good time is Hauz Khas Village. This place has many restaurants, Cafes, Pubs with different themes and they keep organizing events all year through. Some of the most popular ones are Ali Baba Caves, Levels, Raas, Cafe High5, Bulldogs. Hard Rock Cafe in Select City Mall Saket is also a good choice.
Go ahead and enjoy the New Year’s Eve as you want to be and as for me, I prefer spending it at home with my family. No I will not keep switching between channels, but would rather get DVD of a good movie that everyone in the family would enjoy along with a hot cup of spiced tea and my homemade Gajrela.
Wishing you all a very Happy New Year! May this year bring lot more Happiness, Love and and Success to you.