Hope in the air as 2013 rings in
New Year revellers throng food outlets, hotels and restaurants to celebrate the occasion in a grand style
PATNA: As the last day of 2012 staggered towards its end, a spirit of enthusiasm swept through the state capital, persuading the people to drown their sorrows and welcome the New Year with hopes of a better tomorrow.
Responding to the call, thousands of people came out to celebrate the occasion in a grand style at various hotels and restaurants that had made special preparations to ring in 2013. The festivities began at most of the places at around eight in the evening and continued till the first hour of the New Year.
Bollywood playback artist Sapna Awasthi, belly dancers, ghazal singers, jazz artists, DJs, guitarists, pianists, retro, funky and rock music set up the right mood for the evening at hotels and restaurants like Maurya, Chanakya, Gargee Grand, Patliputra Ashok, Samrat, City Centre, Purple Lounge, Kapil’s Eleven, Crown Castle, Mainland China, Pind Balluchi, Ghar Angan, Clarks Inn, The Disc Man and several others.
Many took the opportunity to revel near the salubrious banks of the Ganga by the cruise and dining facilities provided by Bhagirathi Vihar behind NIT Campus. They loved the combination of warmth and chill available at the location.
With unlimited food and snacks, that too of different cuisines, available at most of the places, liquor too flowed freely. Several of the betterknown restaurants and hotels had taken special bar licences to operate till midnight. Many banquet halls and normal haunts like the State Bank Officers’ Club also changed over to bars, with one-day licences procured from the excise department to serve alcoholic drinks.
“We issued special bar licences to 15 hotels and restaurants, including some of the most well known names in Patna. They were allowed to serve liquor till 12am instead of the routine 10pm deadline. One-day special licences to serve alcoholic drinks from 10am to 10pm were issued to around a dozen institutions. The list was provided to the Patna Police to keep a look out for violations,” said assistant excise commissioner Nunulal Choudhary.
The newer eating destinations like Dominos, KFC and Pizza Hut in the city were also thronged by people, especially the youngsters. They indulged in the popular Italian and American delicacies.
“Such places jell well with the young people. We like its ambience. They are cozier and booze is not allowed at them, making it better for us. I am just meeting a few friends and celebrating the New Year eve with some delicious pizzas,” said Anamika, an undergraduate student of Patna Women’s College, at a Dominos outlet in the city.
Those who did not venture to the packed bash centres, decided to enjoy the bash at their places, with wholesome arrangement of dishes and drinks. They used the opportunity to get together with their friends and relatives.
“We have arranged an evening of semi-classical music, with noted musicians like Ankit performing with others. It will be a small get together over loads of chicken dishes, vegetables, kebabs and Bengali cuisine, spiced with beautiful songs wafting in the air,” said working professional Minati Chaklanobis of Kadamkuan.
Many people living in apartments decided to celebrate the once in a year event at parties organised at basements and pandal-covered terraces. They pooled their resources to arrange music, as well as special dishes, and danced their hearts out.
“It is not possible for all of us to go to costly hotels to welcome New Year. Moreover, we cannot celebrate the occasion without our parents and children. This is why we decided to have parties in the basement, as well as the terrace of our place,” said Arpita Singh of Nutan Apartments in North SK Puri.
Fireworks starting from various locations in the city, coupled with DJs screaming the countdown signaled the advent of the New Year. As the colourful lights lighted the sky, the people below clapped, sang, and wished their near and dear ones. Some started returning home, while the party continued for others. BOX Despite the festive occasion and the revelry all around, several families and institutions in Patna kept the celebrations low-key in deference to Damini, the Delhi gang rape victim, who died on December 29. “The people where I live are not indulging in any song or dance on the occasion. They have decided not to celebrate New Year this time due to the heinous crime committed in Delhi. There is no end to such incidents yet. Most of the families are feeling insecure and have decided not to go out,” said Kamana Jha of ME Apartments off East Boring Canal Road.
Several hoteliers also accepted that the crowd was less this time in comparison to the New Year bash of last year.
BOLLYWOOD PLAYBACK ARTIST SAPNA AWASTHI, BELLY DANCERS, GHAZAL SINGERS, JAZZ ARTISTS, DJS, GUITARISTS, PIANISTS, RETRO, FUNKY AND ROCK MUSIC SET UP THE RIGHT MOOD FOR THE BASH
It’s party time. Patnaites in a celebration mood on Monday.