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

Hindustan Times (Patna) - - METRO - Dev Raj devraj@hin­dus­tan­times.com

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

SAN­TOSH KU­MAR/HT PHOTO

It’s party time. Pat­naites in a cel­e­bra­tion mood on Mon­day.

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