For me, New Year’s Eve has always been the most over-hyped night of the year. The hoopla starts about a week earlier; with all the fancy hotels and restaurants announcing their gotta-have-it New Year’s Eve spectaculars. In Bombay, this year, there was a Buccaneer Party, unlimited (but definitely not complementary) booze aboard a cruise ship anchored offshore and midnight buffets that promised the moon and cost the earth.
Then there is the peer pressure; friends asking you where you’re going on the big night – and giving you commiserating (I call it smug) looks when you inform them you’re going to spend it at home. In the old days – when I was still naïve enough to be embarrassed – I used to make up elaborate excuses: picking up a non-existent New Yorker house guest from the airport; a feigned bad back; even something as ridiculous as a tiff with the wife.
Now, off course, their disdain washes over me like water off a duck’s back. A typical New Year’s Eve banquet at one of those five-stars costs upto $500 – and if they are suckers enough to spend that kind of money to put on fancy hats and wiggle about on one leg on a jam-packed, pocket sized dance floor – I think they are the ones who deserve my compassion. I have been to a couple of these affairs in the past – back when I was one of the hypees – and I found myself trying so hard to “enjoy myself”- just to justify the obscene amount of money I had forked out – that I was actually miserable.
I happen to live close to the ocean and – this New Year’s Eve, as in many past – the missus and I had a gourmet meal at home (probably just as good as what we would have had outside; and at a fraction of the cost); then pushed a couple of recliners out on the balcony. We opened a bottle of Californian bubbly (a gift from an uncle), watched the fireworks blast off over the sea; and the ships sounding their fog horns at the stroke of midnight. Then off to bed, to bring in the New Year as it should be. I don’t know about you, but I find fireworks to be a powerful libido-booster.
It’s after ten in the morning on New Year’s Day as I write this; and I’m having a luxurious stretch after a long lie-in and a cup of strong Darjeeling tea. I’m feeling lazy and content and pretty damn good (the wife isn’t complaining either). I’m thinking of the straggler’s who have limped home at five in the morning, bleary-eyed and with fake smiles that look like they have been caused by rigor mortis – and that makes me feel even better.
HAPPY NEW YEAR, EVERYBODY