The new year can also be a time for new experiences: this seems to be the mantra Puneites have adopted as they gear up to usher in 2017. Moving on from tried and tested festivities — house parties and big-ticket events with music and dance — this year, people are ready to take on newer experiences. From outdoor activities, live gaming events and even treks, people are exploring unique ways to celebrate new beginnings.
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One of those looking for a different experience is 28-year-old Tanushree Deshpande, an entrepreneur who has a cleaning service company. “I and my husband usually go out for dinners and parties, but this time we decided to go for another experience. I had recently experienced a live gaming session at a place in Camp area. They have several ‘rooms’ and each one has a mystery to unlock, which we can do together as a couple. We thought this is an excellent way of spending time together, so I booked one of their mystery rooms, which we haven’t tried yet,” she said.
ResQroom, which offers a live gaming experience based on logical problem-solving, is owned by Shabbir Sabuwala. “We thought of offering a game where friends work together to achieve a mission. It is an exciting and creative activity to do with friends. We are pleased that people like it and we already have 20 bookings for December 31 and 15 bookings for January 1,” he said.
While live gaming is one of the latest things to catch the fancy of the city, outdoor experiences also remain a favourite. A group called Explorer Treks and Tours is organising a 1000-feet rock climbing camp at Velu, near Bhor, on December 31 and January 1.
One of those who have signed up for it is 23-year-old Subhasish Satpathy, an IT professional. “I like parties but I wanted to try something different this time. I was interested in this kind of an experience and that’s why I signed up for it,” he said.
In a similar fashion, Backpack Outdoors has organised a camp at Temghar Dam backwaters. However, there is a strict no-alcohol rider attached to this trip and organiser Mayur Khivasara said the policy was the highlight of the camping session.
Shubham Agarwal, one of the participants of the camp, said,”I and my friends chose to do this as we wanted to bring in 2017 in a special way. We don’t like parties or noisy places with a lot of people. We like the no-alcohol policy and I think, rather than the usual stories, we will have a different experience to share.”
At Kamshet, Temple Pilot Paragliding has organised a three-day workshop, where people will learn how to fly solo. Civil engineer Salil Gandhi (27), who has signed up for this workshop, said, “I like adventures and was really fascinated with paragliding. Every year, we do the same old things. This time, I wanted to try something that I would remember for the rest of my life. Starting my New Year with such an adventure will be fun”.
Anita Deshpande, owner of the paragliding institute, said the workshop, which has a maximum capacity of 16 students, is fully booked already.
“Let 2017 be about new experiences… people who have signed up for this workshop will get exactly that… In fact, they will literally go flying into the New Year,” she said.