(Written by Jayali Wavhal)
As 2018 draws to an end, Pune is gearing up to welcome the New Year with games and celebrations, organised across the city. Camping sites, game nights, story sessions, parties and countdown gatherings will remain the highlights of these celebrations.
Mahek Desai, who owns the Into The Wild camping site in Shendurli, said: “This will be the first time that we will celebrate New Year at our camping site. We have limited the number of people to 50 to ensure the celebrations are peaceful. The theme is to stay in touch with the nature’s beauty, but we have a live orchestra and a karaoke night for the guests while they enjoy the barbecue and bonfire.”
Aryavart Farms near Panshet will host a musical night, which features a drum circle with African Djembes and live music sessions curated specially for the guests. Similar theme nights will be held across several camping sites in Pavana, Panshet and Lonavala areas.
Mihir Chaturvedi, a poetry and music lover, has organised a special event at Little Hearts in Koregaon Park for people with similar interests. “Participants have prepared poems, songs and stories highlighting major political and social events of 2018, which is going to be the best part of the session.”
People have also composed songs on various themes like family, career, love, gratitude, friendship and others. These songs will be underlining the changes each individual went through in 2018, thus enabling everyone view this year’s events in retrospect, he added.
Keeping a playful environment, two friends — Pooja Tankhiwale and Aditya Morey — will host a games night in Baner. “The games are aimed at making people get to know each other and for them to reflect on this year. Participants will be asked about their most accomplished and embarrassing moments of 2018, success stories, mistakes, their new year resolutions and more. We also have a few other games like Pictionary and lightning quiz.”
The games will be followed by dance and finally a midnight countdown leading up to the New Year, said Pooja.
Multiple theme-oriented parties and bash will also be a part of Pune’s New Year celebrations. Eu4ria, a special event, will be held at Mahalaxmi Lawns and will present a music festival dedicated to bringing out the cultural aspects of India along with games, art, food and spiritual awareness. Targeting people of all ages, the event will also feature live laser, fog and firework performances. Four Points by Sheraton will host a new year bash based on superhero theme, whereas Classic Rock Café will feature a stand-up comedy session with comedian Sorabh Pant on December 31.
Several groups across the city will trek to Rajmachi, Raigad, Torana and Tung-Tikona in an attempt to welcome the New Year with a sporting spirit. Mandar Shinde, a volunteer with the trek group Backpackers 24, said: “We will leave for Raigad on December 31 for an overnight stay as we wanted to welcome the new year with the view of the sunrise from the mountain.”
Like every December 31, this year too FC Road and MG Road will be crowded with youngsters who will gather for the new year’s countdown.
Speaking about multiple events held across the city, Tejaswi Satpute, DCP Pune traffic, said, “We will deploy our teams at over 50 locations across Pune to ensure New Year celebrations are carried out peacefully. Last year, we did not deploy any traffic personnel on January 1, but keeping in mind the Bhima Koregaon protests, we have reserved additional task force to be set up on December 31 and January 1.”