"So what you doing?"
This is the most asked question in the last week of every year. Everyone is trying to make plans and trying to make sure they are doing something. But, everyone is also running out of ideas and they want to do something with most of their friends around. The trouble with this is however, that most of their friends also have been asked the same question and even they want to do something with most of their friends. This creates a problem.
As is usually the case with everyone, you will also have different sets of friends. And you friends will have their own different sets of friends. And so on and so forth. Now, some people prefer one particular set over another, and some people particular people from each set over the entire lot. So it becomes difficult to make a NYE plan which involve all your close friends, friends who matter, friends who have brought any amount of happiness in your life. The problem is compounded by the fact that each of these particular friend would have their own set of plans with their special people. After all, you cannot figure in all of those plans!
A few days back, as I was on my way home from college on my bike, I was loving the weather. It was cold already and there was a steady cross-wind blowing, making it an even colder night. That is when I thought that I should ride my bike in this weather just for the heck of it. Why not go for a ride somewhere? But with placements and all, it seemed quite impossible right now. That is when the idea hit me.
So come NYE, I made frantic last minute calls to a few of my friends, trying to figure out where they would be that night. It was already 7 PM and I was still in college, dressed up in a coat and tie. I hurriedly made up my mind and left for home. The journey back home gave me some time to figure out my plan for that night. I decided I would try and visit as many friends as possible, depending on where they are having fun with their own set of friends. The following locations were decided upon: Ghatkopar, Goregaon, Andheri (W), Andheri (E), Khar, Wadala, Lower Parel and Marine Drive. Quite ambitious I thought if I wanted to make it to all these places and meet people and be with them long enough for it to not look rude.
After a quick shower and packing my camera, headphones, a book, water and the phone charger I left home at 9 PM. My first stop was Ghatkopar to meet Kareena. She was on her way back from work and had no other plans for the night this year. So we went for a small drive in her car and had a quick dinner. This was the time that my amnesia set in and we forgot to click a picture! I was there till around 11 PM and thought that I should move or forget a few places. Next stop was Goregaon, to meet Sonia. I called her to ask her whereabouts once I reached Andheri and she told me that she didn't think she could meet me. Disappointed, I called Sudeshna who was supposed to be in Andheri (W). She said she is in East at a restaurant called FireBowl. So off I went and found a small quite restaurant serving chinese food to Rohan, Sudeshna and her friend Priyanka. It was already 11.40 and I knew I will be with them at midnight. I didn't mind it! That was the best part, it would not matter where I was at midnight! They were all my closest friends. This time I did not forget the camera!
This done, Sudy and Piyu had planned a night in the house and Rohan was to go to a friend's party in Mahalaxmi. So we guys had to run some errands for the girl's night. Off we went to get chips, breezers and something else I don't remember right now. After dropping off Rohan to Jogeshwari station, I called Aksha to ask the directions to her party. It was in Andheri (E) and once I reached there, I realised the contrasting party I was going to. Blaring music, dancing people, UV lights and flowing booze. It took me some time to realise where I was and happened to meet Priyanka (not the earlier one, this one's my friend from Jai Hind) too. Danced on Dhan Ta Na and decided I should make a move to the next stop. It was already 1 and I realised Khar was not possible now. Aarti would never meet me this late. She told me I was right and she could not meet me. Next stop, Wadala.
Wadala was the place where Vikas was staying for the night and on my way there, I called him 23 times for him to not take my call. Another place crossed from the list. Off to Hard Rock Cafe then, quite a few people from my college were supposed to be there. Once, I got there, it was more like High Rock Cafe. I had never seen so many drunk people at the same time. Nidhi refused to pick up my call and Sukhmani came out to meet me. As we waited for Nidhi to come out, more drunk people walked out, getting into arguments and fist fights. Then came Nidhi, quite well spirited might I add! Met them and a few more people from college and it was time for me to leave again.
It was time to meet the Queen and her Necklace! Marine Drive it was! I rode in anticipation all the way. I entered the stretch at Chowpatty and the ride till NCPA at 3.30 AM was something else! Parked my bike and decided to take a walk on the relatively deserted Promenade. Bliss! It was 4.30 AM when I finally sat on my bike with music in my ears and me on my way back home in the other end of the city; where I finally met my sister who fed me food from her party with her friends.
That night, I had traveled 108 Kms in 8 hours, quite literally across the length and breadth of one of the most awesome cities in the world. Fortunately, there was no traffic anywhere I went and the ride was better thanks to the nip in the air. I had met quite a few of my friends and could not meet a few more of them. I had visited quite a few places and could not visit a few more. The best part was, I could choose who I wanted to be with and for how much time. And if I ever wanted some change, I could get back to myself in a jiffy – on my bike, in the cold.
I guess that was what it was all about. Spending the NYE with myself and all the favorite people, and of course this city.