I don't know what it is about new year's eve that gets people into panic mode. Either you don't have a plan and are not happy about it, or you have plan A but would happily trade it for plan B. Point is, almost everyone is wondering if what they are doing is cool enough or they ought to do something else.
A month ago, the usual suspects declared with much bravado, "We don't really feel like doing anything this year," Turns out, most of them have fled the city by the time this article goes into print. So much for plan A.
Even so, I never ask people what they are doing for new years'. I just think it adds to the pressure, just in case they don't have a plan. Like I never do—I am best left at home with the felines, or in the company of close friends and a single malt, or any suitable beverage that works for all. But even in my absolute lack-of-new-year-spirithood, I have had some of the most amazing potluck parties on new year's eve in my singleton days—it was an open house for all those without a plan and with something to offer.
Now the dynamics have changed. I am married, and hosting a party has become tougher. The singletons don't want to come unless they have a date, or another plan to flash, and the married ones are a complete pain-in-the-ass to coordinate with.
I have almost always regretted venturing out and 'joining the gang' for a new year do, whether it was last year's Bombay Gym Bar Nite, or a few years ago at the Renaissance Powai, or many many years ago at Esselworld (yes!), taking those surreal rides post midnight.
The ones I remember enjoying were a midnight walk in the coffee plantations in Madikeri (Coorg) or a trek along Tulsi dam in the Borivili national park (yes, we had inner line access, courtesy a forest guard connection, I confess) . Clearly I am a child of the wilderness and the husband better come up with suitable plans in the coming years.
Last week, one of my (hitherto) cool single friends called to ask me, "So what plans for new year, babe?"
Since I don't have a day off (again!), and I don't want to blow up a month's salary doing Goa or Dubai or wherever it is everyone is going, I was just warming up to the idea of staying at home, playing board games with the husband, music on shuffle, a celebratory glass of wine and the cat nibbling my feet and other body parts. So I said, "Nothing. I am home."
Her response rattled me. "See, you have a plan already," she said. "When you have a man, you usually have a plan!"
Correction. When you have a man, you have one plan. When you are single, you have several. Actually, you are the plan.
Happy new year and all that!