By Sujata Pillai | Chennai
From hectic party-hopping to non-alcoholic parties, and uniquely, a bash at a brick kiln — the city saw it all. 2014 danced into Chennai on a moderately chilly night, as its young and old welcomed it in more ways than one.
In a city that packs in tradition with the contemporary, Chennai’s denizens did different things this New Year’s eve, too — from hectic party-hopping to chilling at hotels or on the beach, or going to non-alcoholic parties and, uniquely, throwing a bash at a brick kiln.
The cover charges were high in the most-happening places, but a lot of people did not mind the expense. R. Jayaraj, who works for a MNC, for instance, said, “I want to have a really good evening with my girlfriend. So we will surely be going for at least a few parties tonight, and yes, there will be considerable amount of money spent. But it’s worth it,” he said. For one particular party that is on his list, the cover charge for a couple was Rs. 18,999.
Deepa Chandiramani, marketing communication manager of a star hotel, says she loves partying with family and friends. “Friends, music and food are the main ingredients of my party.”
And there were those who partied as a group with colleagues, like Ganesh and his team. Ganesh, who is a director with an engineering company, booked one floor of a hotel in Vadapalani for 60 employees, and they were found having a whale of a time with good ambience, great food and better company.
A city that has such a long coastline and some splendid beaches can hardly exclude the seaside from festivities. A few revellers organised their own private parties at farm houses along East Coast Road. Sharan Reddy, an entrepreneur, partied for the second consecutive New Year’s eve at a friend’s beach-facing farm house. “We celebrated with only a small group of around dozen friends. We lit a bonfire and brought our guitars and had a jamming session. What can be better?” he said.
M. K. Dinesh from Dubai, who was in the city for New Year’s eve, chose to go to a non-alcoholic party organised at TGL Gold Drive, behind the Grand Chola Hotel, Guindy. The event was organised as a fundraiser for Ekam, an NGO working with children. He picked it as it stood out as a safe and healthy celebration, one at which women and children would feel comfortable too.
A few other party regulars opted out of facing the crowds. Chandrasekaran Baskaran, who parties during the weekends through the year, abstains from New Year’s eve parties, to avoid the crowds at the big events and the huge traffic snarls that have become almost a regular feature of December 31 nights. “The biggest parties will get crowds in excess of 3,000 cramming up a small dance floor. There is always a long queue in front of the counters,” he said.
For the same reasons K. Senthilnathan, a businessman, threw a party for his buddies at a friend’s brick kiln in Avadi. “We had a campfire and barbeque. There won't be any problem from the police and we were not stuck in any traffic,” he said.