Pune: Punekars ushered in the New Year with friends and family on Sunday which proved a perfect day to socialise and celebrate.
Popular restaurants in Camp, Fergusson College Road, Bavdhan, Balewadi and Aundh were occupied to full capacity by youngsters and family groups. At many restaurants, people made prior bookings to avoid waiting for long hours.
Troy Ellis, an IT professional said he will be celebrating with his family in a restaurant to enjoy quality time with good music.
Prashant Jha, a student waiting for his friends at 11 East Street Cafe in Camp on Sunday, said, “We have booked our table as we knew it would be impossible to get the table if not booked for such a large group. It feels homely here as along with the youngsters, families also come here to celebrate.”
Groups of youngsters started flocking to popular hangout place, Culture Pune, on FC Road since early evening on New Year's Eve and Amruta Kadam was one of them. She said, “Big clubs and fancy restaurants are not really affordable on December 31."
Some youngsters are not spending their money in the restaurants as they feel it is better to enjoy at home with loved ones. Rasika Mehta, a student, said, “Restaurants and clubs are so crowded on New Year's Eve, and the rates are sky high. So we decided to begin our New Year by cutting a cake at a friend's place."
Senior citizens are not far behind when it comes to having a gala time on New Year's Eve. Many were spotted at FC Road buying gifts and eating at restaurants. Abhay Tilak, 65, a retired ammunition department of the armed forces employee, said, “Earlier these kinds of celebrations were a family-affair only, but after liberalisation, people have started coming out to enjoy. So even we make it a point to listen to good music, eat good food and celebrate the new year and revive ourselves.”
At Wadeshwar Restaurant on FC Road, ex-MSEB employee Deepak Khadilkar (62) said, “In our young age we did not use to celebrate the way youngsters are enjoying now. So our group of elders has decided since two years that even we will go to clubs, restaurants, purchase clothes for ourselves and live to our fullest.”
Tribute to victims of Mumbai fire tragedy
Some people of the city are paying tribute to the victims of the fire which broke out in the wee hours of Friday at Mumbai's Kamala Mills, Lower Parel, Mumbai. A group of youngsters had planned earlier to go trekking on December 31. But after the incident, they went trekking with black bands tied on their arms and paid tribute to the victims of the fire incident. Ashwin Singh, Chartered Accountant, said, “We had earlier decided to go for the trek, but after the incident of Mumbai we did not cancel the trek but paid tribute to the victims."