How Punekars celebrate New Year
Punekars normally are not as gung-ho about the 31st of December. Some pride in saying “Navin varshyachya subeccha gudi padva lach denar”. Yet, parties get Punekars involved in the ‘New Year’ fiasco. Here is how Punekars are seen celebrating the transition of calendars (Kaalnirnay mostly. Ekhada Punekar kitihi engraji phadat asala, tari bhintivaril calendar marathich asta!)
If there’s anything called ‘over-the-top’ New Year plans, it’s mostly the creation of a Puneri mind. From plans of going to Mumbai or Goa to even Dubai or London, Punekars are masters at planning. Depending on a person’s definition of waddhiv, the plans vary. Some may find going to an expensive place in Pune an over-the-top plan too! Everyone expects a New Year plan to be better and more ‘rocking’ than the previous one and you’ll hear words like, “are hya varshi kissa karu re! Kahar dhamaal karu!”. Most expect to be in places packed with the crème-de-la-crème of the city with an option of unlimited daaru and khaana. No wonder, a Punekar’s search for a party in paradise never stops.
If you’re a student, you know you have to take permission from your parents for the party plans, knowing that any high-fundu plan for them is a big “NO” at first. Most, therefore, do what in India is called jugaad, or jhol as is known in Pune. Jhol means using a lie to get your way, because as our Lord Krishna said, “Khara sangun konala dukhavnya peksha, 100 khotya goshti sangun tyanna khush kelela changla asta”. The original statement might be a tad different but Punekars use it to get their way and most tell their parents they’ll have a simple party and will be at some boring family friend’s place, when the reality is totally different. We are then told things like, “Jasti ushir karu nakos! Police aaj kal khup strict zalet huh! Party la jau nakos kuthehi, rave bive (rave party) asu shakte! Olkhiche ahet na sagale? Piun chalvu nakos, gadi navin ahe! (like they just don’t care about us)”. Parents, it seems, see through our lies and choose to ignore them because regardless of whether they believe us or not, they are always seen giving such pravachans.
For those who do not have parents bothering them, the jhol is something different. Want passes for that happening party and know a friend of a friend of a friend of a friend who has them? The jhol here revolves around building new friendships and so, getting too friendly with that common friend. Punekars don’t mind being around unknown people, as long as they know that the party is going to be ‘happening’. Thus, we can enjoy a party where we know just a couple of people and don’t even mind staying at a farmhouse whose owner’s name we still don’t know. Jhoolad is what we definitely are!
House parties/Farm house parties
The panic begins when despite all the amazing plans, your New Year party shows no signs of success. Forget a beach holiday to Goa (have you seen the prices during Christmas and New Year?). For a working professional who isn’t lucky enough to receive his paycheck on the last working day of the month, financing a New Year’s party is no less than a nightmare. Therefore, some prefer drinking or dining out at a decent restaurant and later, venturing on a private location to party. Others tag along with friends to be part of a happening scene at a pub or lounge, and later join in at someone’s house/farm house. Plus, house parties remain a safe option as the police are on a strict vigil during this time. Month end ani year end chi kamaai aste na! Whatever the scene, most Punekars end up being at some house party despite the best of planning. Nashib asach asta ata!
The resolution bombardment
Although most people never really abide by their New Year resolutions and others just think of them as plain stupid, almost all Punekars are seen making New Year resolutions. From not drinking daru, to gymming regularly to bahercha khana kami karna, there are innumerable things Punekars would like to do. The Daru sodnyacha resolution is broken on the first day itself as their prime reason of gulping in yet another pint of beer is, “Hangover utravaila re”. The New Year morning mostly sees people waking up in random locations, thinking to themselves, “What happened?” when the memories of the previous night come rushing. Later in the day, they go home, wish “Happy New Year” to their ajji-ajoba/aai-baba who are totally aloof to all the hype. Most Puneri grandparents are so aloof, they celebrate their anniversary with pomp, and only recently are they getting remarks like, “Waah! Navin varsha chya divshi lagna zala ho tumcha” to which the ajji replies, “Tevha kuthe hota New Year shue year! He sagala atta chya generation cha ahe”. Like the Georgian calendar was a recent fad! 1st of January is when many people are seen thronging the gyms, others climbing tekadis or Parvati and many visiting temples. 1st of January is when everyone gets working to reach their goals.
The 2nd of January, however, changes it all. Excuses rear their ugly heads and people go back to being their usual selves. Circle of life? Hmm.