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What are you doing on December 31?

Kishore Singh | December 20, 2004

By this time, most years, we know where we're going to bring in the New Year.

But even as we're tiring of parties that usher in hangovers the following morning, the whole world is set to celebrate an evening that, I already know, I'll probably spend working late.

Even my parents, who used to criticise the concept of New Year's parties, have decided to throw in the hat and join in the festivities. Since Bikaner, where they stay, isn't exactly known for its rocking nightlife, they asked my sister in Ahmedabad whether they could celebrate the arrival of 2005 with her.

My sister, wisely weighing the pros and cons of ageing parents at a New Year's party and an absentee army husband, decided to pass the buck, so I imagine they'll be flouting Gujarat's infamous prohibition in Rajkot instead with other ageing relatives.

That still leaves us with a choice of options.
Have a party of our own, or join someone else's.

Neighbours and friends are waiting to see who moves first, before deciding which will be the most happening party, and which one -- or ones -- they wish to grace.

I guess we might as well accept that the party's going to be at our house -- for more reasons than one.

"I hope it won't be as boring as last year's," says my son, who has already announced he wants to be out with his friends.

 "But who'll play the music then?" my wife admonishes him.

"Don't know," he says airily. "Why don't you just have a quiet evening at home for a change?"

"You want to be at a party at your age," says my wife. "Your grandparents want to be at a party at their age, when we, who are the partying age, should spend the evening alone?!"

Actually, it's a tempting thought -- that one can stay home, read a book, perhaps watch television. But it's not to be. We have our relatives visiting from Shillong for whom the high point of the year is the New Year's party in Delhi. And this year they've invited other relatives from Mumbai to stay, so it means -- like it or not -- we'll be doing the organising.

"What's to organise in a New Year's party?" asks a neighbour.

A lot actually. Last year, the caterer claimed to be short of hands when we asked why neither barbecue nor the barbecue team had arrived when the guests had.

"You can take the barbecue and the meats and grill them yourself," he said helpfully, when a friend and I drove across to press him to honour his commitment for which he'd pocketed a handsome advance. My friend, more resourceful than I, simply closed the car door on the helper loading the goodies into our car, and we drove him home and got the barbecue going to good effect -- but for some time it had been touch and go.

Then there's the question of organising the drinks -- no less a headache than arranging the food. Not only do guests demand their favourite brands, they want their drinks served professionally.

You need to have cocktail mixers and loads of ice, and party music, and someone has to remember to switch off the lights at midnight, and party hats and streamers, and the will to clean up the morning after where you know at least a couple of guests will have heaved and thrown up in some corner of the living room.

It's a terrible way to usher in the New Year, so if anyone's looking to invite us for a change, I for one am game and will RSVP attendance, provided I can bring my guests, and their guests, along for good measure.

Only for professional party organisers! Are you holding a New Year's party? Would you like to put up the announcement on rediff.com? Write in to us with all the details.

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