Ah, New Year’s Eve! A night so overrated that it takes two calendar years to share collective responsibility for its rubbishness. Christmas gets a bum rap as a capitalistic, opportunistic cash-grab but if you ask me, New Year’s Eve is the real brains of the operation. The entire evening is an exercise in getting individuals to cough up mad money for the privilege of counting backwards from 10 together. It’s a party where it’s everybody’s birthday, which means it’s nobody’s birthday.

Every December 31, Mumbaikars flock to the Gateway of India to bring in the New Year by screaming “Happy New Year” into someone’s armpit’. File pic
Every December 31, Mumbaikars flock to the Gateway of India to bring in the New Year by screaming “Happy New Year” into someone’s armpit’. File pic

The good thing about New Year’s Eve, however, is that it’s a completely customisable experience. You can choose the exact way in which you want your evening to go badly. It’s a Choose Your Own Adventure book in which every adventure ends with a fat Punjabi man throwing up on you and then taking a swing at you. And so I present a ready reckoner to the different kinds of New Year options available to you. To those of you wondering how to spend your New Year’s Eve this year, I trust this list will be very helpful, because you now have something to read at midnight when you’re sitting at home alone because let’s face it, you can’t make plans now because LOL it’s already the 27th of December and your friends don’t like you NEARLY enough to let you in on a plan now. So with no further ado (or prior ado), here’s the NYE Ready Reckoner:

The “Paady of the Year Bro” Party:
The party that all rookies must go to, because it is the definitive social non-event of the season. Nowhere is the futility of a New Year celebration more evident than here. This is how it works; every year, one or two parties are anointed Paady Of The Year Bro. These parties usually have a bizarre USP, like “Mika is performing” or “Whew, Mika is not performing”. To access these parties you need “passes bro”, which for some reason can only be purchased in cash from skeezy-looking college boys named Sooraj. The Paady of the Year Bro also features alcohol and food by Cinderella Caterers, whose motto is “We disappear at midnight”.

My favourite Paady of the Year Bro occurred in 2002, when half of Mumbai bought passes to a bash that was supposed to have been held on a “40,000-square-foot cruise liner” anchored off the coast of Mumbai. Except, revellers arrived to find that the biggest things in the harbor that night were an Alibaug ferry, and the size of the scam they’d been subjected to. I laughed so hard when I ran into all of them at a food-stall in Colaba where they were crying into their paneer rolls. Best New Year ever.

The Public Gathering Party:
Such as a visit to the Gateway of India, to bring in the New Year by screaming “Happy New Year” into someone’s armpit. Mostly attended by journalists waiting for their big beginning-of-year molestation story.

The Out Of Town Party:
In which you go out of town to avoid traffic and everyone you know, and then you stop to grab a bite on the Bombay-Pune Expressway, where you then spend the next four days stuck in traffic at the toll-booth. With everyone you know.

The “I’m staying home” Party:
This well-intentioned gathering begins with the stellar idea of staying home with the seven people on this Earth you can actually tolerate. And it goes fantastically, until people realise you are the smartest guys in the world for doing this, and descend upon your house and then refuse to leave because “Now there’ll be traffic ya.”

The Goa:
Also known as “LOL Not a f*ck given about infrastructure in Baga, the one place every idiot in the country goes to party on this day.” Scientific studies estimate that a nuclear incident in Goa on the
31st of December would automatically raise the average IQ of India by 50 points.

So these are your options. Now go forth and be disappointed at any one of these of your choosing. Except the one at my home, because I will drop-kick you the second I see you coming up the stairs.

Rohan Joshi is a writer and stand-up comedian who likes reading, films and people who do not use the SMS lingo. You can also contact him on www.facebook.com/therohanjoshi