Mumbaikars herald new year with restraint

January 1st, 2009 - 4:56 pm ICT by IANS  

Mumbai, Jan 1 (IANS) The beginning of 2009 was not marked by the usual traffic snarls or wild parties on the streets and beaches here as Mumbaikars, with the Nov 26 carnage still fresh in their minds, heralded the new year with restrained celebrations. Most people preferred small get-togethers in the comfort and safety of their homes on New Year’s Eve.

“Usually my teenaged son and daughter would be out with their friends, while my husband and myself would have other commitments. This year, we all enjoyed together at home,” said Jyoti Sagar, a resident of Kandivli in northwest Mumbai.

A large number of policemen were deployed across the city, implementing unprecedented security measures at hotels, restaurants and residential complexes. Police also tested many vehicle drivers at scores of security check-posts around the city to check drunken driving.

On Wednesday, Chief Minister Ashok Chavan had appealed to people to celebrate new year with restraint and spare a thought for the over 170 victims of the terror attacks. Most responded with low-key gatherings.

“I attend big parties with friends almost every other week and New Year parties are well-planned out affairs. This year, all of us decided to spend time at home or with friends and it was truly worth it. You don’t go overboard or create nuisance,” said Santok Singh Rajus, an employee of an event management firm.

The celebrations at deluxe hotels were also subdued.

“The emphasis was more on serving good food, less hype and helping families have a good time together,” said businessman Asim Shah, who took his family for dinner at the Hotel Holiday Inn in Juhu.

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