Millennium bash - Western to Indian classical...

| 28 December 1999 23:00 IST

To say goodbye to the setting sun on the horizon of the Arabian sea on 31 December 1999 and enter 2000 amidst music, dance and fun, they have started arriving…

Goa, one of the topmost destinations of the World, has become a hotspot for all – the Indians and the foreigners, top industrialists or a layman and Bollywood stars to the music lovers.

Irrespective of the ongoing controversy whether 2000 is the beginning of the new millennium or not, the tiny tourist state here is fully geared to organise Millennium bashes everywhere.

It would roughly begin at around 8 pm on the new year's eve, to go on till 6 am on 1 January 2000, thanks to the special permission granted by the state government for dances till the dawn.

The dances are organised on the streets, beachside, open areas of the towns or hotels of all kind. Some are strictly formal, but casuals too is the favourite in many places. Even the raves have reportedly found a few secret places, to celebrate their acid parties.

Millennium 2000, the 10-day long non-stop rave party organised by Jeh Wadia in Anjuna, is no more a reality, thanks to the court decision and the government's firm decision. But Anjuna is still having a bash, advertised as a non-stop one, defying the local authorities.

"Defy the laws of gravity, stay high for a long long time", states the advertisements released in the local newspapers for the Channel V and the Bacardi Dance Blast. Incidentally, both were the sponsors for Wadia's illegal bash and that too at the Anjuna beach, of which the new place – Gravity Zone – was part of.

Going away from the controversies like this, hundreds of hotels and local clubs have organised Millennium bashes, full of famous bands playing western and Indian Pop numbers, non-stop dance till 6 am, lavish buffets and attractive prizes - from electronic goods to trips abroad.

Perhaps the biggest ones are like organised by the Fort Aguada Beach Resorts of the Taj, where not less than Rs 10,000 is charged for a single person to enter the arena. They offer six types of cuisine including the Portuguese and the Mediterranean ones, besides a special Goan-Portuguese evening.

There is also Marine Club of Vasco, a port town of the state, offering 30-course lavish buffet dinner and all night dancing or Emerald Lawns in Parra in the North charging only Rs 300 per person.

Bands are everywhere, a busy time making money for the musicians. Leonara, a restaurant situated on Panaji-Margao highway at Verna, is flying down a special band from England – the TNT. River Rays at Reis de Magos, across river Mandovi of Panaji, is playing Family Ties from Philippines.

They are also offering a trip to Paris for a couple holding a lucky entry ticket while Hotel Mandovi of Panaji, the oldest among all, offers trip to Singapore and back for two couples.

Still, the most prestigious among it is the one organised traditionally by Club Nacional, strictly with a formal dress though the entry fee is only Rs 350. Chief minister Francisco Sardinha would be the chief guest here, crowing the Miss Goa '99.

In spite of protests by veteran literatures of the state, the Doordarshan is going ahead with live telecast of the show throughout the country from midnight onwards. "We will only show the glimpses, concentrating more on the folk dances and not the beach events", clarifies B C Ingle, the local station director.

But the millennium celebrations do not cater only to the raves or the fun lovers of western music. If one wants to enjoy the new year all away from the brash music and dances, there is a place in a serene holy atmosphere of Shantadurga temple in Kavlem, Ponda.

Samrat Club's sangeet sammelan of national fame is being held from 31 December to 2 January, for all the lovers of Indian classical music. Pt Hariprasad Chaurasia's divine flute, which would end the event at midnight, would be the highlight of it all.

Vocalists like Begum Parveen Sultana, Pt Dr Ulhas Kashalkar, Pt Aruna Bhaduri, Pt Prabhakar Karekar, Ashwini Bhide-Deshpande and lots of local artists are also here in Goa to enjoy the millennium bash, in a real Indian style.

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