Home for the holidays

How the pandemic changed New Year Eve plans

Swara Bhasker, actor

2020 made me realise what my true priorities are — and that is family and loved ones. We are planning to spend New Year’s Eve with the extended family at a gorgeous fort hotel in Rajasthan. Gratitude is my greatest take away this year: for my family, my friends, for being privileged enough to survive over half the year without earning. As for 2021, it will be work, work, work. The lockdown has made me miss shooting and being on set tremendously. I want to be busy, relentlessly busy.

Aishwarya Nair Mathew, hotelier and entrepreneur

This New Year’s Eve, I am going to my native home in Kannur, Kerala, for a private weekend with the family. ‘Krishna Leela’ is my grandfather’s [CP Krishnan Nair who founded The Leela Group] home and I have so many memories of growing up there. I plan to eat a lot of kallumakkaya (mussels) made the local way with chillies, turmeric and coconut, and I look forward to opening a 68 Salon Champagne, saved for a special occasion. Having gratitude for what you have gives you a bountiful life… that is one lesson from 2020 I will take forward.

Madan Gowri, South India’s biggest YouTuber

This year, I’m going to wing it to a hill station by myself [I’m not revealing which one because I’ll be pretending that I don’t exist when my friends start inviting me to parties]. The plan is to go off the radar and play video games all day. This year taught me that I don’t always need to have a huge setup or a lot of help around me to make good content. I want to apply that learning to all parts of my life, hence the solitary start to 2021.

William Dalrymple, historian and writer

I will be locked down in a family bubble in muddy Somerset, warding off mutant Covid-19 and dreaming of the Kerala coast near Trivandrum, where we saw out 2019 and saw in the Annus Horribilis.

Rahul Dua, stand-up comic

This year, because of night restrictions, people are forced to celebrate my way — at home. Despite my stage persona, I’m not a New Year party person. Everyone is usually out on the roads and, with Delhi traffic, who wants to be part of that? I will step into the new year relaxed, with the people I really care about. Plus, I got married a couple of weeks ago, so it is going to be a really fresh beginning to 2021.

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