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    Great ideas designed for hosts most wanted, so you can bring in 2015 on your terms

    Avoid traffic snarls, obnoxious strangers, tardy bar service and slow buffet lines this New Year’s Eve and throw your own memorable bash with help from our home-friendly services instead

    1. Jump to it
    There’s no better time than now to take a leap of faith with parkour. Prabhu Mani, the president of the Tamil Nadu Parkour Association, will come home to give a demo and teach a beginners’ class. “We will take you through basic techniques, wall climbing and rolling, besides giving demonstrations on strength and power,” he says. Rs.4,000 per head. Expect 10-15 people to come for the demo and class. Details: 9884897546

    Parkour in Gaza2. Lights. Camera. Action
    It may not win an Oscar, but we guarantee a home movie made on NYE will give you a thrill. Look up Ice Boys Ent Co for help. “We will bring our crew, equipment, make-up artistes, script writers, hair dressers, etc, and make a 10-minute movie. Just give us five days’ notice,” says director Subu, of Sutta Kadhai fame. Rs.85,000 for a party of 15 people. Details: 9841033363
    3. Crack up
    They’ve brought the roof down at various venues across the city. Now you can get theatre company Evam to bring their brand of stand-up into your drawing room. According to Bhargav Ramakrishnan, one of the organisers, “We will bring three comedians from the group and perform a 40-minute act.” If they are given a week’s notice, they can even come up with original content exclusively for you. From Rs.90,000. Details: 9884022449

    4. Life’s a song
    ■ Put away your iPods and play lists, and brighten the party with a performance by Varun Parandhaman. The independent artiste and music producer—well known for his song, Cosmopolitan Kadhali, by his band Namma Ooru Boy Band—promises to entertain with Hindi, Tamil and English songs. A two-hour performance will cost Rs.50,000 (including a keyboardist, percussionist and guitarist).
    Details: 9789073827
    ■ You could also look up Syed Subahan, the winner of Super Singer season four. He charges Rs.60,000 for a night featuring top Tamil songs. Details: 9894553104

    evam 25. Curtains up
    Bring the theatre experience home with Stray Factory. The city-based theatre group—that has won applause for plays like Animal Farm and YouTube videos like We are South of India (by Enna Da Rascalas)—will present short comic sketches. “We can also present some interactive, musical plays from Enna Da Rascalas,” says actor Mathivanan Rajendran. Rs.1 lakh for an hour. Details: 9790911711

    6. The alternative bash
    ■ This New Year’s Eve, turn off the music and get in touch with your inner self instead. Blue Movement circle will provide ‘creative movement’ breathing and exercise, which will engage your body and mind through movement. Rs.3,500 per person. From 10 pm to 1 pm.
    Details: 944022904
    ■ 136.1 offers breath awareness exercises, chanting and group prayers (for a minimum of 10). The highlight of the meditation will be chidhakshana dharana (inner visualisation), which will help you focus on the events of the previous year, but without being attached. Rs.1,500 (excluding travel expenses). Details: 42347670

    HorseCarriage7. Royal ride
    This one won’t turn into a pumpkin at midnight! Take in the sights, and check out the party hotspots around town, while sitting pretty in a horse-drawn carriage. Tamilarasan, from R A Puram, rents out his carriage and horses for three hours, for Rs.20,000. You can rent just a horse for Rs.6,000. Details: 9444434286

    8. Pamper station
    ■ Get your nails done or indulge in a luxurious spa treatment—even as the party goes on around you. Experts from
    Naturals can put up a nail bar, give you facials, pedicures
    or anything your heart desires. From `10,000 onwards,
    for a group of at least five. Details: 09092626262
    ■ Spa Senza can also bring home some TLC with nail art, and head and neck massages. Rs.7,500 per person. Details: 43018888

    9. Sing along
    Make the night interesting with some karaoke. Mridula Gopalkrishnan, a karaoke jockey, will host a party for you. “I can start by 10 pm and perform for five hours. I generally look at English, Hindi and Tamil songs,” she says. From Rs.40,000 onward. She charges extra for equipment and supporting karaoke singers, if needed. Details: 9789997900

    DJ nikilesh10. Band conscious
    This is one of our favourites—a live band for our very own. Book the very new Chlorophyll’s Promise for three hours and lead singer Shrey Tandon says, “We will perform blues, jazz, electronics and commercial music. We can also perform covers of bands like The Beatles!” From Rs.35,000 onwards. Details: 9791121224

    11. Spin counter
    Hit the dance floor as DJ Nikhilesh mixes some great music for you. He will entertain with electronic dance music, ranging from deep house to techno and trance. Rs.1,20,000.
    Details: nikhileshteki@gmail.com

    12. Solve a crime
    Here’s your chance to walk in Castle and Beckett’s shoes. Call Bangalore-based MD Riti, a former journalist, who organises murder mystery parties. “Our stories are urban, glamorous and Indian—think popular model found murdered in a bathtub,” says Riti. Her outdoor mysteries—for big groups up to 100—will include questioning suspects, lifting finger prints and solving puzzles (Rs.35,000 onwards). For a smaller group, choose their dress-up mysteries, where the guests get to role play. Rs.15,000 onwards. Details: rmglearning.com
    13. Click it
    Get your party framed with a photo shoot. Vivek Gnanasekaran, a freelance photographer, can do this for you for Rs.5,000. From candids, action shots and posed photographs, he will cover them all for two hours, at the end of which he will give you 200 pictures. Details: 9500268825

    facial14. Telling tales
    “The most popular stories now are New Year resolutions—what people will do next year that’ll be better than what they did this year,” laughs Eric Miller, of the World Storytelling Institute. Give Miller a ring and he will guide you on how to weave real-life adventures (or made-up ones), personal experiences and more, into a storytelling session at your party. He can even give a demonstration. Details: 9840394282

    15. Dance baby, dance
    ■ Get your groove on with Jeffrey Vardon’s Hot Shoe Dance Company. The dancers will give you a Latin dance demo (if you’d like Cuban rumba or the jive, just say so) and a one-hour workshop to help you master the moves. Rs.2 lakhs for two couples showcasing two to three styles. Details: 9840088451
    ■ Bangalore-based Lourd Vijay Dance Company can also arrange eight to 10 dancers to perform three dance sequences set to the latest music. From Rs.3.5 lakhs onwards.
    Details: 080 23315566

    story telling 216. Plan perfect
    ■ Yes, we said you can bring the party home. But we also know it can be exhausting planning one. Design Quotient, one of the city’s popular party planners, can help you put it together. “From interiors and props to catering, we do it all. Las Vegas (with back-lit LED skylines and roulette tables) and The Great Gatsby (masquerade masks and champagne fountains) are hot favourites right now,” says Dhiya
    D’Rosario. From Rs.1 lakh onwards. Details: 9884090718
    ■ Dial A Party (Rs.10,000; 9840034092) and Tattoo Party (Rs.7,500; 9884444198) can also help you with customised dos that
    include photo booths, props, card games and more.

    17. Gravity defying
    Blow the competition out of the water with aerial acts, flame throwers and more. “We have acrobats from Russia, stilt walkers, performers who will startle you by sitting on air, and even a human rubber-band,” smiles Gaurav Gondal, founder-director of Yogi’s Angels, one of the country’s premier entertainment firms. Bring the unusual to your house party at Rs.25,000 onwards per artiste. Details: 09011080000 / yogisangels.com

    18. Hips don’t lie
    If exotica is what you are looking for, we have just the thing for you. Goa-based Neil Ribeiro—of event management company, Wiz Creations—can get you belly dancers, African performers and more. “We also have Tanoura dancers from Egypt, a coyote act by The Lethal Ladies from London, and The Lethal LED ladies, who will perform while covered in LED lights,” he says. From Rs.45,000 per dancer. Details: 9881078792

    19. Chefs on call
    ■ The Park: Chef Rajesh Radhakrishnan has been creating bespoke menus for New Year. Take your pick from cuisines like French, Italian and Mexican, or leave it up to him to surprise you. Once finalised, his team of expert chefs (also a cocktail specialist, should you choose) from The Park will do a quick reccy of your place to ensure they have all they need to create magic for you. Rs.2,200 plus tax onwards per head, for 20 people. Details: 42676000
    ■ The Mad Chef: Koushik Shankar, fondly called The Mad Chef, will let you choose from South Indian specials from his most recent project Maplai—from traditional Thanjavur kair katti golas and ayire meen kuzhambu to desserts like the three-way vattilappam. You can choose another cuisine, too, if South Indian food doesn’t tickle your taste buds. From Rs.299 plus tax onwards per head. Details: 9600066649

    Great gatsby theme party20. Wine smart
    Ringing in the New Year over a session of wine tasting might sound boring. But think again, for sommelier Praveen Krishnamurthy has plenty of ideas up his sleeve. “Wine tasting can be done over many themes—like the Ramayan for instance, where the characteristics of the wine can be compared to characters in the epic. Or even the zodiac signs, for more fun,” he suggests. And for the serious connoisseurs, Krishnamurthy suggests a vertical tasting where you sample different vintages from the same brand. Conducting fee: Rs.50,000 for a group of 35-40 people, plus the cost of the wines. Details: 9566218287

    21. Fun on the grill
    You don’t need us to tell you that this is the best weather for a barbecue! L’Amandier will send over their gas-operated barbecue apparatus from Weber with pre-marinated meats and veggies, and a chef to teach you how it’s done. Don’t forget to ask for their special marinades like chermoula (for fish or chicken) or thyme & garlic (dark meats), their herbed rice, mashed potatoes and desserts, too. Base price of Rs.1,250 plus tax per person, for a minimum of 15 people. Details: 42827882
    22. Up in the air
    Bring the circus into your backyard with Romain Timmers, the Pondicherry-based artiste. He will perform a 20-minute juggling act for Rs.30,000. “I can also perform two sequences of vertical dance—of approximately seven minutes each—and maybe give guests a few pointers, too,” he says. RS.40,000. Details: 9626797736

    23. Jazz it up
    Hailing from Holland, jazz saxophonist Maarten Visser is well-known for his recent performance with dancer Padmini Chettur. Part of the band MV3, Visser plays original songs and charges Rs.15,000 upwards for a solo performance with more than 20 songs. Details: 9940425806
    24. The kids are alright

    ■ Here’s an excuse to encourage your child to get his hands dirty. Well-known potter Malini Kalyanam will teach them clay modelling. But she requires three days’ notice, so hurry with your bookings. Approximately Rs.500 per child (inclusive of equipment). Details: 9042568463

    ■ Get some giggles with a Batman tattoo or a balloon tiara. Wishing Well provides services like tattoo art, a magician, caricaturist and a balloon sculptor. `2,500 for the tattoo artist, balloon sculptor and caricaturist, and Rs.3,500 onwards for the magician. Details: 9841390002

    ■ Playing with fire can be fun, as long as your child is learning pyrography (decorating wood with fire). Instructors from DakshinChitra will show your little ones how. Rs.2,500 for a group of 15. Details: 9841777779

    25. Tag, you’re it
    You can convert your home into a laser tag arena with Eashwar and Karthik Kalimuthu from Chaos Entertainment. “We’ll get 10 suits and guns, and also conduct demonstrations. All we need is a closed room to set up the obstacles,” says Kalimuthu. Rs.30,000. Details: 9940140757

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