Bowling, badminton and Bollywood for New Year in India

NEW DELHI Fri Dec 31, 2010 9:18pm IST

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NEW DELHI (Reuters Life!) - Urban Indians are making the most of new-found economic independence and confidence this New Year's Eve to shed traditional celebrations for the delights of bowling, go-karting, indoor golf and other diversions.

Leisure sports, badminton and volleyball competitions as well as musical productions are some of the activities Indians with a bit of money will choose to do and see this New Year's eve instead of long family dinners, drinking and nightclubs.

It's time do something exciting and adventurous like playing sports, go-karting, night badminton and volleyball competitions", said Ritika, Delhi-based interior designer.

"I don't want to end my year on a gastronomical high with a five course meal and some premium spirits."

Some of India's urban professional young have exhausted their taste for the big buffets and massive live music parties that have been a feature of New Year's eve in the last decade.

"Quaffing copious quantities of alcohol as some sensuous girl moves her body in front of you is a thing of the past for me," said Jaideep Ahuja, a senior banker. "I have had an eyeful of those giant dance floors."

To keep up with changing tastes, organizers in New Delhi have pumped money into less lavish pastimes and the kind of fun that's good for the whole family.

Dozens of bowling alleys have popped up in a cricket-mad nation which appears to have also taken a shine to rolling the big ball at the pins.

"We have pegged bowling (not) as a sport, but another form of entertainment." Gautam Dutta, CEO of PVR BluO, one of India's largest bowling alleys, told Reuters.

Those with enough money can also enjoy a bit of Bollywood-style fun in New Delhi at a live performance for the musical "Zangoora".

The Indian version of a Broadway show has had a hundred runs before a fully packed house since September, delighting audiences with its 50 performers on stage, aerial sequences, special effects and grand props.

"The face of entertainment for a New Year's evening now looks different," said Shruti Agarwal, lead performer and project manager at Zangoora.

"Dollops of action, drama, romance and (the) glamour of Hindi movies, all produced live while you are served free drinks and snacks during the two-hour performance is unmatched," said Animesh Upadhyay.

"Going to Mumbai to see the Bollywood industry is no longer a pipe dream for us."

(Editing by Paul Casciato)

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