|Photo - Jim Ankan Deka
Like every year-eve the popular youth hangouts of M.G. Road and Brigade Road were swarming with hundreds of youngsters from 8 p.m. itself and cheering and whistling reached a crescendo as 2011 faded into history.
Scores of foreign tourists also joined the crowd and tried to match the dancing steps to a cocktail of Kannada and Hindi movie songs played on hundreds of cell phones.
Fortunately for the young crowd Cyclone Thane which had threatened to rain out the celebrations spared the city Saturday. Though it was cloudy throughout the day, there was not a drop of rain, unlike Friday when it drizzled the whole day and well into the night as well.
The exuberance of entering the New Year was visible at posh hotels and private parties as well as scores of high rise apartments that are dotting the city after it became the nation's IT hub in late 1990s.
Pubs, that otherwise down shutters at 11 p.m., were crowded as government allowed them to remain open till 1 a.m. to facilitate revelers to usher in the New Year in high spirits.
Over 16,000 policemen, a few hundred of them in civvies, were deployed in central business district, where M. G. Road and Brigade Road are located, and in Jayanagar in south and Malleshwaram in north, the two other localities that saw hundreds of youths on the streets to greet the New Year.
Far away from the crowd were 1,300 youngsters from various parts of the country who welcomed the 2012 in silence.
The programme to greet the New Year in silence and in meditation was organised by spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar at his ashram (complex) about 25 km south of city centre.