Thursday, December 30, 2004

The party goes on

The tsunami disaster might have turned the world upside down for millions in southern India but it hardly seems to have stopped leading Hyderabad pubs, hotels and resorts from wearing the party hat for the New Year. A "Bollywood item girl", performances by a Hawaiian dance troupe and a special appearance by a celebrity DJ are some of the festivities on offer at five-star hotels and pubs to ring in 2005. What is striking is the fee levied by these pubs for the parties - ranging from Rs.1,000 to Rs.3,000 per couple. This even as the government has brought out full-page advertisements in newspapers making fervent appeals for donations to fund relief operations in tsunami-hit areas. What is even more surprising is that instead of earmarking some funds for PM's relief fund, profits from one of the parties has been earmarked for Round Table, a voluntary organisation, which has nothing to do with Tsunami as of now. But President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam said on Tuesday that he would not celebrate the New Year as a mark of respect to those killed in the tragedy. But who cares for the president, anyways.

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