GUWAHATI, Jan 1 � The capital city welcomed the New Year with hopes for peace and security and particularly with a wish to see an end to all forms of violence against women and children. Citizens from all walks of life chose to begin the first day of 2014 with a prayer to the Almighty and since early morning the temples and all other places of worship witnessed heavy rush of people.
For the pious ones, blessings of the Divine were most important to embark on the back of time to face another year of challenges and unseen happenings.
"A new beginning should be made with prayers to the Almighty. There are so many things in our life that are not within our control. Only the Divine power can help us cope with those things. I believe in the divine grace," said Anita Gogoi who was visiting the Bashistha temple with her family. She further said that she would want to see all women and children safe in the New Year. "Crime against children and women are increasing day by day. It is so horrific to see the incidents of crime against women that are regularly being shown in TV," he said.
The beginning of another year was also marked by colours, flowers and merriment. Citizens in different age group attired in vibrant colours thronged the places of entertainment and greeted their friends and near ones with flowers and cards. Fresh flowers in myriad hues seemed the best way for some to greet their dear ones.
�I always gift my best friend with a bouquet of flowers. This is my way of expressing my feelings for her and to let her know that my love for her is always as fresh and fragrant as the flowers,� said a college going Nivedita Sarma.
On the other hand, many went on picnics to nearby and distant places as is the ritual.
The State Zoo here witnessed huge footfall of citizens and the entire stretch of road starting from Nursery onwards to the Zoo Road Tiniali was thrown into chaos. Traffic snarls today however did not irritate the Guwahatians as everyone was in the mood to indulge. Business for the road side vendors selling jalebis and other delicacies was brisk as visitors to the zoo made it a point to stop and taste the street food.
"My children love to visit the zoo. So every year we come to the zoo on the first day of New Year," said Anjan Talukdar adding that the sea of humanity here provides an occasion to mingle and relax. For those preferring less crowd and noise, it was the call of the resorts that provide tranquillity in the midst of nature.
The New Year revellers spilled on to the parks and other amusement points in the city. With everyone intent on making the day a memorable one, the amusement points were full throughout the day.
A lovely day also helped the citizens to celebrate. Warm sunshine and festive spirit transformed the look of the city as happy faces shone throughout the length and breadth of Guwahati today. The city had been in the grip of revelry since a week ahead of the New Year's Eve. All the preparations and the planning for the big day had finally culminated last night when the gateway to the North East erupted in joy and welcomed 2014 at midnight. Last night saw people bonding over community feast, at happening parties and DJ Nights. Accidents were also high as some went too far with their celebrations with booze.