With urbanization came private colonies. Till 80s Srinagar was all but a five to six lakh population and almost everyone knew everyone else. Majority of the populace lived in the somewhat congested downtown Srinagar where people lived a closely knit conservative life. Pain of one was pain of all. People jumped to help others. Expenditures were less as was the earning. The time dedicated towards the welfare of each others was more.
In the mid ninetiees of the previous century massive urbanization took place across entire south Asia and Kashmir was no exception to that. The newer colonies like Hyderpura, Sanat Nagar, Rawalpora, Bemina and Lal Bazar mushroomed. People who had a bit of savings on account of the conservative lifestyle of downtown Srinagar shifted to these colonies. They were joined there by affluent people from other districts of the valley.
The colony became a strange place where people were extremely private, minded their own business and interaction between neighbours was less. Unlike colonies of various cosmopolitan cities of India there were no social events of importance to keep people bonded together. So a colony in Kashmir was a place where people out of fashion preferred not to talk to each other or care about each other.
The newer generation preferred to study and work abroad further widening the gulf between neighbours in a family. The result was lonely septuagenarians and octogenarians living lonely lies with non-local servants catering to the daily chores. Many break-ins occurred and in a few places people came to know about neighbour’s death on the fifth or sixth day- something totally unknown and unheard of in downtown Srinagar.
The social organizations must come forward to help people living in these colonies to have more and more interaction with each other. Society means to live together. No matter how rich or men of means we may be, unless we help each other we can not claim to be civilized. People should visit each, indulging in some group activity and share experiences about the successful lives they have lived.