The nostalgia of Indian Neighbourhood Street

By
April 28, 2022

Young Bengali singer Palash Sen composed and sang the famous song “Kabhi aana tu meri Gully” in the 90s.

This was also when urban living was different, and “the gully” was addressed to our home and our hearts. A lot of life, work, and play happened within the warm confines of the Indian neighbourhood streets.

For children, the street was the extension of their house and vice versa. Doors of neighbours were always open and welcoming. Children could just walk in and play with their friends whenever they wanted to. Just a catcall and a friendly handwave were enough to summon a team for gully cricket. Older annas and akkas easily accommodated the youngest players for befitting roles in the group. Playdates, pick-drop arrangements, and sports coaching were unheard of. The street provided a natural vehicle to all this.

This was where local vegetable vendors hawked their products while keeping an eye out for unfamiliar faces and naughty children racing their cycles down the lane. This was the time of personalized service, and the complaint went straight to the parents as sabzi walla bhaiyya knew everyone.

“Nukkad”, or the corner of the street, was the place where our parents were happy to bump into each other while on their way to the market or office or on their way back home. They looked out for each other and extended a helping hand in times of need without being asked for. Those five-minute spent sharing their day rejuvenated and de-stressed them. This also gave them insight into each other’s lives.

This was the place where young and old intermingled. Older women advised younger mothers on skills ranging from child rearing to summer-pickle making to any matter of life. Move over Google, the neighbourhood granny knew it all in those days and was always happy to share the wisdom over a cup of hot tea.

This was the place where you grew up with your friends, met your first love, and also your first heartbreak. This was where you formed close bonding and camaraderie with friends to last all lifelong.

The neighbourhood street never saw a dull day, it was the place where uncles discussed and debated local and national politics, and youth leaders protested for change and progress. It was a place where every festival was a community event celebrated with full enthusiasm and “josh”. This was a place that included all, and no one was ever alone.

Nostalgia for our old streets always pulls us back. At Organo, we try to incorporate spaces and streets that encourage social interactions and bring back the spirit of our old neighbourhood streets. Homes are interconnected by pedestrian pathways which allow people to walk freely to each other’s houses. The vehicle-free streets with green cluster centres pull people out of their homes and encourage multigenerational interaction where children play freely under the watchful eyes of the elderly.

Organo communities help families enjoy the best of both worlds. We can relive the warmth and openness of street neighbourhoods with an apt and relevant twist to our modern lifestyle. Additionally, community spaces allow people to catch a breather and have a conversation with friends without the voices being drowned by the sounds of honks and revs of engines. This bio-diverse environment attracts farm like birds, frogs, and small animals and helps people live in sync with nature.

We are Studio Organo

We are a cross-functional and research-focused team of architects, engineers, and technical experts, who ideate, refine and detail eco habitat products, components, and solutions. Our core intent is to co-create and manifest apt rurban lifestyles across all eco-habitat components to celebrate the living for respective user groups.
If you’d like to know about our design explorations, please email us at studio@organo.co.in