One of the most visible features of the valley today is the educational activity, with thousands of children going to the school everyday, a large percentage being girls and it is not the Madrasa education but modern education. Mr Vijay Dhar, who runs D P Dhar Memorial School under the franchise of the DPS Education Society at Panthachhok says that children to the school come from as far off places as Anantnag and Shupaiyan every day, as it is not a boarding School as yet. The other activity that is very visible is the subcontinental obsession cricket. In one smaller part of Idgah,(now divided into two parts, with one part – the bigger one- being under some developmental work and out of bounds for sporting activity) one can watch almost 20 teams playing cricket in different colourful attire. Srinagar has changed beyond recognition. There are houses and markets every where. All open spaces in every direction are eaten up by new construction. The Dal lake has so badly been encroached upon that many who saw it after 10 to 15 years could not recognize it. The Sona lank (golden island) and the Ropa lank (Silver island) are on the verge of disappearance. Bod (big) Dal does exist but is gasping for breath and has shrunk considerably. I have not the slightest doubt that Dal will go the Anchar lake way. Similarly, other water bodies with which we were familiar are also gone. The mar ( a typical water body – peculiar to Kashmir- with its whole surface covered by microscopic plants -plankton) across the Chandmari towards Chhatabal has vanished. So has the mar dividing Balgarden and Chandmari alongwith the prominent 4 Chinars at its entrance , which in the olden times served as the meeting point for various teams. I could see only one mar that too a small one. Dhoodh Ganga running behind the cremation ground does not exist any more. The process appears irreversible. The pressure of increasing population, vested interests and escalating real estate prices will ensure that whatever is left of the Dal and few surviving mars will end up as only part of the Kashmiri folklore. Other parts of the valley have also changed beyond recognition. For example, you are on Kani kadal the moment you cross Habbakadal. Similarly, new houses have been constructed along the boundry wall of the cremation ground. Some enterprising Kashmiri Pandits have moved into the valley mainly Srinagar, and have established businesses there, though only at an individual level. Many Kashmiri Pandits also pay visit to the valley in greater numbers.