The dusty streets and the thick air of Rohtak did not deter her from roaming around the town’s colleges to hunt down the Rohtak sisters, the firebrand Haryanvi siblings who beat up their assaulters on a moving bus. While Sumegha Gulati walked around the unruly crowd of admission seekers like the experienced reporter she was, I followed her small frame timidly, trying to stay out of her way.
My first assignment on my first job was with Sumegha. She helped learn a gritty, searing lesson. Not taking no for an answer, Sumegha walked in and out of college Principals’ offices, while I managed to blurt out an acceptable pleasantry.
This was in July 2015. As July 2016 is drawing to a close, a text informed us of Sumegha’s passing away. Her long standing battle with cancer has ended.
Sumegha was a regular contributor for The Quint and my go-to person whenever a story did not work out and the world came crashing. Walking around with her armour of prescribed food and medicines, she travelled and did the stories she had to do; relapsed cancer did not slow her down.
A day before the news arrived and suspended all animation around, I spoke with her – the brief phone conversation felt reassuring.
We promised to meet in September.
Read Sumegha’s articles, written for The Quint:
One Year On, the Rohtak Sisters’ Story is Symptomatic of a Crisis
Tibetans in India: Are They Refugees or Diaspora?
Kanwariyas: Are the BJP and RSS Attempting to Saffron-ise Dalits?
Abuse, Apology, Inaction: Stephen’s Molestation Victim’s Tell-All
How Citizens Are Saving The District Hospital in Shopian
The Quint Impact: 21 Absent Doctors Suspended in Shopian Hospital
Delhi, Are You Listening To Her?
Why ‘Munnu’ is the Most Haunting Comic on Kashmir You Will Read