“Sumegha you will be missed”, say her friends

Sumedha Gulati, all of of 22 years is no more. She was a journalist, a romantic and almost a militant secular who died of Blood cancer on 29th July, 2016. Her last post on Facebook was “Hello. This is urgent. We need AB- and B- blood at ACTREC in Navi Mumbai for a fellow, preferably before 5 today. Patient’s family also arranging. Hopefully they may get it but If anyone of u can make it, please inbox me.”

Sumegha was getting treated in a Mumbai hospital when she was posting for others.

Her friends and acquaintances have been writing about her on various social networking sites since yesterday. Some memories as shared by her friends-

“जब मैं बड़ी हो जाउंगी तो हर हफ्ते मेरे घर पर पार्टी हुआ करेगी। जहां मेरे सभी दोस्तों हिना कौसर, अर्शी जावेद, मोनिका शर्मा, भानू जोशी, पलक गुप्ता, विष्णु बंसल, फहद शाह, समीर अरशद, मुहम्मद तासिम ज़ाहिद, रेमा मुक्ति, हारिस ज़रगर, मुहम्मद ज़ुल्क़रनैन, सईद नबील, अभिमन्यू माथुर के बच्चे भी आया करेंगे। और मैं कोशिश करूंगी कि हमारे ज़्यादातर बच्चे आपस में ही शादी करें। एक ख़ूबसूरत और टॉलरेंट समाज गढ़ने में मेरा योगदान यही होगा। क्योंकि मेरा सचमुच यक़ीन है कि मज़हबी नफ़रत पर पलटवार सिर्फ इसी तरह मुमकिन है। आपस में शादी से इस फर्क़ को मिटाया और प्यार किया जा सकता है।’

अक्टूबर 2014 में सुमेघा गुलाटी ने अपनी फेसबुक पोस्ट में ऐसा लिखा था। इसी साल एक दोस्त आशीष ने पुलिस हेडक्वॉर्टर के सामने किसी प्रोटेस्ट में सुमेघा से ये कहते हुए मिलवाया था कि इनसे मिलो, ये सुमेघा गुलाटी हैं, काफ़ी तेज़तर्रार रिपोर्टर, कैंसर से लड़कर वापस लौटी हैं। जवाब में वो मुस्कुराने लगीं। इसके बाद सुमेघा हमेशा एक्सप्रेस बिल्डिंग के नीचे दिखती। एक से एक शानदार रिपोर्ट वो एक्सप्रेस में किया करती थीं लेकिन बीमारी दोबारा उभर गई। फिर वो बीच-बीच में इलाज करवाती रहीं और स्क्रॉल, कारवां वग़ैरह के लिए रिपोर्ट्स करने लगीं। बीते एक डेढ़ महीने से मुंबई में एडमिट थीं और अब उनकी मौत की ख़बर आ रही है। 22 साल की उम्र में उन्हें ब्लड कैंसर हुआ और वो बड़ी हिम्मत से छह साल तक इससे लड़ती और काम करती रहीं।

विदा सुमेघा गुलाटी- Shahnwaz Malik

“We never got to see each other — never met or even spoke on phone but developed a strong bond of friendship based on banter and rants about the state of journalism. Facebook messenger helped. From her hospital window, she would share beautiful scenery outside while I would tell her how polluted Delhi is. We shared our love for mountains and looked down upon cities like we had a choice but to stay within the confines of these concrete jungles.

She would always talk about doing more stories than she could in the interstices of her illness and promised me joint bylines even though I just wanted to help with whatever minor inputs I could give in her stories.

“Never work without a byline,” she told me once. “And always work harder than yesterday.”

This was just a few days ago while she was giving me a tip on the ongoing massacre against Tibetans in China. She said she would love to go to Dharamsala with me and report from there and I promised her that we will, as soon as she gets better.

It was just last week that she told me that her lung function and pulse will recover in a few weeks and I could fly down to meet her as well.

And now, she’s gone. I don’t know how to express all this grief. I just wish that she is in a better place than what she was subjected to in the prime of her life due to cancer and pray that she rests in peace (without constantly thinking about stories to do). A wonderful soul who would always rush to help everyone is no longer there in our lives.

Thank you for existing, Sumegha! I wish I could meet you once but that was never meant to be.” – Mayank Jain


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