The Room Where The Battle Never Ends


The Room Where The Battle Never Ends

Illustration: Namaah/ Arré


run Sawant is encouraging me from his adjustable bed to walk inside his house in a rundown building in Badlapur on the outskirts of Mumbai, but a feral dog with bloodshot eyes, lording over this kingdom of shambles, is blocking my way. Finally, Sawant’s police bodyguard has to intervene before the dog steps aside and allows me into the house, where the smell of medicines has seeped into the scruffy walls. A spiffy-looking wheelchair, covered with a thin film of dust, lies in one corner and serves as a snoozing couch for one of their two house cats and all over the room are files and more files. A bed-ridden Sawant, propped up by a mound of pillows, looks outside his window to a world he been trying to change for 10 long, tiring years.

Before I even enter, the thought comes unbidden – this is what the life of an RTI activist looks like.