Mumbai is a whirlwind. No time-lapse video could ever truly capture how fast this city moves. As a lawyer with a private practice, yes, I have had a cocooned life. I wouldn’t say my home city is perfect, it is far from it, but I have lived a life of privilege here that I could have perhaps not found anyplace else.

The facilities and opportunities came so easy to me, that for long I failed to see how the life I found faults in, is in all probability a dream to many. There is a sea of people who do not even realize when they are wronged, seeking justice is a distant thought for them.

When Sneha first told me about her plans to stay in Pratappur, stepping away from the life she had molded for herself with so much effort and passion, I called her decision absurd. What else would one call an established doctor trading her practice in a city like Mumbai for social work in a small village? I saw her like most people did, idealistic and naïve. In the beginning, I had my qualms with the idea of us living in different cities because of her choices, but as I spent more time with her, in the new world she was trying to build, I started seeing where this zeal to work for the people of Pratappur came from.

Perhaps idealism is infectious, because in time Sneha’s zeal to do unselfish work took root in me as well. The thought that my education and ability was being spent on defending the rich and sometimes the corrupt started haunting me. The nobility of my profession deserved a better direction. It deserved to be spent on the honest, the deprived, and the real victims of the system. If people like me did not come forward to help the people of Pratappur, then who would?

This small village was where I should be, it was where I wanted to be. With that realisation came my decision to quit my practice in Mumbai and work for the people of Pratappur. The village had its fair share of problems as Baba Pehalwan, corruption, a slow system, lack of resources, and a lot of regressive norms lived on; but the people had a will to fight each and every one of these problems. Give them the weapon of awareness and education, make them see the power they hold in their hand, and they would march to war.

Today as I sit here in Pratappur, away from the sea, away from the city that has been my home for years, I am more at peace than I have ever been. Sneha’s fervour for truth and justice fuelled the desire to fight goons and the corrupt system alike, and to ensure that truth prevails in the court of law and everywhere else.