Sea Shells

No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it's not the same river and he's not the same man.

I am always captivated by the way our perception can modify time, rendering it undefinable by, turning present into past as we talk, and at the same time, the future starts somewhere deep in our hearts.

As life takes us on the journey from our past to our future, we rarely have the ability to be objective when assessing who we were and who we have become. Tracing back the decades in my own personal history I was under the impression that except for my physical appearance - I have not changed at all, or very little.

My values are still the same, so are my traits. I feel I am the same woman within that aged body and I still want and like the same things I did when I was a teenager. Yet I have recently realized that I am not the same person I was just a year ago - thus how can I possibly be the same woman I was fifteen years back. Guess it's all a part of life, as we know it.

January 2013, I emigrated to Australia for higher studies.

The last day at home was full of emotions and sentiments. As I bid farewell to everyone back home on the day of my flight, my whole family departed me with moist eyes.

Mother and Father accompanied me in the taxi to drop me off at the airport. We halted our journey at my village shrine to pay my respect to the heavenly abode before I leave. Afterwards, we started for the journey to New Delhi which is approx 7 hours drive from my hometown. I was looking outside at the approaching cars as they grew in size, and then went past us. Mother was talking to me, telling me how I should take care of my health, having breakfast every day, and checking my levels Father didn't say much.

As we inched towards the airport I started getting nervous. A sudden sense of paranoia hit me, thinking of leaving home behind. I held father's hand so tight. He held my hand until we reached the boarding gate, that's when he let me go. I finally walked away from them, sobbing. I didn't have courage enough, to look back at them.

The security personnel saw me crying and asked if I was alright. I consoled myself.

I was about to board a plane, for the first time in my entire life. I was excited.

I finally boarded the plane, the first stop being Malaysia about 4 hours away

As the plane gained pace on the runway, the distant memories flashed right in front of my eyes. A longines for my parents, and I experienced an unknown affection for my family. As the plane took off, I felt butterflies in my tummy.

I was sitting, right next to a Malaysian guy. He slept through most of the journey. However, his passive company was made up by the enchanting view of the clouds outside.

We were about to touchdown Malaysia,and the view was amazing. It was early morning so I could see the whole city gleaming with lazy, morning lights.

I got off and was supposed to get on another flight to Sydney. It was a long journey, but I was overly enthusiastic. We touched down Sydney around midnight. I struggled to get my luggage off the belt as I walked towards the exit.

My uncle was supposed to pick me up. I spotted him in the crowd and waved at him. He saw me and hugged me, as he welcomed me to Australia. We got into his car and drove past to Port Stephens, about 3 hours drive from Sydney. It was dark so I couldn't see anything apart from the flashing headlights. I had dinner once we reached home. I had a shower and I spoke to my parents on the phone, telling them that I made it here. I was exhausted, but I couldn't sleep. I kept switching sides, thinking of the detachment from home and the vibes of the new place. I don't know when I finally dozed off.

The next morning I asked my cousins to take me for a walk around the beach, as I had never been to a coast before. Both of my cousins accompanied me to the the bay area. That was the first time, I witnessed the immense blue ocean. The predominance of the waves left me spellbound. I stood there for long, gazing at the horizon. I started looking for seashells, until I was informed by my aunt that because its a bay area it doesn't gets waves. Hence, no sea shells !

Anyways, we went to a Thai restaurant and had something to eat, after the walk. The blue ocean and the missing sea shells, marked my first day in Australia.

I started growing more sick, ever since I relocated, so we hooked up an appointment with an Endocrinologist in Newcastle, New South Wales. He asked me to get blood and urine tests done.

It was May of 2013. I was sitting in the hospital room, with my uncle waiting for the doctor.

Finally, he arrived with his assistant. He was a good looking person, in his mid-30s.

He sat me down and looked me in the eye. I glanced back at him.

He told me, I have deficient kidneys. They're planning to put me on medication. In a hypothetical situation, if the medication works I have got 5- 10 years left to live, or else I have about 2 years to go, before they have to put me on Dialysis. He didn't blink.

I was just sitting there, smiling, trying to grasp all the information, he just landed on me.

Out of nowhere, tears rolled out my eyes. The fear of not knowing what to do grasped me, and as the day went by, I was diagnosed with Diabetic Nephropathy.

They suggested, to get my eyes checked for Retinopathy and when the results came out, I was hitting a jackpot. They announced that I have Diabetic Retinopathy as well, with blood clots in both my eyes.

They started my treatment, taught me carb counts, based upon which I have to decide my dosage.

I was provided with a long acting, and a short acting insulin.

Ever since then, I have walked a long way, not always pleasant. I had developed Gastroparesis, along with mild Neuropathy. I was diagnosed with anxiety, by 2015.

I got hospitalised 3 times in year 2016 for severe hypoglycemia, aspiration pneumonia and later for high potassium levels. I have to get Iron Infusions every once in a while, as I have developed Iron deficiency and Anaemia as well.

While the impression of my life as terrifying isn’t wrong, it also isn’t the only image you should have.

I have settled with the uncertainty of our life, and the methods to deal with it might not always be the pleasant thing to do. Life can be harsh and inadequate, but I'm living it looking for so much more besides.

I hope you do too.