My name is Mandika. I’m 25 years old. I grew up on the outskirts of Nagpur. My father is a labourer (he earns $80Au per month – barely enough to feed our family). I finished my 12th school exams and then ran away with my boyfriend (now husband), he is a hair dresser in a village outside Nagpur. We were happy for many years together, although money was always tight
My family was very shocked by my actions, in a society where 80% of marriages are arranged. They found it hard to accept my husband and didn’t talk to me for many years. They felt I brought shame on the family.
My problems began when I got pregnant. After 6mths my child miscarried. I was really devastated. After a year I again got pregnant. In my 7th month I got pre-eclampsia and miscarried. At that time my kidneys were severely damaged. Now, 6 months later both my kidneys have failed and I have to come every 10 days to the government hospital where I spend a day having all my blood pumped out of my body into a machine that purifies it. Apparently the prognosis on my life expectancy is not good. Maybe I have 1-2 years left. There is a high rate of infection in government hospitals.
The social worker from Bodhicitta Foundation asked me if I have any dreams left for my life. The answer is I don’t. I’m satisfied with what I had – 6 happy years with the man I love. My husband and I still talk on the phone, but he says he know’s I’m dying and he can’t watch me die. It’s also very expensive for him to get me medicines. I’m very sad about him leaving me.
Now I’m back home with my parents. They are not happy I’m here and my father doesn’t speak to me, but at least I have a place to stay. My little brother has been amazing. He takes me to the hospital. He is studying at University. He rides two hours a day and brings me food, even though he has hardly any money. He has been trying to find a kidney donor or a private hospital that will offer free dialysis. But it doesn’t look good.
We all have to die. I am only 25, and I don’t want to die. I wish I had had a child and could be with my husband. But I have accepted my situation. We all have to let go in the end. There is peace in that. Take good care of each moment that is left to you friends, for life is fleeting. Don’t waste your life in distraction. Do good and cherish the people who love you. Try to live fully. I am grateful for the permanent line surgery Bodhicitta has given so I can access dialysis more safely.