Hetshree's Story

“Life”, probably the most significant word that exists and yet it is full of uncertainties and surprises, both good and bad and so unique for everyone. Despite what the dictionary says, I don’t think it can be explained under one single definition. The meaning of life differs for every individual. About 8 billion people on Earth and I’m pretty sure, each one if asked to, will define life in a different way. Everyone has a different story and different learning. Let me tell you mine.

My name is Hetshree Vyas and I’m from Gandhinagar, Gujarat. I belong to simple and decent family. We were a pretty happy family. Our days were full of giggles and laughter until the pandemic hit. Life millions of families around the world, it robbed us of our dear one: my grandmother. Although, being a tremendously strong woman, the root of our family tree that held us together, she lost her battle against COVID. The virus came into our lives like horrendous wave and washes away what we knew as our home, my grandmother. Our lives have never been the same ever since. As for me, I was shattered. I was really close to her and her absence, haunted me everyday. To add to all the anxiety, the news projected even more negativity. People all around the world were dying at such a rapid rate. It felt like the entire population of the Earth would be wiped off from the face of it.

But as they say, “ Every dark cloud has a silver lining”, so did mine. I received the opportunity of a lifetime; a chance to study in the United States of America”. It was a chance for me to have a fresh start, a chance to get out of all the darkness and build myself a future as bright as a spring morning. I held on to it for dear life and flew miles away from my family. I was moving far away from my family for sure, but I had their love and blessings accompany me. Not just that, I knew my grandmother was proud of me and smiling  at me from up above.

This does sound like a fairytale and a dream come true, but it also comes with its own set of challenges and hardship. Shifting to a foreign land, all alone, completely unaware of what it held for me. It was terrifying for me. The culture was vastly different and I knew nothing about the whereabouts. However, with time and obviously a series of mistakes later, I gradually settled down. I knew I had a lot of hope on me and could not let them down. I work extremely hard and thought about my grandmother throughout. I somehow felt her presence with me and it gave me the strength to overcome all the hurdles that came my way. When looking back, I now realise how strong I have become, both emotionally and mentally; also as a person in general.

My life has not exactly been a merry-go-round ride but more of a roller coaster, full of ups and downs but I’m utterly grateful for all of it as it built me into the person that I am today.

Hetshree Vyas poses in front of the city and an American flag