Monday, December 7, 2015


After a long time I am watching the movie, ET. Such a sweet movie. And as I am watching it, I feel like I am ET myself. I feel so out of this place. I don't know what this place, Earth, is. I don't feel that I belong here. All these people around me are like aliens. They look like me, but I cannot seem to connect with them. As time is going by I feel more and more alienated from this world.

I wish I could call "home" and have "my people" take me back to my planet. I don't know where it is - but it certainly is not Earth. The people here are mean, vicious, insulting, uncaring and unloving. They are more interested in hurting each other, see other fail rather than help each other succeed. I cannot imagine myself undermining anyone, lying or trying to make someone fail in their life. I would do everything to help anyone succeed. What's wrong with these Earth people? Why can't we believe in each other, help each other......

I feel like I am just looking for my own Elliot who can help me get home. That one connection who will make life fun, worth living, enjoyable and lovable....and finally get me home.

I just want to go home.....

Monday, September 28, 2015

Digital India

I am doubt and I say plenty when talking, but I rarely pen them down because as a scientist I feel that I need references for all my opinions. But this is my blog and I can write what I want. Most of it will be my opinion, but hopefully they will be the thoughts of others also.

I have been noticing that a number of Facebook friends, mostly Indian, are changing their photo to support "Digital India". The photo is their photo superimposed on an Indian flag. This is the brainchild of Zuckerberg, no doubt. I don't want to change my photo to support "Digital India" by just pictures.

Digital India is a great idea - lay more network fiber, make government services more "e" - electronic. Here is the link of the most basics about the program if anyone wants to read more - Digital India.

But my question is this - one can change the computer, the speed of the computer but how does one change the "attitude" of the user? One of the biggest problems I find in India in the offices have not much to do with computers; it has to do with human beings. They are not interested in helping anyone. And once all this information is available to these employees, how will they use it or really misuse it.

Once all the infrastructure has to be built then who gets the contracts? I can foresee more corruption in these areas.  And its highly likely that to lay down the fiber network, roads may be broken or dug out. This can lead to more problems. I have visited the great city of Gurgaon, supposed to be all very high tech and modern. The buildings were no doubt beautiful, but one only had to look at the road and see the pot holes in it. And since I was there in the rainy season, I saw roads that looked like swimming pools. How can we not fix those first?

And power? Where is all the electricity going to come from? I know India is trying to get technology from US to build nuclear plants - but that is not the best source of energy. The common man still suffers from terrible power outages.

And water? There is so much shortage of water. Why can't we have water before we can have internet?

I know it is important to have connectivity to the world, it is good to have e-services, but it is also good to have clean water, clean air, fresh vegetables and fruits, literacy for everyone.  Maybe I am thinking this too simplistically. The Delhi International airport is amazing; banking has become convenient; ATMs are everywhere; booking tickets online for railway, airway is becoming common place. It's not that we have not progressed.

But there is so much to do - clean India would be a great thing! Teach everyone how to use a toilet would be nice; have the cities safe so a girl can walk alone would be great!!

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Bias and Prejudice

These two things have always bothered me...bias and prejudice. I have encountered both in my life, as I am sure others have.

Prejudice in my mind starts negatively with preconceived ideas and bias develops over time resulting in a negative place. In general both have negative outcomes.

I have experienced prejudice of the kind that Indians are smart people. Which is not necessarily negative, but it can be if the person thinking is thinking of themselves as not smart and then they use it against you. Now I always have to tell my students that smartness is good, but hardworking is also good. I don't know if I am smart or not (I don't want to measure my IQ), but hard working is definitely in my nature. I think that does make them feel a little better.

The other prejudice I experience is my age: everyone thinks I am just a young girl. I am glad I look young, but I have experience and I have a mind. I can make decisions and I have something to contribute to the discussions in which I am not taken seriously.

One prejudice that affected me a lot when I was a post doc was when someone said, "Girls cannot do good chemistry." That really bothered me. I could not even imagine what lay ahead of me in my life. Was I ready for this fight in my life? I did not want to fight. Being a professor has alleviated some of that issue. Now I am more respected for being a chemist and not challenged.

And now for bias. I believe bias is a learned behaviour. I can have a bias if I like a person or dislike them as a result of their past behaviour. And of course if I like the person then I can forgive small mistakes, which I will not forgive if I dislike the person. The like or dislike can be considered as bias.

I like to think that I am not biased against anyone; if two people come to me with the same problem I treat them the same way. This is especially true in my classes. I do have to give a disclaimer sometimes and tell the students that sometimes I have to decide according to different people's circumstances - which really can be quite different. But that I think is not bias - it is a situation.

I have experienced bias towards me so many times, and there has been nothing I can do about it. I think bias comes from a failure to be fair; a failure to see the difference between right and wrong. It is very hard to remove a bias. By the time a bias is in someone's mind, its game over.

Sadly, this "game over" has been for me a few times. I wish there was some way to remove bias from people's minds. It is negative and it destroys people's lives. It takes a mature and learned person be fair and unbiased.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Long Distance Relationship

The hardest of all relationships - this long distance relationship!

Most of my relationships have been the long distance kind. I left home when I was 11 to study 8th grade in Vanasthali Vidyapeeth. It was a very tough time for me, I was only 11 years old and all the schooling was in Hindi medium when I was brought up in an English medium environment. But I had no choice. I left all my friends in Nigeria for one year and I could never get them back. Had to start all over again. At that time my only communication was with my parents - and that too through letters only.

My second and then on to more long distance relationships...came when I was sent to India again to do my BSc. and MSc. Both were challenging in their own ways. For four years I was separated from my parents and brother and some really good friends.

At that time I did not think much of it, because I just did what my parents told me to do. But when I look back and think about it, I realized that it did make me come closer to my brother. We used to fight a lot about a lot of things - it was a lot of three years of fighting!! So for me, it was a relief to go to India. During those days, letters were the common ways to communicate. And my brother wrote to me. He wrote pages and pages to me about his friends and events etc. that were going on in Nigeria. It was nice. And then when I would go back to Nigeria, we would get along just fine. I don't know if it was the distance or the fact that we were growing up that made us get along. But it turned out to be positive. It did not bring me closer to my parents....My friends...I lost them. Letters do not have the same continuity as meeting every day or every week.

After I left India and went back to Africa, I tried so hard to keep in touch with my friends in India but it was just not possible. Girls get married and they move. One has to be in the same city to keep in touch. I was too far away. So I lost a lot of friends. While I was in India, I lost my friends in Nigeria. When there is no constant communication between friends there is a gap which sometimes can bridge if you were good friends to begin with, but sometimes it just widens. For me, it widened. Letter communication is not so easy to keep up. But the constant going back and forth for me from Nigeria to India was not healthy for my friendships anywhere.

Then came USA. My generation moved a lot. The generation before had a different job ideal and market - loyalty was something. But in the 1990-2000s things changed and one became stagnant if one did not move, especially in the hi-tech field, which is where majority of my friends were. There are not that many Indian professors in small universities; and if they are - they are all women following their husband around.

So in USA it became very common for people to keep moving. It got really tiring for me, as soon as I would make a friend, I would find out they were moving. All my investment in time and emotions was wasted. People make new friends in new locations - obviously - that is the social norm. I also moved a little bit. And even that is tiring. Packing aside, I had to learn the city, overcome my shyness about making friends and become more extroverted. It is all very draining for me. And then either I would move or my friends would move. We would keep in touch for about a year and then things would fizzle out. That has been the story of my life.

I have not lived with family also. My parents live with my brother or by themselves. So essentially a lot of my relationships, even close family ones, have been long distant relationships. I have never lived with anyone after I was 23, even for even a month, to know what it is like to share a house.

These days it is becoming a little easier to maintain contact because of all the social media, but to me that all seems fake. Real relationship is when someone cares about an individual, and not just like a post on facebook. Real relationships are also hard; I will have to deal with personalities, habits and moods of people. But long distance relationships, I think are even harder.

When someone is out of sight - they are also out of mind. I don't have to worry about their daily needs or even occasional needs. I just have to pick up the phone, ask how they are doing, chit chat a bit and done! So now even that seems fake to me. People pretend (or maybe they are genuine) to care and ask all the right questions, but ultimately for me the question is, "What are you doing for me?" Anyone can talk and BS their way in any conversation. Real test of relationship is when you do something for one another.

I have seen in all these years of long distance that people talk a lot, but my needs are not met when I need them. Even when I visit my long distance relations, there is a formality. Things just don't seem genuine to me. Or maybe they do things when I am there, but as soon as I am gone, its as if I was never there at all. Maybe I am becoming more cynical or maybe there is a degradation in relationships. I don't know. As I said, I have never lived with anyone for over 20 years. Maybe that makes me a little wary of people's behaviour.

All I can say now is that these long distance relationships are also becoming hard to maintain. There is also the family aspect. Everyone is busy in their families. I am sure there could be time, but then again, I live alone, so I have time. Maybe family people have a gazillion things to do. So then I end up not talking for weeks or months to people. And that also erodes the relationship. Soon then there is nothing to talk is just about How are you and I am fine. I am not looking at their face or they mine.  And then there is the multitasking in which the attention is divided. And I don't know about others, but I would to give and have complete attention when I am discussing my personal life.

There is no conclusion for this post....I am just saying that long distance relationships are tough and it takes a genuine effort to maintain it. Otherwise there can be a loss of trust and care. And once that is gone, what is remaining in a relationship? Its a farce.

To maintain a long distance relationship, one has to keep meeting to revive those bonds and put life back in them.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Needs and Progress - 2

In the previous blog I stressed about making a change in your life to make a change for the better in society. Take a chance, take a risk.

In this blog I want to say that it really is not easy to take risks. A number of these risks involve losses that we have to live with. Not everybody comes out a winner.  Then there is the whole thing about capability - some people are just not capable of doing anything different. And lastly we get used to a way of life and we become good at it. And one day we realize - I don't know anything else! I don't know what else to do in life.

Let me start with losses involved in taking risks. I can take a risk with the blessing of everyone, but still, I may end up losing something in life. The loss can be taken as a positive or negative depending on the kind of day I am having. The loss can be of moving to a new location, thus not be able to live close to family and friends (I have been there); the loss can be that of moving to a different country and thus losing touch with family and friends and culture (I have been there!). The loss can be of telling your nice boss - I need more, I have to take this opportunity and move on to a better job (I have been there!). The re-locations can be due to family needs, education or job opportunities. But there is still a loss. If it all works out - then this change can be taken positively. There is no doubt that one grows so much by leaving one's comfort zone. If it does not work out - then also one should have the courage to either change that status to something else or move back. No one can ever predict the outcome of a decision.

Then there is the loss of family/friends if a decision was made that was not blessed by all. This loss is harder, its more emotional. Sometimes we have to make changes in our life so we can get up in the morning and look ourselves in the mirror and say, "I did it - I changed my status quo. Whether that change is good or bad - time will tell, but I made the change that was best for me."  These decisions are tough, we may feel lonely at times, but it turns out it needed to be done. The decision to not support a child/sibling/friend for their drug habit, especially after you have tried so much, is a tough one. Your heart breaks but sometimes a drastic step has to be taken. Leaving an abusive relationship - so hard! To get the courage to stand up and say "No more!" is a hard one. Adopting a child - sometimes a decision that seems so positive can also cause a rift in the family. Or on the other hand - getting an abortion - such a big decision. But we need to make these hard choices so our needs are met so we can progress in life - move on to better things, happier days.

If someone is limited intellectually to make changes then they cannot be blamed. Their exposure, their experience is so limited in life that they don't know all their options. And sometimes, even if they know their options, they are really afraid to do anything.  These souls live and die in their status quo. Some may be happy in it, but the sad ones also cannot change. Such is their life.

The last point I want to make here is that sometimes even if we want to change our status quo, we are not able to. Its not about money, its not about risk, its also not that we are afraid of change - its just that we don't know what else to do in life. We got educated to become doctors - well...we are treating patients. What else? We started teaching - we teach...what else to do? Our training drives our careers and sometimes, especially in the science and technology field it is really hard to shift gears mid-life or later. Soft fields like humanities have a better chance of getting molded. So we get stuck.

And absolutely the last thing.......if one wants change then the best thing to do is to really go deep within oneself and follow ones dreams. What did I want to be when I was growing up? Or even when I was in college? Living in USA has shown me that its never too late to do anything. People follow their dreams even in old age. People get married in their 80s....! Amazing! Now that is progress!

Needs and Progress - 1

If we all stayed with the status quo there would be no progress in this world.

So many times, we say "just let it be" or "let it drag until it can" or "its always been done this way" and in hindi, "chalta hai" or "chalno do jaisa chal raha hai"....well, all these statements are of the people who are afraid of change; people who cannot see beyond their little world.

Why do we let the status quo stay? The biggest reason is - we are afraid.
  • Afraid of what exists if that status is changed.
  • Afraid of being the one who causes the change - because there is no doubt that a person who brings about change will stand out and be noticed. 
  • Afraid whether our decision is right or not. 
  • Afraid that we might have to stand alone.
So really the biggest deterrent of action is .... we are afraid of change.
People will stay in bad relationships, bad jobs, bad homes, cities where there is no opportunity to do anything...all because they are afraid of change. Why are people so afraid of change? (There are several books out there regarding this topic - most popular that I know of is "Who Moved my Cheese?")
  • They lack self confidence - If one does not have self confidence, comfort in one's own ability and intelligence then it will be hard to take that risky step. One should have the confidence in themselves to push oneself through hard times, or different times.
  • Lack of family support - we have always been taught "family is everything" "blood is thicker than water" etc...Sure. That is all good, but where are they when you need support? Sometimes they are the ones pulling you down.  Depending on your own nature, they might be tired of supporting you all the time, because you are a loser or troublemaker. But other than that, family also likes to have their own traditions and way of life. It is hard for them to look beyond those to help a family member who may want to try something different. They are also afraid of having a black sheep in the family, even though that black sheep is really just trying to live his dreams or just doing the right thing or just trying to make life a little happy themselves.
  • Lack of financial support - we need money to do certain things. If the financial backing is not there, then things don't get done.
  • Burden of responsibility - in some cases we are so burdened with responsibility that we just have to keep going on the usual path - there is no time to take that risky step to be creative or be happy.
And then there are always going to be people who don't mind the status quo. They are comfortable in it. "My friends did it, so I will also be okay doing it"; "This is how its always done"; "Why should I try something new". Or they will convince themselves that there is nothing better out there.

I will take marriage as an example since I had a poor one myself and have seen all kinds of relationships among my friends. Ask a man why he married his wife and he will say, "Everyone has to get married, so I got married too," (that is what my ex husband proudly said!!) Or he will say, "She can take care of me and my house....," meaning a housewife. It is certainly possible that he is genuinely satisfied with those qualities and he got married because everyone does. The most common reason for this is because he has not seen it any other way. His mother was that way, his female relatives are all that way, his friends wives are also all yea sure - that is how it is and it is okay. And for most part it is okay......until.....they meet someone who has it different.  His friend married for love, his wife is involved with all aspects of his life - personal and professional, both take care of the house and both can talk about issues that are important in their lives etc. And suddenly he may realize - "This is better. I could have had it too. I did not realize this was possible." And then the unrest begins; the relationship starts going bad; people start lying to each other, the husband starts looking outside to fulfill his needs.....and the poor wife may or may not be clueless about what is going on. On the other hand, he may still be happy with what he has - a housewife - because that is all he wanted in life. His does not need more than that.

The same happens for jobs status. We get stuck in a rut of a job because we are too afraid to make the move for a better opportunity. We think, "At least I am getting some money", "At least I have some status here", who knows what it will be if I move? The "at least" gets us down. It brings a sense of comfort to us....
I am commuting 2 hours to work - at least I am getting some money.
I am living at home with my parents - at least I have a home to live in.

This "at least" breeds the status quo. Once we convince ourselves that this is the best there can be - then we get into the rut of life. Then there is no progress.

So coming back to needs and progress: Our Needs Drive Our Progress. If we satisfy ourselves with the minimum needs and don't ask for more, then there is no progress in our life, in the society, in the world.  We will continue to be mediocre in life.  Great things happen only come when people take risks in their lives.

In order to see progress in our lives, we have to increase our need level, we have to ask "What more is there?" - once you start needing more from life, you will start asking questions, you may start seeing opportunities that will get you where you want to go. I do want to mention that your need level should be within your values and morals. No one person's needs should cause someone else to suffer. My needs should bring about a positive change not just for me, but for everyone.

One last thing to say about needs is the need for Romance. Yes Romance. Where does this fit in? When I am in love I feel I can achieve anything. It gives me the power, the drive, the confidence, the motivation, the support and most importantly the pure happiness that is needed for life to go on.  I will need more so I would be more willing to change when I am in love. Falling in love is a risky behavior in itself - we make ourselves more vulnerable to emotions...but that is another blog.  In love may mean different things to different people; it may not just mean love between two adults - it could also be the love of a child, the love of a sibling or parents. Of course there is no doubt that the love between two consenting adults is the major factor here.  It is driving force for a lot of many artists, authors and creators have been so because of some love they lost or found.

So....don't accept the status quo. Find the romance in your life that gives you the need to become better for yourself, become better for your family and eventually for the community. That will also increase your happiness index.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Growing Ginger

As I am approaching mid life, I am thinking what have I created in my life? And really the answer is: a big fat nothing. I don't have kids, I don't care for having pets and my green fingers are practically non existent. I am not planning to have any kids now or getting any pets, so I thought I would give growing plants a shot.

"Raat Ki Raani at my home"
For the past five years, since I have had a house, I have felt like experimenting on growing something. I planted a few plants in my little garden outside, but everything died - don't know what happened.  Even something as easy to grow as mint, which everyone says is a weed, did not grow for me. I was losing hope.  Then I last year I planted "raat ki raani" (queen of the night), and went on my summer vacation. When I came back, it has grown beautifully and was flowering! Success!! For the first time, I felt that I could try something out.

Ginger on the Big Island of Hawaii
Two months ago, I bought some ginger from the grocery store. It was fresh and had some green growth on it, as if it wanted to grow. So I thought - why not! Ginger flowers are one of my favorite flowers...they are beautiful and so colorful. I saw them for the first time in Hawaii and since then just wanted to have them in my house. I don't know what color the flowers would be in this plant but it has been a pleasure to see it grow. 
So to continue on....I  took the ginger root and buried it just under the soil of in a small planter. And I watered, and I placed it in the sun. It got plenty of sun and water and it started to grow.....Oh! I was thrilled! I took pictures as it was growing...enjoy the photos below. No flowers yet. And then all of a sudden, I see two more shoots coming out of the soil.  Okay!! Now I have a small piece of happiness! I thought there would be only one plant, but now I am curious to see the new growth.
just starting......
First leaf....
Second leaf....I think I can grow this! 
Its on its way now. 
Two month old now....
New shoots .... my little bit of happiness

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Manipulative Behaviour

When someone, with an ulterior motive, tricks you into believing something, usually to serve their own purpose.

I think this one trait that I can live without. This also is one of those behaviors that I think people are born with. One would really have to train too much to take advantage of others, especially if one has a conscience.

I have met manipulative people in my life - and oh my God! I so wish I had not! They drained me emotionally, mentally and physically. I felt sick for years after meeting such people. I still have such people in my life. They are very hard to work with and talk to.  And they make me physically sick. I get stressed out just protecting myself from their manipulative claws.

Nothing that comes out of the mouths of these people is reliable or trustworthy. It is so tiring to try and figure out what is real and what is fake that after a while I just give up - nothing is real. Which means, what is the point of talking to such people? I don't know when they are speaking the truth and when they are trying to manipulate me into doing something that will benefit them.

What are the traits I have found of manipulative people:
  • They are very charming and have a wonderful personality - I always think - Wow! this person is amazing!! What a personality!
  • They can lie so smoothly that I cannot tell the difference between their truth and fib.
  • They make me feel guilty if I don't agree with them or do as they want me to.
  • They will bring moral and the "right thing to do" issue if I disagree with them (of course their own motives are not being questioned here!!)
  • They will never do anything for me - they are too busy with their own agenda.
My advice to anyone in such relationship is to try to recognize it sooner than later. Although it is hard, but some things start become obvious quite soon. The problem is that most of us, myself included, think:
  • people cannot be like this, 
  • they would not do this to me, 
  • I am different - this person cares about me (not realizing that such care is self-serving)
  • I am smart enough to handle this kind of person - when the time comes I will back off, protect myself. But reality is - I got in too deep before I could get out.
So really - the closer one gets the harder one falls. It hits you one day and you realize- "Oh my God! I meant nothing to this person. All that sweet talk and behavior was just a sham!" And when I think back and analyze what happened, there was always something that such manipulative people wanted from me. They just played with my emotions and got what they wanted, without giving a second thought to how I would feel. They can easily walk away from such relationships as they did not have much invested to begin with - they always knew what they wanted and it was not me or my happiness.

I have seen my own family and friends get manipulated by another. It was so sad to see how one of them was speaking the tone and behaving exactly how the manipulator would. It was so obvious. And there was nothing I could do, just watch how one was the puppet and the other the puppet master - pulling the strings. Of course the puppet master holds the strings as long as they can. They have strength in numbers, they get a second voice to support their own distorted one. The poor puppet does not realize what is happening.

It is hard to break free of such manipulative people - but I have! There is a lot of grief involved. I had to be ready to give up that relationship for good. This takes a lot of strength, self confidence and independence.  There was definitely a sense of loss of a relationship for me; something that could have been pure and beautiful was now no more. Who knows if the manipulator misses the relationship? They are very focused on their targets that its possible they don't.

Despite my breaking free of the manipulators, they still try to hurt me with guilt or make me lose my cool by saying emotional things. And each and every time it takes a great strength for me to stand up for myself, and say to myself, "NO MORE! I will not not get manipulated by this person again."

Monday, January 19, 2015

Actions Speak Louder than Words

I have always been a believer that you should let your actions speak for you. You can think all you want, but until you manifest them into actions - who knows what you are thinking? And who knows how long you will keep thinking? :-)

Life is short - you have to do everything in a given amount of time. The sooner you start acting on your thoughts the better. Once the time is gone then you can do or say whatever, it is not going to matter anymore. Timing of that action is as important as the action itself.  If someone needs a doctor now - whats the point of bringing the doctor tomorrow?

I know my actions will not betray me. Sometimes I have to do things under pressure or because of obligation, but most times I am doing something for someone because I want to, because I care for them or I have feelings for them. For me my words are my actions. Once I say I will do something for someone - I do it. Its a promise. Especially if I know that my action is important to them - I will not back off.  There have been very few people I have found who keep their word. Most people will back out at the last minute or say all sorts of things but have no intention of following through.

There is so much deception in the world that sometimes even actions are not all that honest. People have ulterior motive for doing things for other people.

The biggest aspect about an action is that it is visible. One can see it happening (unlike thoughts...who knows what you are thinking? and words...who knows if you are lying?) The second key thing is that a number of these actions are expected of people! I have a whole other blog on expectations - so I will not repeat it here. But simply said, even a mother expects from her children in return for all the pain she went through. So all other relationships compared to between mother and child are just fragile.

Actions are expected of the educated person. If someone is illiterate, they have a valid excuse to not know about certain behaviors (although I have seen that sometimes the most affectionate people are the poorest ones! I think all they have to give is love.) But an educated person not doing what he or she should be doing is borderline criminal.

Actions and expectations go hand in hand. As a father your expectation is to take care of your children, make sure they are well provided for and happy. As a friend your expectation is to be there for your friend.  Anyone can be there during happy times, but are you there during the tough ones? (I have written many times on friendship).

It is very hard to trust someone when they keep saying they will do something but don't; or pretend to be friends or care for you, but at the first moment of need - they are gone. The saddest part of all is that no matter if they are there for me or not, they still expect that I should be there for them. And yes - personal experience - I have been lectured about "what I should be doing regardless" or "what kind of a friend are you?" It is also hard to reason with such people because their minds are made up. They are very clear in their justifications. They will have all these grandiose expectations from others - BUT - when it comes to them - all bets are off! And suddenly I find myself standing alone.

Sometimes I don't even have to DO anything - my just being there for someone is the biggest action of all. My presence is enough for someone to know that I care for them and that I support them. A call, an email - some thoughtfulness is also an action of my presence in their life. Most people don't know how to be present for someone also.

Acting on time, doing the right thing, meeting people's expectations - these are the traits of a responsible person.

But when I routinely find myself standing by myself, then I wonder if others even recognized or acknowledged what I did for them. (I have written a blog on acknowledgement also!) All my being present, my listening, my doing things for them was all for nothing. My actions were meaningless.

I would suggest to anyone who wants to work on maintaining relationships that you act on your positive feelings, do good for people and act on time. Once that time is gone its gone....its never coming back.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Debt from friends - the most evil thing

Search for debt quotes and you will find many. Some are funny some teaching the life lessons, but never one saying that debt is of any good to anyone. Debt is not good and one should avoid it at all costs. One should learn to live within one's means as much as possible. Of course there are circumstances where one would need money or things but that debt should be taken care of as soon as possible.

I had never been in debt until I bought my house five years ago. Now I have a debt for few years...but of course I have my house also!

I have never understood how people ask for money. I have lived with very limited money for most part of my life. Until I was 16, I did not really need to have money, my parents were fulfilling all my basic needs. I did not have interests or hobbies or passions that required me to ever ask for any money. I was content with what I had - I never had any "needs".

When I was in India from 16-20 years of age, 2 years in the hostel and 2 years at home with my aunt and uncle. All my fees was paid for by my parents. I would get a limited amount of cash each month, which I would use for the cafeteria fees, or transportation, both of which sucked up all the money I had. I was always able to get all my books and study items. I would have very little left over for maybe a nail polish bottle or some junk food :-)

But during all these four years I never borrowed any money....AND I never loaned any money to anyone either (in the hostel there were a few girls who were in the bad habit of asking for money!)

Things did not get much better in Ph.D. I got a steady paycheck for four years as part of my teaching assistant-ship. I was living with my brother and had rented an apartment. My brother was also the money manager, I had no worries to pay rent or bills. We were not living in luxury, but slowly we managed to get all that we needed. I don't think we had much savings!

And then I got my first job and moved out on my own! Oh what a shock that first year was for me. I had to maintain my bank balance and pay all the bills, twice or thrice my check bounced! Damn! I ended up buying furniture that I later could not get rid of when I had to move from Buffalo. That was my learning experience - and I was 25 years old. I had to move back in with my brother. He helped me store all my things in a storage and paid for it. And I thought to myself - NEVER AGAIN!!

I got my second job in Vancouver, Canada. It was not high paying, but my frugality was at a high level. I saved money like anything! I did not have much belongings and did not care to have much either. I wanted to make sure that when I was moving back to USA, I would have enough money to start on my own.

Once I started my permanent job in Kansas City I was all set. My pay was not high, but I had vowed to myself that I would NEVER borrow money, never owe anyone anything. So I just saved saved and saved. There is no doubt that I would need help - the non financial kind - which I could only return with my love and by being a loyal friend. I have always been there for my friends.

The few months that I was in financial trouble and without a job, I realized what it was like not to have money. A feeling of helplessness sets in. But it also taught me the importance of financial management. It also taught me to live within my means. I always live within my means. Only now - after working for so many years, I feel that I am comfortable enough to help other people in need. But I still don't loan money to friends - I think money breaks friendships.

I have loaned money to family - and that is different. But loaning money to friends has been out of question - until recently. I could not refuse someone. I don't think they were my friend or even cared about me, but I cared about them, so I loaned them money. expected, things have gone south from there. It has been really tough for me. (And that is why I don't give money to anyone except family).

I don't know how people ask me for money when they don't even care about me. Actually, I don't know how people ask for money from friends - period. I never would - and I hope I never have to. I would live within my means as much as I can. But of course I can never presume what other people's lives and tribulations are that cause them to ask for money.

Debt is an evil thing. The very short time I felt I was under debt was the worst for me. Maybe people think it is normal to ask people for money - but for me it is just not a good philosophy. Banks are for asking for loans - not friends.

A debt free life is the happy life!