I don’t like debt of any sort. You gift me something, I’ll find a way to equalize it in some way. Equal in value, effort, thoughtfulness. You bring me a lunch box filled to its gills with home made macaroni and cheese, I’ll return the box with home cooked dal. Or spices. Or crayons. Something, just not an empty box. We are culturally averse to returning an empty box to its owner. The superstition is that it causes fissures in friendships to do so. While I don’t particularly think myself superstitious, this is one habit that’s stuck with me.
It’s partly cultural. Indians don’t believe in emptiness. Walking into someone’s house empty handed. Letting a guest leave empty handed. That’s probably why Indians will pack you boxes and boxes of food after you’ve attended a party in their home.
Maybe it’s just me being anal. Maybe I’m just trying to avoid any kinda of mental debt, and I’m happily blaming my culture for it. This thinking extends to other parts of my life too. I answer emails as soon as I receive them, just so I don’t have any kind of reply/scheduling debt at the end of day, and I can leave the office with zero inbox.
Which is why it bothers me so much that I’m deep in Nanowrimo word debt as of today. It’s 6 days of Nano, and I should technically be at 10000 or so words. Instead I’m at 5500.
The glass half full angle is that I’m 5500 words more than where I began. And maybe, instead of this blog post, I’m better off writing something for my mini novella.