Origins of Philosophy: Founder of Western Philosophy, Thales of Miletus

Origins of Philosophy trace back to different dates, but the most widely accepted notion is that the birth of philosophical thought began in 1st Millennium B.C.E. The dates about first philosophy is questionable. But as per available and verified records, Thales of Miletus, is considered as founder of Philosophy. Because he marks the first one to break free from myth and explain natural phenomena in a materialistic way.

The Aegean sea saw the most flourished civilisations and trades as it was around those islands and the shores that most trading happened. These islands were agriculturally rich and have set some trade among the crops and other materials they had. Among those flourishing lands, came myths and tales of god, beautifully written and extraordinary believed. But right in the heart of this civilisation, right in the eastern part of Ionian city, Miletus, there came a man named Thales, who fathered philosophy and its offspring, Science. 

Thales of Miletus is accredited for many things. None is actually recorded directly and no direct sources of his writings or any mentions of his time survive. The primary source is Aristotle, who is well known for his philosophical and scientific works. According to the firm assertion in Aristotle’s mention of Thales in his work, it can be said that he might be having direct works of Thales with him. Although Aristotle does write some things about Thales with a hypothetical tone, which even he wasn’t sure of as they belonged to Thales’s personal life. But as far as what Thales had contributed to philosophy, cosmology and science, Aristotle asserted them with certainty.

Thales’s life

Many things told about Thale’s life are purely debatable as there are no direct accounts or written proofs. But the most obvious or accepted, historically verified things about his life still account him for being a myth-breaker, and founder of a new way of creating hypotheses. Thales is accounted for founding philosophy because even though he had all the mythology available and all the gods of Olympus myths circling around at that age, never did he mention any Homerian god. 

Nowhere in Thales’s contributions did he use poetries and ambiguous sentences to define natural phenomena. He didn’t even use any supernatural explanations. He tried to explain the phenomenon as it appeared to human perception. And he observed natural objects, tried to understand without any supernatural implications and proposed naturalistic hypotheses. He is referred to as the first naturalist and materialist. It is because it was very modern and forward and too rebellious for someone of that period to be thinking of the material world and propose natural explanations.

Many who wrote about him believe that he travelled a lot and that too to Egypt and Babylonia. It is said that he tried to explain the flooding of the Nile. He is also said to have learnt a great deal of cosmology and mathematics from Egyptians and the Chaldean religion. And he spent his life philosophising and trying to put his hypothesis to use. He also contributed to astronomy, mathematics, trade, navigation and created a new method to discuss them.

Ionian enlightenment and the origins of philosophy

All the greece authors, like Homer who wrote Iliad (Trojan War), and many that followed used gods to explain natural phenomena. They considered Poseidon (ocean god) getting angry and shaking earth causing earthquakes and harsh tidal waves. Many other natural objects were explained using different gods. It is understandable for many to turn towards monotheism from a polythesitic origin. But Thales, never in his theories mentions any god at all.

Thales’s theories used a new method which later developed into a philosophical method. It is the method of logic. He used his observations to form some information and conclude hypotheses from all the information or premises. It is pure inference that Thales did. But it was the first time a new method took place mythos (mythology). Since then, it has been mythos vs logos (logic) in Greek philosophy. This enlightenment marks first ever use of logic. It marks as an important and relevant discussion for the origins of philosophy.

Anaximander and Anaximenes successful disciples and successors of Thales continued this approach of observations, hypotheses and testing them. They carried forward Thales’s philosophy and at times used it to criticise Thales’s own theories. This is the first ever philosopher group debating in the cities of Ionia. Thus marking the beginning; the origins of philosophy.

This change of thought from mythos to logos in Ionia, is marked as one of the greatest turns in the history of science and philosophy. And this sudden shift of paradigm is called Ionian enlightenment. And even though there is no such school of thought formed and taught, these three philosophers and their thoughts together revolve around similar terms. They discussed similar things in a similar way. And it only necessitates to call those three a school of thought. And thus, regardless of having no school literally, this group of first philosophers is addressed as the milesian school of philosophy.

Origins of Philosophy: Founder of Western Philosophy, Thales of Miletus
The ancient map of Miletus sitting at Asia Minor

The Arché: Primary principle, origin of everything

Well, heard about the grand unification theory? Not to exaggerate, but the intent to unify everything of cosmos to one single origin began with Thales. Thales was keen and quite absorbed in finding the origin, i.e, first principle (primary principle) of earth and it is referred to as arché. Aristotle strongly asserts in his writing that “Thales says water is nature of all matter”. The way he asserts with conviction only affirms that he had direct records or even Thales’s writings at his disposal. 

Aristotle proposes a few possibilities of how Thales might have arrived at that conclusion. Most obvious thing is that Miletus was a port city and Thales was known for travelling, helping the travelers navigate along the Ursa Minor (constellation). He also used to calculate and suggest modifications for ships. He was very familiar and around water bodies. And he saw floating islands and metals turning into liquid after heating. Aristotle suggests that Thales must have observed that everything can be turned into ‘moist’ and records that everything did originate from moist.

Thales might have thought that if everything can be turned into moist, then everything must definitely be having qualities of moist, i.e, water. But again, these are just some possibilities Aristotle suggests and he doesn’t use assertions now. He only uses conditional assertions as he himself is just brainstorming different possibilities of Thales coming up with arché by understanding Thales’s life and biography.

Thales’s god

There are notions that say Thales values water because of early religious tradition of Poseidon, but there is no such mention of theology in any of Thales theories and it is erroneous to suggest that Thales would be suddenly mentioning gods. Thales did say or at least many say Thales said “All things are full of gods”. From this we can say that Thales was a Hylozoist (one who thinks all matter is alive). But again, if Thales was suggesting divinity, it would have been some early conceptions of soul or force, but definitely not of god.

We can say that with confidence because not only Aristotle but any other accounts of Thales agree with the fact that he ignored the greek traditions. During Thales’s period, if he had been a traveller and an avid learner, it is obvious that he is familiar with Homer and the Trojan war. It was a period where no-one had the capability to think beyond the supernatural explanations. There was no necessity to explain in a materialistic way. 

He not only never mentioned gods, but he replaced all the godly theories with his hypothesis. This is where natural philosophy stood out from traditional theology. Aristotle attributes soul to Thales. Thales must have seen some attribution, some live in all beings by observing magnets moving towards metals. He must have thus thought as objects are related to each other in somehow, even inmate objects should have soul (or) can say life.

More Thales’s contributions

Astronomical contributions:

It is a recorded and verified claim that Thales predicted a total eclipse with accuracy. It is said that Thales learned this stuff from the Babylonians and Egyptians but they didn’t predict solar eclipses perfectly. Their solar and lunar cycles had some missing days and hours and were always a bit inaccurate. There is an astronomical and scientific finding that there indeed was a total lunar eclipse on 4th of May, 585 B.C.E.

As Thales lived near Mount Mycale, he had the privilege and interest to observe the sun throughout the day and for many days and weeks. It is said that Thales is so invested in looking at the sky and the stars that he once fell into a well looking at the sky while walking. So, it is understandable that Thales observed and recorded the duration of sun, movement and orbit throughout the year. He was the first one to observe and record solstices (tilt in earth’s axis of rotation while revolving around the sun).

As someone who is aware of solstices, it is obvious that Thales might have recorded seasons as he already was aware of earth’s rotation and revolution. It is most probable that he dived the seasons into 365 days as he was known to use mathematics and calculations. He is also said to measure the diameter of the sun and use the same formula to measure the diameter of the moon just by observing them. This measurement began with him measuring pyramids by the shadow cast on the land. He discovered the constellation of Ursa Minor and observed that it is best to navigate through the Ursa Minor to have safe and fast navigations. 

Mathematical contributions:

Thales measured circles and is accredited with two theorems of circles that are still relevant. Thales was recorded using this theorem to measure any circle, and this presents an understanding that Thales considered the sun to be a perfect circle; the moon and even the earth too. Thales notes that points A,B,C lie on a circle and if the AC are the diameter of a circle, then the angle of ABC must be a right angle and the ABC be a right angled triangle. 

The terminology is modern but the method and theorem that Thales used can be summed up as this in the modern mathematical terms. Thales is not only called the father of philosophy and science, but also the father of mathematics. His mathematical conjecture was later followed by Pythogoras (this is debatable but as per the evidence now, it can be most probable).  As said earlier, Thales also used his mathematical ideas and theories to suggest modifications to ships and make them flow.

Other contributions:

Observing floating islands, Thales proposed that Earth is actually floating on water. It is just an assumption that he must have observed the floating islands, because historically, it was most possible that he might have encountered them on his travels for trades. As discussed earlier, he broke the homerian belief that gods cause earthquakes. Perhaps no one else has ever tried to think of a logical explanation for earthquakes. His theory comes from floating earth theory. As the earth is floating on water, the tensions in water and heavy turbulence created earthquakes, he proposed.

It is said that Thales helped the army of Croseus to cross the river Halys. The river was strong and harsh and Thales suggested the army dig a canal behind the river, joining it  so that half of the stream gets diverted and the water gets less forceful. Well, this is still an unproved claim, but as the origin of bridges is still debatable for Thales’s time period, it is most likely that it is true as it was called battle of the eclipse and it was the eclipse that he predicted.

It is also said that Thales is good at trading and it is the earliest account of Monopoly that Thales has shown in his trading skills. Knowing about the upcoming olive oil need, Thales was said to take loans and buy all the olive presses available. When the time finally came, people had but nowhere to go for the olive oil. They had to rent and use Thales’s olive press. Aristotle notes that this is one of the earliest accounts of monopoly in business.

Wrapping up

Thales of Miletus, the myth-breaker, Ionian sage, has envisaged logical thinking and fathered many of the studies which now modern education took quite forward. All the scientific advancement began by this Ionian, who just looked at water, and kept on thinking in a natural and most material way. Most of the stories are put aside, as idolisation and fanaticism creates misleading accounts. Discussing origins of philosophy doesn’t go without the mention of calling Thales as one of the seven great sages, but that title is nowhere relevant to philosophy.

Many fans and idolisers of Thales have made him god-like, by saying he got the ideas by seeing though heavenly bodies, having powers, being a sage and many other supernatural things. But regardless of elevating Thales to god, Aristotle, Eudemus, Diogenes Laërtius, Ptolemy and several modern historians, mathematicians and philosophers have constantly been revising and keeping his successful achievements and life intact for the future generations to understand, get inspired and philosophise rationally, naturally and most materialistically.

Writer’s Note

‘Origins of Philosophy’ is a new philosophical treatise that I began as a personal quest of my own. If I could dig up the stuff from various sources, videos, blogs and encyclopedias, research articles and make note of them, write them in an understandable way, I achieve what i seek and at the same time, provide with the same. My personal quest has also been normalizing philosophy, which is either seen as non-understandable nonsense or a privileged person’s mental gratification. I see that learning the origins of philosophy can give us beautiful insights on how, what, why and when of Philosophy. Do not hesitate to comment if you have a feedback in your mind. Do follow the page if interested in keeping track with my personal quest of Origins of Philosophy.

*The series, Origins of philosophy will continue till the end of ancient philosophy, i.e, 700 B.C.E – 1000 C.E*


The nights are long, everlasting and exhausting

The nights are long,
The days are quick
And the hopes are low.
But the sheets are wet!

The blood just flows,
The smell doesn’t go.
The room is bleeding.
Or is it just me?

The nights are long, yes!
I was just having fun.
Till the sun rose up,
We didn’t set down.

The sky became a fluid,
The ground was its extension.
The air felt light,
And the feet, heavy!

I united with the steering,
It moves as my body moves.
As the speed increases,
I felt like floating.

The breeze touching my cheeks,
Ah! The snowy wind!
I just didn’t want to slow down.
But the day struck hard!

The sun poked my eyes, 
The road went blind.
Something happened,
And it made me fly!

I could feel myself levitating,
The gravity pulling me down,
And I met the ground!
The face grew watery wet!

The lids felt heavy,
I shut my eyes!
And when I opened them,
Everything is white around!

A white sheet, there is someone on it.
The sheet is all growing red.
The blood spreads through whites!
And it looks like me!

Lifeless and immovable I lie,
I kept levitating, gravity isn't there now.
I kept levitating into the space.
Seeing my lifeless body.

The people around it, crying.
I don't feel sad, I'm numb.
I'm fading away; dissolving.
I can feel myself vanishing.

My thoughts, my regrets,
My life and my memories,
Everything fading away.
I am not gonna be soon.

My quite forgiving,
Not so forgetful mind;
Kept on forgetting everything, ever.
I'm disintegrating, I'm levitating into the void.

I can see myself cancelling,
Fading into nothing.
My existence is getting reduced,
To nothing itself.

One moment, I'm here
The other, I'm losing.
The nights are long and fun.
But the cost of it? Nothing.

Just some vacuum around me,
Some pressuring forces,
Crushing me from all sides,
I have existed. Now, don't exi...

Emotions of the baboon and its pat on the back

She left. I am standing there at the railway station. I feel like running behind the train like in the films, but that would be dumb, I guess. Ah! I should just shut the fuck up and move already but I’m just looking at the moving train. What am I expecting? Are these my emotions speaking? I don’t know. Do I want her to cinematically bend form the door and wave her hand? How foolish of me. But I don’t know, it would have felt good.

I started walking out but everything felt new. I don’t even know what’s missing. But again, I guess I want to be sad because she went away. Or am I really sad? Am I sad because I know that I should be, or am I naturally sad? It’s too hard to distinguish what comes naturally and what you bring on to yourself through observations. But can one manipulate emotions easily? Why am I even thinking this nonsense!

I held to this bus and hopped on it as I am going home. And everything is peaceful and calm because the bus is not crowded. And I began diverting myself as I seemed to be drifting along the lines of overthinking. I’m a human; a body. A mere body. I shouldn’t be giving myself up to the emotions. Because I should be reasonable. What good gives emotions? Can emotions exist without reason? Look at how dumb I was at the station, I almost cried. Emotions are dumb.

Something is distracting me and bringing me back to this world, from the world of my thoughts. Because of the whistle of the bus conductor. He somehow feels like a circus master, the passengers should dance along with his whistle. Isn’t it odd to have a conductor who checks the conduct of passengers in a bus? Can’t people behave themselves? Does he have to whistle and tell people to not stand at doors and behave in a civic manner? What are we, apes?

As I thought about apes, the ape arrives bold and most beautiful. It jumped onboard from the road. The bus is so fast and it is humanly impossible to do such a stunt. He does look like an ape too. Like a baboon that finds a banana, he looks proud for pulling such a brainless stunt. “Are you mad?” shouts the conductor and I see the baboon smiling. “Kickk” he replied and it blew my mind. He did that just to feel the kick of it!

How brainless! How uncivilised! Is this how people who just blindly follow their emotions appear? Like apes? I’m an ape too, we all are apes, but we moved away from being ape. You can not be looking like a human and behave like a monkey at the same time. As I was thinking about how dumb this ape is, it was wiping its nose using its shirt. I am disgusted at the very sight of this unhygienic stunt-freak baboon.

He smiles and looks at the girl sitting opposite to him. The seats are empty, but he won’t sit. He stands at the door, and smiles at the girl straight. Because of course, he does whatever he feels like doing. And he doesn’t give a thought about it. What if I was the girl’s family? What if I kicked him in the nuts as a result of his behavior? He doesn’t think about that probability. Because again, he just does what he wishes; a slave to his emotions. And he doesn’t control them. 

Why should we control them, as a matter of fact? I’m lost. Is he happier than me because I don’t see him being guilty for drooling over a girl publicly. He isn’t bothered about how the girl feels about him. This two minute creeping gives him pleasure. He is obviously a creep, but a creep is happier than me. Does that mean I’m sad? Am I sad? I’m not, I have everything with me. I control myself!

I decide how my mind emotes. And I don’t let my emotions ride me and that makes me superior to this sweating baboon drooling over random girls. He doesn’t even care if he finds her pretty or not. I guess by his looks and behavior that he looks at every girl in the same way. He just drools over the entire gender regardless of their age or preference or looks. The extremely cis-baboon that wants what it wants and takes what it takes. 

How do people express their emotions openly like that? I would never be the baboon. Because I have good control on myself. And I have been there; I once was a person who just did what my heart advised. No fucks given to the consequences, a slave to my emotions. I wouldn’t lie, it was exciting to live that way. But that’s not civic! If my actions destroy or harm someone else’s harmony even involuntarily, that’s something I can’t accept.

I have to worry about the consequences. I just have to because we should be self-aware, or what’s the purpose of living together as a society? The vibrating phone distracts me again. It’s her! I’m excited once again, I picked the call up. I killed my excitement. “Everything’s fine?” I asked. I’m waiting for her reply, she is silent. “Are you ok?” she asks. I don’t know why she asked that. Those words started doing something in my mind.

Am I okay? Weird! “What do you mean?” I asked. “Are you crying?” she asked. My throat suddenly feels heavy, I am unable to speak because of what I heard. There is a tremble in my voice, I’m unable to find words to speak. I don’t know what’s happening to me! “I’ll call you when I get home” I said forcefully and cut the call. The block in my throat started growing intensely. Something is happening right in the middle of my chest. It feels sharp and uncontrollable. My vision is growing blurry; my eyes watery. Fuck!

Am I crying? The water kept growing and the excess drop started coming out of the eye as there was no place left in my eye to hold them. Yeah, I’m crying. I’m trying to close my lids. I closed them hard, shut them! I put my both hands over my eyes, pushed my eyes so hard trying to stop crying. Don’t cry! Please! Are you crying for the sake of it? Do you really miss her? Or are you crying because you have to? You fucking idiot! You complicated piece of junk!

Suddenly a hand fell on my head and I looked at the man with my semi-teary eyes. It was the baboon. He is patting my head and moves to sit beside me. I closed my eyes again with my arms. The baboon didn’t ask me anything. Maybe it’s just because I’m a girl, but either way his touch didn’t feel bad. He kept patting and he never spoke a word. And as a result of it I felt good and I cried!

Writing 101 : the beginning, middle and the end!

What’s writing? Looking at it deeply, writing is translating thoughts into words. Fitting these words, framing them into something that exactly means what your mind imagines, is exactly what writing it! Be it a tweet, a Facebook post, a script or a tagline, it is useless if it doesn’t translate your thoughts. But are there any ways to make this translation beautiful and understandable exactly as meant?

Fundamental Form of any writing: 

That is why we need to understand how to write. Let’s not discuss what type of content we are writing about, because if we get to specifics, we cannot formulate writing at all. The simple and basic form for any writing is to have three parts in the body. An introduction, body and the conclusion. This is as simple as any writing in the world goes.


Now you can add whatever you want, headers, headings, footers, or even dissect an article into multiple topics, but, there is always a beginning, a middle and the end. The introduction, or the beginning is something that makes you explain to the reader what the body of the text is going to be. You bring your readers to familiar grounds, make them understand what is the context here. 

For scholarly articles, there is an abstract you write as a summary or a brief wording to make every reader understand the entire context. But in an introduction you don’t need to brief what you are going to write, but just begin it with the existing world, the familiar ground and then lift it to the unknown world, or the actual thought of your mind.


Middle part is the most necessary part for writing. If you mess up the middle part, there is no understanding at all. The entire matter becomes irrelevant. Make sure that you slowly shift from the introduction to the actual matter that you want to write. And you need to do that in a very smooth way that the level of understanding shouldn’t be jerked or spiked anywhere. 

The middle part is the space for you to explore and make sure that your thoughts are put in the right words. Now what are these right words and wrong words? The thing is, language allows misunderstandings and misinterpretations! To avoid misunderstandings, write as objective as possible, avoiding all the ambiguities. 

Ambiguity is something like a vague statement which can mean multiple things. Like if you shouted “Call me a cab” you might be called a cab instead. Ok, that was lame, but that’s how language has gaps for ambiguity and you have to avoid vague statements in all cases. Say you were writing a script and your character scratches his head and grins while touching a scar on his head, it gives a different message.

But if you write the same scene as a character just grinning, you convey less information and the body-language of the character is left for the audience to figure out. Is he standing still and grinning? Is he dancing at the pole and grinning? The specifics! Only specifics help you convey what you want.


The conclusion is necessary unless you aim to continue the write-up sometime else and keep on extending it. Every write-up should be conclusive and this conclusion must be an inference of the introduction and the body. Treat the introduction as one premise and the body as another. Conclusion is something that is related and is inferred through the two premises.

If the conclusion is not in the premises and goes way beyond the premise, stating something else, it is an inconclusive write-up. The reader will not understand your write-up if it doesn’t explain what the middle part says about. One can safely say that without a conclusion, i.e, an expression of the matter (middle), body and introduction become useless.

Wrap up

Sometimes, you are bound with words, like a technical article or just a tweet. Then you have to understand that you can not take much time to establish your context in the beginning, explain it in the middle and conclude by ending it without ambiguity. All you have to do is make use of your words carefully. 

When you have to tweet only a specific number of characters, each word should convey more information and on the whole, even being fewer words, it should convey as much as a full article or whatever your thought is. If it is a script, you can leave ambiguities wantedly if you want the director to figure it out showing them visually.

But if your writing is for the common readers to understand your thoughts as you write them and not as some visual, you definitely need to follow this form. This form is not a rule, but it is a mere tenet that eerie writing must adhere to. Even if you discredit it, you will still be following the form involuntarily. 

There is always a beginning, a middle and an end in every form of content. That is exactly why you should be doing it better as it is unavoidable either way.

The Inner Demon

It howled at night in the pitch-black jungle.
It wanted to spring upon its prey,
Upon hearing the prayer.
Oh! It was a calling.

It possessed the man to commit the act.
The possession is real, oh, it's true!
The urge is real, the thirst too.
He's a conniving man now!

He turned towards the moon and smiled.
He pulled his claws and wings out,
And flew towards the moon.
Oh, the beast it was.

He got hold of a branch and moved forward;
Branch by branch and tree by tree; 
Moved till the end of the trees.
At the sight of lotus pond.

He stretched to grab the flower he loved.
In the water, when he saw himself.
Astonished, at his reflection.
For the Demon he was.

All along the way, was I always a demon?
Is my bad myself as the good is me?
Am I demon to act the thought?
Is the good thought-not-act?

He growled and cried for his own reflection.
The guilt killed his mind, ah, the tears.
The appearance too; unwatchable!
Turn me back! He growled.

But can he? Or will he change the act done?
The devilish deed and demonish greed.
The wantings of urge and pure need.
Now he is all the demon's feed.

The demon jumped out, sprung out from him.
Left him crying at the pond, laughing hard.
The man on his knees, crying out loud.
But would he know it left?

Would he ever again dare to see in the pond?
Could he ever have a glance at himself?
Will he realise that it was not him?
That it was the demon.

And the demon? Just part of his mind's jungle.
The one that hides and attacks when called.
The actions! It possesses them hard.
The thoughts however, not!

It is the thoughts that call it out to act open.
The man could have controlled the call.
But did he? He gave himself to it.
He sold the soul to the demon.

Now he gets what he asked for, the eternal guilt.
The burden of the thought; that unasked act.
That could have passed away; the thought.
But it did turn into an act.
The unforgettable.
The un-passable.
Quite natural.
But still is,
Is never.
No, No.

My Home Sweet Home, this is where I belong

Walk to my home

We travel a lot of places, we do a lot of things, but at the end of the day, our body demands to go back home. Now what home is may vary with people. A home is not literally a shelter, but a place or a person you feel that you belong to; that is your home sweet home!

Reading those lines, I kept walking forward. “How can I belong to something? Isn’t it Psychological?” I laughed and threw the piece of paper away. It came to me in a cookie. “Humans are sentimental fools” I laughed. It occurred to me that I always assume that I’m not human.

I don’t know how it happens, but most of the time I feel like an observer of this world and not really one of them. And I think everyone feels that way, but I don’t know. I get too carried away sometimes, and I just feel like I’m observing, writing notes and learning what a human is. 

When it comes to me; when I suddenly look into the reflections of mine, I remember that I’m one of those idiots I laugh at. There might be some idiot who is laughing at me right now. And for that dimwit, I’m an idiot. Are humans innately narcissistic? Or is it just me reflecting myself upon the world?

My home sweet home?

I reached my building and I opened the gate. I could see the baker’s family packing their bags, all tired and fed-up. “Need help?” I yelled. I don’t know why I did, it was spontaneous but I did however. “Nah, it is almost done” Premji answered. He is a funny little guy. I have different names for people in my mind, and I name them with a physical attribute they got.

I can never say that out loud, because it might appear to be an insult. Maybe I will be looked upon as an objectifying shit. But, physical attributes, as it is, without any adjectives are not insults according to me. “A fat man” is not an insult for me. “An ugly fat man” is definitely an insult. I’m a logical person.

“Don’t you feel sad?” A voice called me from the lost world of thoughts. I realised that I have been staring into Premji’s wife’s face all the time while thinking about names and fat men. “Because you are leaving?” I asked. That was dumb, but that was I thought, so it’s ok.

“No, because you are selling your house” she said in a painful tone. “I haven’t quite thought of it. I guess I am not sad. I’m neutral” I said. But I didn’t mean what I said. In fact, I have never really thought about it that way. My house? Does it belong to me? I am its owner. It’s my home sweet home!

I continued to walk smiling and while climbing the stairs there was a scent that felt new. Well, I understood that I have been sniffing this scent all the time but it was this time that I realised that it was different from the outside. I walked to my room upstairs, on the first floor. I unlocked and got in. The smell grew dense and it filled my nostrils.

The smell of my home

This is the smell of my house! This is its scent. Maybe it’s the naphthalene balls, I thought and went back to bed. I just bumped on the bed, like gravity pulled me down. Back to names, I went. I would recognize Mr. Premji as Mr. Five By Five. He is five feet tall and seemingly wide. He reminds me of the song, Mr. Five by Five.

And this urge came to me to listen to that song. But I was too lazy to reach my phone that I left on the table in the living room. My drive to listen to the song wasn’t strong enough to motivate me from getting up. I kept lying there, looking at the edge of the pillow.

An Ecosystem?

I noticed a small spider walking around the edge of the pillow. It is inches away from the tip of my nose and I guess it noticed this giant creature and is trying to run away. I blew air, like a sadist and saw the spider fall far away on the floor. And it struck me that my home is actually an ecosystem.

The baker, me, five other humans who live above, not only them, there are lizards, rats, roaches and spiders that live with me. I have inherited not just a building but an entire ecosystem, I thought. And I couldn’t shake this thought away. I don’t know why, but there was an urge to shout “ecosystem”. And like every other human, I am in control of my emotions too.

I shouted “ecosystem”, and I laughed. Then I took a deep breath. I noticed the scent again. This is my ecosystem too. This smell, the old radio, loose-hinged bed, half-rusty windows, paint flaky ceiling, and every corner about this house, they belong to me. NO, I belong to them.

My belonging is to every corner of this house, and couldn’t shake this feeling and to away with it I got up. I should have a coffee, I thought and rushed to the kitchen; my senses are all awake now. I saw myself and my memories everywhere around this place. It is indeed my home sweet home. 

Memories in my home

I heated and poured some coffee and instinctively sat on the kitchen counter. I imagined my mother preparing food while I chatted to her while drinking coffee. And I imagine my sister yelling my name in an annoyed tone from the living room and my father entering the house after his work. 

My senses. Smell, touch, objects that I see, sounds, and the taste of this coffee, they took me back in time. And after almost two decades, I realised this was my home; my ecosystem. That I belong here and it owns me. I understood why I never thought I belonged in the city. Because my ass always belongs here.

Now it might be dumb, it might just be a psychological construct, but I realised like any other human, even I was a mere human and I am already trapped in the sentiment of belonging. I don’t know how it happened, but there was an urge. And I realised that they are going to demolish the house in a week. Practically, I wouldn’t be able to capture the entire house in my memories.

Memories aren’t reliable and I want to capture every corner and every inch of this house. The drive was strong. So strong that I couldn’t resist. I rushed outside with my phone, I began clicking pictures. But it was not enough. Photos were not reliable too. I began recording the video of my entire house like an idiot.

I didn’t want to leave any corner un-recorded. The edge where I hit my head as a kid, the corner where I hid while playing hide and seek, I was not leaving anything go un-captured. I don’t know how it happened, but in the process of recording this ecosystem of mine, tears rolled down my eyes. 

Reliving, capturing the last moments

I rushed downstairs, I wanted to capture the garden and the backyard. And I kept on recording and the tears rolled down, I kept wiping them. I’m selling the house, with it, I can’t survive, I can’t maintain it. Without it, I guess I’m homeless. Maybe I will be somewhere, plant my ass on a bed in some corner. But I won’t belong there.

Not as much as I belong here. This is my home sweet home, this is where I belong. I couldn’t control my tears anymore, I burst out falling on my knees in the garden. I don’t know what stuck me. But this smell, this sight, this touch of the mud, the taste of the coffee at the end of my tongue, I can not have these at one time again. 

My home, sweet home

There would be a new smell, a new sight and a new ecosystem which won’t be mine till I finally delude myself and divert in the uncontrolled chaos of my life. But as a matter of fact; as a logical and quite evident observation, I can say with authority that this is my home!

A person’s sound of walking made me come back to this world again and I turned towards it. It was Mrs.Premji looking at me with sympathy in her eyes. “I understand, Krishna. It’s your home after all” she spoke softly. I nodded at her while I now finally understand what I’m doing, that I’m selling the place where I always belonged to. And I’m indeed sad or not happy at least.

Condemned to live together!

A criticism of my early views that laws are a common compromise of people who can take responsibility for their acts: To explain this better, I’ll explain my early views on morality and human freedom. I believed that they don’t co-exist. A moral judgement is a judgement of an act. An act done by a human in any emotional state is done with a rush to do it. Is it justified then? No! Does it need to be judged? Of course! But why? Why do actions of other people bother us? Why should we even live together?

Humans are condemned to be free. There is no way out. Is there a common essence for all of us? No. Is there a common purpose? No. Can we have objective morals? No. But we have understood that we can survive if we lived in groups. And it worked. Thus, we built civilizations, kingdoms, states and now nations. Now, do we need objective rules that repress us?

We need to understand that there is no supernatural judgement waiting to judge our actions. If we have to survive better, living in groups is the better way. And for that, we do need rules that don’t destroy society. We need society alive and functioning. So regardless of our opinion towards it, there is a forced common goal for all of us. That is to maintain harmony to live together intending no harm. Thus, we need objective rules that will however cause repression, but it should be a common compromise. “Humans are condemned to live together”

These rules should be applied in the best interest of maintaining harmony. Anarchy is amazing? Of course, it is. Imagine being able to live your own life independently, governing yourselves. But humans are beasts in nature; like any other animal. We have tried to refuse our true nature for a long time now. We have to accept that we all are predators, hunters, killers and thieves. Given certain pressure, everyone can break the threshold and can commit any treacherous act just to survive. It is there in all of us. That is our true nature, the true essence — we are animals.

Rather than judging our true nature to be filthy from the fixed-moral perspective, we should accept it. We should embrace the fact that we are all by birth predators and contribute to the common goal of harmony voluntarily. If it’s a rule book of God that condemns us to act accordingly to the rules, it causes repression. If it’s a spiritual guide, it causes repression too. You are suppressing your true nature rather than embracing it.

End of the day, rules, morals and laws only exist to maintain harmony. Why don’t we all contribute to it voluntarily? Rather than being suppressed by an unknown or a third-party-source (government), we can do it on our own. And the only third-party judge, the law should indeed exist, even though it suppresses our true nature, it is the necessary suppression we need to balance the harmony.

It won’t work if we ask people to create morals themselves. We can not blame the irresponsible for not taking the responsibility of creating their values. Again, it is natural. We are the beasts that we need to tame. And the taming; not because of a holy purpose. Or a moral judgement of a good/bad. But just what needs for society to exist. There is no objective good/bad, but just accepted/not accepted. Killing is not bad, it is just not acceptable. It is still natural for humans to kill, but we don’t need it now if we want to exist together.

I had this view that people who took responsibility to create their own values to not harm the other have compromised to create laws to control the irresponsible. I saw it in two perspectives. One being an unselfish contribution to the society. That is, that the law exists because the irresponsible cannot create their own values. The other being, a selfish act to preserve oneself. That is, that the responsible understand that we need harmony and thus to protect themselves from the irresponsible they have created these rules.

On further introspection, that might sound true, but such is not the case. There exists some common and objectively accepted thing in all of us. That is the idea of living together. This idea is the agent that causes morals, laws and values. People who don’t have these ideas of harmony are called ‘anti-social’ or sociopaths. According to what is not-accepted (bad) by all of us (those who wish harmony), a sociopath is bad (not-accepted), because a sociopath destroys the fundamentals of living together.

What is objectively bad is that which does not value or disregards the balance of the society. What is objectively good is that which does add to or does not break the fundamentals of society, at least. Thus, even though objectivity is a human construct, that is much needed. And as ironic as it may sound, it takes a person who is individual and independent to form a better society — so independent that one’s growth does not even depend on the decline of other people.

Let’s not stop the argument! But in the logical way!

Argument isn’t such a bad word. There is a negative term ‘bad argument’ which has now somehow become synonymous for very ‘argument’ itself. But such is not the case in reality. There indeed is a ‘good argument’. In fact, it is the arguments that have advanced humans philosophically and scientifically!

For many years, people have claimed ‘arguments’ as the source where all the knowledge had begun. But later, we understood that there wouldn’t have an argument if we never thought, so it must be thinking where the source of all knowledge is. But the later existentialism pushes existence prior to anything. It is only logical to credit existence as the source. 

But initially, arguments were thought to be the source, and such is the value of an argument. And it is not necessarily a bad one. It is through arguments that you would know new things. But there is a form- a structure to it. You can not argue blandly with random utterances. So, what is this form? How to argue in the right way?

Arguments and its components

The sentences you use in arguments, are not mere sentences but propositions. And these propositions consist of terms and not mere words! It might appear to be philosophical mumbo-jumbo, but it isn’t. Arguments are where linguistics, philosophy and mathematics begin their hopeless romance. To begin with, let’s hop on and dive into defining these weird words or should I say, terms?

Terms and Proposition

What is a word? A group of letters that define something is a word. A ‘bottle’ is a word. A ‘word’ is a word! In day-to-day life, we use the words, ‘word’ and ‘term’ interchangeably, but it is a logical blunder to do so. Terms are specific and refer to something particular unlike words which just define and express but not refer! Terms have precise meaning and you know what it refers to just by listening to it or reading it. All the terms are words, but all the words are not terms. 

Terms can have multiple words in them. “The legendary filmmaker of 2001: Space Odyssey”, this sentence has many words in them. But the entire sentence is a single term, as it is referring towards a single person. In that way, we can differentiate words and terms. The group of words form sentences. Now what do the group of terms form? A proposition! And not many, but two terms in specific form a proposition.

Propositions are to sentences like terms are to words. Sentences are groups of words that form a meaning altogether. While propositions are sentences that are specific and assert some value! Propositions are not random but have an opinion to them. “Mr.Nobody is a masterpiece”, this sentence is a proposition as it asserts an opinion towards some subject. And those two, subject and the opinion are two terms that exist in a proposition. A subject term is ‘about what the proposition is’ and a predicate term (opinion) is ‘what is the matter told about the subject’. Together a subject term and a predicate term form a proposition.

In the above example “Mr.Nobody is a masterpiece”, the subject term here is ‘Mr.Nobody’ and the predicate term is ‘masterpiece’.

The argument!

Now as we are forming a pattern here, you must be guessing how terms and propositions are linked to an argument? And a bunch of propositions form an argument! But again, there is a form to do it in the logical way. An argument consists of two sets of propositions. The first set is (are) called Premise(s) and the other as Conclusion. The premise is the logical support (data) you give to make your conclusion stand. They are baseless without each other.

You can not have an argument without both premises and conclusion. You can have many premises but there is only one conclusion. Regardless of the truth or falsity of the conclusion, a valid argument is something that follows this form. The conclusion can be false, but if it is in the form, it is indeed a valid argument.


Premise 1: All X are Z

Premise 2: All Z are Y

Conclusion: All X are Y

Here, in premise 1, X is the subject and Z is the predicate term. 

In premise 2, Z is the subject and Y is the predicate term.

This is how you argue in a logical way, by giving out premises, making a conclusion out of it! Or you draw a conclusion and form enough premises to support your conclusion. Without this form, your argument is a bad argument and it leads nowhere. To argue, is to be logical! To be logical, be formal. Let’s get back into finding out the validity of arguments and truth and falsity of propositions next week!

Can you swallow the great Indian kitchen?

Swallow and The Great Indian Kitchen

It’s no secret that we live in a patriarchal world. We are at the dawn of new cultural reform, we are now truly understanding individual choices and freedom after years of shout-outs and books. But, any progress is progress. And to mark this progress, I bring out two cinematic parallels, Swallow (2020) and The great Indian kitchen (2021).

On the surface level, they might appear as two different films. But the thing that I clubbed them together is because in-depth they are the same movie! No, I’m not accusing of plagiarism, but I’m just pointing out the similarities in the theme. And this thematic similarities doesn’t occur from copying each other, but they exist around the world. 

The common theme in both the films is the identity crisis of a woman who is deemed to be a housewife for the rest of her life. And this happens everywhere in the world. The term housewife is synonymous to housemaid, the only difference is the wife is unpaid and should provide more services than a maid.

The theme

It is no exaggeration when I say women feel choked when this happens. Why would they as individuals should let another individual overshadow their identity? Now, the husbands don’t do that voluntarily in many cases, but it is indeed happening! In the name of culture and traditions we have long been shadowing a woman’s identity.

Both Swallow and The great Indian kitchen deal with this identity crisis of a housewife in their own different ways, deconstructing norms of their own regions. While Swallow is more focused on maternity, abortion, identity, freedom; The great Indian kitchen also touches religious and other cultural sentiments.

While Swallow is cleverly crafted and dealt with metaphors and surreal/psychological elements, TGK is straightforward and loud. TGK doesn’t hesitate from being passed away as over-spoken or being too predictable. TGK only cares about conveying the message and hence it is a mission accomplished. Right from the very first frame, the message and themes are clearly visible and understood in TGK.

The films as whole

While it is an artistic choice on how to make a film, it would have been better if TGK was not predictable. But at the same time, I’m hit with the dilemma that what if that is what they wanted to create? What if Jeo Baby, the maker, intended to bore me with predictability, because that is the entire point of the film. 

The film is nothing but an orthodox family and its housewife’s daily chores. Of course it’s predictable and repetitive. If this predictability was an artistic choice, it was a good thing to do so, because the message about the boredom and jail-ish feel of a housewife life is super conveyed!

But if it was a coincidence, then it was a lucky one. I wasn’t in awe looking at TGK as a film. But was in awe of the guts of the maker and the actor’s flawless acting. But if you ask if I would suggest TGK to others? Definitely I would! I urge all women and especially Indians to watch TGK!

Swallow keeps you hooked on with its interesting plot and character development. And it doesn’t feel like the plot is leading the character towards the shift. But it happens with TGK. Somewhere in the middle I felt like the character development was a bit shallow. It left a lot of doubts about the protagonist. The plot led the character shift in TGK, not how it should have happened. 

 We need more TGKs!

If only there were more details on the protagonist, it would have led the character development go smooth and doesn’t feel forced and projected. But Jeo Baby’s target was arranged marriage, regional cultural norms of marriage and post-married life of a housewife, so he might just have thought the details to be unnecessary. But the details would only have given a sense of completeness in the end.

India needs more movies like TGK. It is only through movies can we really make a cultural reform now. It’s time we understood why arranged marriages won’t work and only cause pain. It is already late to realise that housewives are nothing but housemaids with benefits.

A new costume in my closet

What a moral is more than just an outfit? It is as simple as changing a dress. The randomness of events allow you to justify any reason and make it look right. You can even gain support for your justification if it is done right. Because all justification needs is form. Put it in the right form, you can even write articles justifying Hitler’s horrific acts. That’s how sensitive and easy to manipulate events are. If you can fabricate anything into anything how valid do you think your morals are?

You believe certain things, you stand out for them. You believe it harder and through belief you begin justifying them. You might fail, but you will try. You might be laughed at but you will become more stubborn towards your belief. One fine day, you will have enough words and proper form to place your belief in a logical way. Once you justify your beliefs in the proper form, the form enough attracts support from people with similar minds.

People with different minds begin to think of it as it sounds justified. Now a new perspective occurs. That’s how easy it is to change one’s morals. How funny it is to believe in a particular thing and stand for it? You believe that you are an animal lover, you are against captivating animals in pet stores. Hence you choose not to buy a pet. But times have passed, you had to buy a pet, now you have to fight with your belief that you are an animal lover.

Would you rather give up on your belief and adapt to buying the pet or will you justify yourself still as an animal lover? You can do both. You can tell yourself that you are liberating the animal from captivity. You can still be the hero you believe. Because it is everything about what you believe. Tell someone enough that they are a narcissist, maybe they will become one.

Having any belief can be justified. I’m not trying to say that everything is true, in contrast, nothing is true. I like how Assassin’s Creed uses “Nothing is true, everything is permitted”. Yes, indeed it is true. And it forms a truth paradox if it is true of what is true if nothing is true? Is the statement nothing is true false? If it is false? Is everything true, then again, if everything is true, then the statement becomes true too.

If not ‘everything is true’ and not ‘nothing is true’, then there is just something that is true and something that is not. What is the quantitative measure of truth and how do you judge it? If you judge it by mere feeling, it is irrational and not objective. If you judge it by form, well, as discussed above, everything can be fit into form. So the very notion of true and false belief is an invalid and self contradicting theory constructed psychologically. 

When what you strongly believe and justify becomes true/untrue why do we even bother with such a judgement? Why do we worry constantly about what belief is true and what is not? What does it matter if it isn’t true as long as you can change your beliefs as quickly as you change clothes.

I witnessed a change in my body
I see that I don’t fit in my dress anymore
I go back to my room
I found a new costume in my closet
Just waiting for me to wear it