De omnibus dubitandum

2 minute read

‘Why?' and ‘why not?' are one of the smallest sentences that stem the world of invention. Inventions happen either by luck, by chance or by the inquisitiveness.

Little John has observed his mom clamping the clothes, after washing them, on a rod for drying. Clothes without a clamp, will fall down and get dirty. Anything without a base tends to move as much downwards as it is possible. At an age of eight, he fails to understand why is it so? He questions himself, tries to answer this perplexing question - but fails. He accepts it as a matter of fact till he sees a miniature of globe on his dad's desk.

John knows that the earth is orange shaped. Some continents that are on the top side of the globe and few at the bottom side. He observes the Pacific Ocean - the Ocean that faces downwards. Wonder! Why does not the water of The Pacific fall down and create a void on the globe?

If water from clothes (kept for drying) falls down, and if the clothes too fall down without a clamp, why is it not the same with the water of The Pacific?


De omnibus dubitandum. De omnibus dubitandum, a Latin phrase that means "Question every fact", is what drives invention. Had John been at the time of Newton, he would have discovered The Universal Law of Gravitation. It does not require to be a Newton or an Einstein to carve an invention. All it requires is a pump inside the brain-dump to ask yourself "Why?" or "Why not?" whenever you find yourself doing a routine work.

Just like other students (to remain ahead in the rat race), going into an IIT (a premier tech-school in India) soon entered my wish list. As a child, I was not sure - why I wanted to go to IIT. All I knew was, that people say it should be a dream and one who graduates from IIT is valued much more than any other non-IIT graduate. And yes, unlike John, I accepted this bold statement. An unconvinced mind could hardly put in efforts to reach to a destination - and so was the case with me. I could not crack the IIT entrance examination.

How could I get through the test when there was no home work done (by me)? Rubbish. A quick analysis with my dad make me think - ‘Why IIT?' IIT- because people say, because its premier institute in nation, because ..., etc. But the question ‘Why not IIT?' - because I could not crack the test. No! I found a more logical reason behind it. Why not IIT - because I dint have an inclination towards it. But does that mean incomplete/improper education? Again, no. A challenge to pace up myself to the level of IITians fired in my mind and tireless days/nights followed thereafter.

So a three letter word ‘why', though appears to be very small in front of the pool of words in the Oxford/Cambridge dictionary, has lot of value and inventions attached to it.

Question why, think big, be different!