Vishnu and Shiva temples

This post may add to Aadisht’s contention of Shaivism being superior to Vaishnavism. Earlier this month I’d gone with family to this place called Avani, some 100 km east of Bangalore. The main centre of attraction there was this 10th century Shiva temple that had been built by the Gangas.

As we got off the car, I was pleased to see the signage of the Archaeological Society of India. I’m in general not a big fan of temples. I find them to be overwhelmed with “devotees”, and way too noisy, and more importantly for some reason I’m not allowed to use my camera inside temples. So I was pleased that this being an ASI temple there won’t be any worship in there and so I can take pictures peacefully.

As we entered, though, I saw a number of priestly figures standing around the entrance, and one of them shouted “no photo in temple, no photo in temple” (i was in bermudas and a t-shirt, and wearing a backpack and camera bag so looked foreign types). I just nodded and went on. And then another priest accompanied us, and performed the pooja to the idol.

The temple at Avani is that of Ramalingeshwara, a version of Shiva. Now, the studness with Shiva temples is that the idol is extremely simple. It’s just a penis. And it’s not hard to make, and more importantly it’s hard to break, since it’s monolithic, and usually without any portions that can easily break off. Contrast this with Vishnu temples, where the idols are of actual human figures, with arms and legs and ears and noses and fingers – all made of relatively thin pieces of stone, which makes it easier to break.

So think of yourself as an invader who for some reason wants to defile a temple by destroying its idols. The very nature of idols in a Vishnu temple makes your job simple. All you need is to give one strong hit which will break off a nose or a toe or a finger – not much damage, but enough to defile the temple and render it useless for the purpose of worship. But get to a Shiva temple, and you see one large penis-shaped stone in there, and you realize it’s not worth your patience to try break it down. So you just loot the vaults and go your way.

And hence, due to the nature of the idols in these temples, Shiva temples are more resilient to invasion and natural disaster compared to Vishnu temples. Aadisht, you can be happy.

Arranged Scissors 4 – Dear Cesare

(this is a collection of stuff I want to collectively say to all Cesares out there. Some of these might be based on stuff that has happened to me. Most of this, however, is imaginary. Nevertheless, I suppose I’ll end up saying some of these things sooner rather than later. Rather, I won’t be able to say a number of these things which is why I’m writing them here.

Cesare is a generalized term to refer to the father of the girl that you are seeing/checking-out/blading/marrying. It was collectively invented by Monkee and Kodhi, and alludes to a former AC Milan and Italy manager)

Dear Cesare,

  • You know, we are modern people. Yes, my mother is religious and all that but we think horoscope is a fraud. How do we know you haven’t frauded your daughter’s horoscope? Even if you didn’t, I was born through Caesarian section. What if the time of my birth had been timed to make sure I have a good horoscope? Do you still want it? Do you still think it matters?
  • Your daughter doesn’t look good, but I don’t know how to communicate this to you. Obviously, you won’t like to hear that your daughter is ugly, since that is a comment on the genes that you’ve passed on to her. But given that we’d cleared everything till this round, and are saying “no” now after inspecting the photo, isn’t it clear that we are rejecting based on looks?
  • Maybe next time I’ll ask you for your daughter’s horoscope along with her photo. Fraud it (horoscope) may be, but you think that is a better reason for rejection than looks. So next time I call you up and tell you “jaataka didn’t fit” you know what I’m talking about. Oh, and one more thing – you need to get the timing perfect. Both the horoscope and the photo should be sent together – else I won’t be able to reject based on horoscope
  • Every time I say “no” to your daughter, you ask me why. Why should I give you the reason? What if I had met your daughter in a pub (assume she’s a pubgoing, loose and forward woman) and hit on her for 2 days and then ditched her? Would I have to give reasons then? And you don’t take “not good fit” for an answer. There is a good chance you don’t really understand “fit”.
  • According to you, if I say no, there is something wrong with your daughter. And if she says no, then there is something wrong with me. I suppose you haven’t heard of something called the interaction term right? I suppose you haven’t been taught to add vectors, where there is a cosine term?
  • Yes, your daughter looks decent enough. She is smart enough. She is nice enough. From what I have understood she cooks just well enough. She earns enough. She is flexible enough. I agree with all of these. Excellent Common Minimum Programme, but I’m afraid that’s not what I’m looking for.
  • Of course, for the purposes of symmetry, your daughter can also say no to me without having to explain her stand. I’ll completely respect her decision. Being told “no” without being given reasons is not new to me. It’s happened in different markets.
  • And then you have a problem if I’ve already said “no” to too many women. You think I’m a loose guy, and that I’m in the market only to check out and hit on unsuspecting “hen makkLu”. But isn’t checking out and hitting on the main purpose of this process of finding a partner? Or do you mean that this market is for finding CMPs only, and I need to get out because I’m not looking for one? In any case, it would be good if your daughter were to be suspecting.
  • During the interview, I’m going to ask your daughter if she is a virgin. If you think she is the type that will be scandalized at such questions, you need not shortlist me.
  • Remember that this is the most important decision of my life. And that of your daughter’s life. So please don’t make us hurry up and make an uninformed decision on this. As long as both of us are still interested in each other, you should let us be. It takes time for Interest to move to Desire. Till then, don’t force Action.
  • I understand that you might be scandalized that I’m writing all this on my blog. nODi swamy, naaviruvudu heege (trans: look sir, we are like this wonly). I just hope that you and your daughter don’t really mind this. If you do, then we have a small problem here. Oh and btw, this is one post in what I intend to be a fairly long series on “arranged scissors”. You can find the entire list downstairs.
  • Just one thing – the tone of this post is siginficantly harsher than what I normally talk like. You are validated if you were to un-shortlist me because of the content of this post. But you are not doing the right thing if you were to un-shortlist me based on the tone. My apologies for that.
  • I hope that some day I’ll be able to call up Radio Indigo and dedicate a song to you. The song is by Iron Maiden. It is called Bring your daughter to the slaughter.

Thanks and regards,
SKimpy

(yes, that is my name. And if you came here looking for Karthik S’s┬áblog, I assure you that you have come to the right place)

Earlier:

Arranged Scissors 1 – The Common Minimum Programme

Arranged Scissors 2

Arranged Scissors 3 – Due Diligence

Tenure Matching

One of the fundamental concepts of finance is to match the tenure of assets and liabilities. That the tenure of source of funds (equity, debt, etc.) need to match the tenure of what they are used for. So, if you need money to tide over till your next payday, you need to take an extremely short-term loan. If you need to borrrow to fund a house – an application that has a long tenure – you need to take a longer-term loan. And so on.

In fact, a common refrain about banking crises is that they happen mainly due to the tenure mismatch – banks borrow by means of short-term deposits, and then invest these in long-term loans. Most theories regarding liquidity crises cite this as a common problem.

Now, my contention is that this banking/finance rule is just a special case of a much larger rule in life. Remember that funding, or raising money, can be looked at as a “problem”. By classifying it as a problem, I’m not necessarily saying it’s a very tough problem. All I’m saying is that it’s a problem. And when you do raise money, it is a solution to the problem. Thus, the generalized form of the rule

The tenure of the solution needs to match the tenure of the problem.

So before you look for a solution for any problem in life, you need to first figure out about the tenure of the problem. And then generate a list of possible solutions which have similar tenures, and then pick the best among them. And based on my limited anecdotal experience, most people don’t really appreciate this concept when they suggest, and sometimes even implement, certain solutions.

So on Monday I called up a friend and told her that I was going through a strong bout of NED and we should meet up. She started philosophising and said that this is a fundamental problem and that I should think of a fundamental solution. That I should get a new hobby, or learn a new instrument, or some such long-term thing. Of course, I know myself better than she does, and so I knew that my problem was short-term, and so all I needed was a nice evening out. A short term solution to a short term problem.

On the other hand, during my previous job, I used to go through prolonged periods of NED. A little analysis revealed that the fundamental reason for this NED was my job, and that until I got a new one, I wouldn’t be happy. It was a long-term problem that deserved a long-term solution – of finding another job. However, most of the advice I got for my NED was of the nature of “go get drunk, you will be fine”.

My mother also doesn’t seem to appreciate this tenure concept. Nowadays I’m afraid to crib to her about anything, because if I crib, she assumes it’s a long-term problem and suggests that I should get married and that she’ll intensify her efforts in the arranged-marriage market.

Yes – people not appreciating this tenure concept is a long-term problem. The solution to this should also, thus, be long-term. They need to be taught such a lesson regarding this, that they won’t forget this concept for the rest of their lives.