June 23, 2010
In comments, BJ says that he has a fair idea of why I think TamBrahm weddings are like ERP implementations, and asks me to confirm his suspicions with a post on this. I don’t know if he is zinking what I am zinking, but here goes.
As someone who had only seen Arya Samaji weddings (and also one sardar wedding) up until the age of 21, I was utterly flabbergasted the first time I saw a TamBrahm wedding. The whole point of Arya Samaj was that if you were going to involve yourself with religion, you should bloody well understand what you’re getting into. So if you don’t speak Sanskrit, the priest must translate everything, and give a proper explanation while he’s doing so.
In contrast, at TamBrahm weddings (and any religious ceremony for that matter – we did a bhoomi poojan at the Kanchipuram factory with local priests), the involvement of the concerned parties is minimal. They just sit around while the priests chant stuff they don’t understand.
This makes TamBrahm weddings very much like the common, or garden-variety ERP implementation. The ERP consultants are parallel to the priests. Because nobody can understand them, you have to take their word for it that they’re experts and know what’s going on. Then, there is a long and painful period in which the priests/ ERP consultants do lots of stuff that looks impressive, but nobody actually knows if it’s accomplishing anything. Finally, they collect their fees, and leave the company/ happy couple to sort things out on their own.
Extending the analogy, Punjabi Arya Samaji weddings are like installing Windows. You’re given the opportunity to read the whole end-user license agreement and cancel if you’re not happy with it. But everyone is so excited about the bling and cool new features that they skip reading it, or just nod along to whatever the shastri says and install it. After the honeymoon period, you suddenly realise that this thing is taking up far more resources than you’d anticipated.
North Indian Sanatan Dharmi weddings are like the Apple App Store. Everything looks incredibly cool and blingy, but the license agreement is completely opaque and nobody has any clue what they’re getting into.
Living in is like installing and running Linux without a GUI and only with a console. And that too by compiling the source with gcc and not from some cool Ubuntu disc or Red Hat Package manager. It seems hardcore and revolutionary, but when you get down to the specifics, is really just a lot of housework without any bling.
The analogy has now gone far enough. That’s it for the post.
6 Comments | Arbit Fundaes, Business, Religion, Technology | Tagged: arya samaj, consultant, erp, gcc, license agreement, marriage, our glorious culture, rapid prototyping, red hat package manager, sanatan dharam, tambrahm, transparency, wedding | Permalink
Posted by Aadisht
July 30, 2009
My mom was doing her grocery shopping and ran into an old acquaintance who normally wouldn’t talk more than a “kem chho” (how are you) but this time was very excited to share the good news of her daughter’s marriage to a “NRI chokro” (Non resident Indian bridegroom). After my mom congratulated her, she started questioning my mom about me. When my mom told her about my single status, she expressed shock and anguish almost as if she heard that I was diagnosed with swine flu or something much worse. My mom, by now a pro at this, told her that she doesn’t view it as a problem and that marriage will happen if and when it has to. But you see; to most Indian mothers, getting their daughters married off is like a B-school placement – so if you don’t get placed in slot 0 or slot 1, there has to be something terribly wrong with you. My only problem with this thinking is while you can get companies to come on campus according to slots, you don’t necessarily meet the right men early on; i.e. slot 0 or slot 1.
If one believes in the “six degrees of separation” theory, then the right person for each one should not be more than 6 degrees away – i.e. your friend’s friend’s friend’s friend’s friend could be the right one for you. But in reality meeting that right person may take ages. And what if you marry the person you think is right and then meet the right person – ouch, absolute disaster! In most parts of the world, you marry IF and WHEN you want to marry and if things don’t work out, you go your separate ways. But in India, you are almost pressurized to marry because your parents or extended family wants you to marry. If you are among the lucky ones like me, wherein your parents have left it to you when you want to marry, it still doesn’t signal the end of problems – because there is an entire army of people there right from that old family friend to the relative of your neighbor to the sister in law of your aunt who have all taken it up on themselves to find you the right person!
Things can get so irritating that after a point one may stop attending marriages of cousins, social functions to avoid the inevitable question – “beta, lagan kyare karavane che?”(When will you get married?) A simpler solution would probably be to smile and say “time che” (there is still time for that) but then you run the risk of being viewed as too western, too modern, too rebellious, etc, etc. While I get away with all this not even being present at most such occasions, it’s my mom who charmingly fields all this questions – so sweet of her.
While it is still understandable to expect the older generation to think in a certain way, what surprises me is that some of my girl friends after getting married started assuming some kind of superiority over me because of their marital status. While one is tempted to laugh at such idiocy, a single friend recently captured this very well when she said “all my friends who are in relationships or marriage have problems while I get to enjoy my life on my own terms, in fact I feel they are jealous of my single status” – well, the grass is always greener on the other side. My only contention here is it’s unfair to judge people based on their marital status and to believe that it’s customary to be married by a certain age or else it’s an aberration. Its time we let people be!
So while we send the Chandrayaan to the moon, make the maximum number of movies in the world, excel in software; I still wait for the day when we are able to break free of the stereotypes of marriage and age to get married at!!
Leave a Comment » | Uncategorized | Tagged: Indian mentality, marriage, Single Indian girl | Permalink
Posted by Aadisht
August 13, 2008
Via India Uncut, I discover that Pavan K Varma has been committing blasphemy:
Indians’ faith in marriage reflects their faith in values, said Varma. “Marriage is an institution which is there to stay in any society. India needs to stand by the values. There is something called sanskar (values) and it is still alive in India though it may have been lost in the metropolises. All gods, at least in Hindu mythology, have consorts. Marriage is an ingrained concept in Indian philosophy,” he said.
I am appalled that this Macaulay-putra has insulted the religious sentiments of millions of Hindus. Has he forgotten all about Hanuman? Worse yet, is he trying to suggest that Hanuman is not a god?
Hanuman was the living embodiment of the power of Ram-Nam. He was an ideal selfless worker, a true Karma Yogi who worked desirelessly. He was a great devotee and an exceptional Brahmachari or celibate.
Hanuman possessed devotion, knowledge, spirit of selfless service, power of celibacy, and desirelessness. He never boasted of his bravery and intelligence.
And what about Ayyappa? Does his celibacy count for nothing either?
Manikanthan was in a fix, as he had no desire to get married, being a celibate by instinct, choice and desire. (Celibacy is supposed to grant tremendous power, both physical and spiritual). Yet the young lady had a valid point.
He struck a deal with her. A temple of his would come up soon where people would come to worship. Their pilgrimage would not be considered complete unless they also worshipped at a shrine to her. All his devotees would grant her the status and respect of a wife. If there ever was a year when a new devotee did not come to the temple at the Sabarimala hills, he would give up his vow of brahamcharya and marry her. She is going to have a long wait as the list of pilgrims only grows ever more unmanageable each year.
Since the god is both a renouncer as well as a celibate, women in the menstrual years are not allowed into the temple. This is a traditional courtesy given to a swami, and does not represent any bias or prejudice against women.
It is only in today’s pseudo-secular environment that Pavan K Varma can get away with insulting the basic aspects of Hindu mythology. Would he ever dare to insult Muslim or Christian religious figures in this way? Fortunately Hindus have the law on their side and can file a Section 295A case against him.
Leave a Comment » | Arbit Fundaes, Society | Tagged: ayyappa, ayyappan, bachelor, bhramacharya, celibacy, colonialised minds, colonialism, competitive intolerance, consort, hamunan, hindu, hinduism, macaulayputra, manikanthan, marriage, pavan k varma, pseduo-secular, sabarimala, section 295a | Permalink
Posted by Aadisht