Shorts

So I’ve been trying to overcome my self-imposed taboos on online shopping, and trying to buy things online, especially brands and sizes that I already know and items that offline shops don’t stock much of.

As the title of this post might suggest to you I’m trying to buy shorts. I’ve had to decommission several pairs over the last couple of years for a number of reasons – some became too loose, some too tight, others wore out, more are fading away. And the lack of inventory of shorts in my wardrobe means that I end up wearing this one red pair pretty much everywhere.

While the beauty of online shopping is supposed to be that you get massive variety, and the long tail can get served, the problem is that the way sites are designed makes it hard to discover them. Here are two images, one each from Amazon and Jabong.

So I have two basic problems with the shorts that are available for sale online, based on these two sites.

  1. Too long: Check out the Jabong picture here. First of all, Jabong groups shorts and “3/4ths” (when did those abominations even become a thing) in the same category. But they are nice and allow you to specify length. I said “thigh length” and this is what they show me:
    Screen Shot 2015-10-27 at 6.25.31 AM
    I mean, shorts by definition are supposed to be short right? I grew up in an era when Pete Sampras was bossing Wimbledon and shorts of this length were classified as “bermudas”. If you look at the image above, save a couple of “sports shorts” (it’s sad that Jabong doesn’t even allow me to filter those out, since I’m not looking for them), they’re all knee length! Which is too long for a pair of shorts!
  2. Too narrow: Jabong refuses to admit that there is something called “relaxed fit” (even for cargos). Amazon has no fit filters for shorts. And the shorts all look like they’re just truncated pants rather than shorts. The difference between shorts and pants (apart from the extent of leg they cover of course) is that while the latter are narrow, shorts are more relaxed, and shouldn’t stick to your leg! And this is what Amazon shows me (while Amazon has a separate sportswear section, it continues to show sports shorts along with the regular shorts. They even showed boxers. There is no option to specify I want the button-zip-belt kind of “casual wear” shorts):

Screen Shot 2015-10-27 at 6.36.03 AM

All of them are way too narrow! Of the radius where they get stuck to the thigh when you sit down leaving you with the potential embarrassment of pulling them down when you get up.

I had ranted during an earlier attempt to buy online about the difficulty of sorting through inventories┬áso I won’t go into that here.

All I have to say here is that it seems like “shorts” don’t mean what they used to, and I’m extremely unhappy about it.

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.