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R.I.P The Oppressed Banana Tree

Tristan Egarr



The rich can, alas, get away with murder. And when their victim is a helpless banana tree, rooted in too-solid soil that shackles him to his mistress and executioner, the rich may play with his life and emotions like a toy to their kittenish claws. For Aishwarya Rai has married a banana tree, and this tree is DOOMED.

Aishwarya Rai, she of the eyebrows arched all the way to the heavens, wafts through Bollywood with an preening air of vacant dismissal. Rai, the modern, feistily bookfiendish Lizzy Becket of Bride and Prejudice who somehow manages to fall for the insipid farce of a Darcy that is Martin Henderson. She wanted to marry the legendary Amitabh Bachchan’s young son Abhishek – but, alas, her Mars and Saturn are in the seventh house. She is therefore a manglik dosh.
According to the Hindustan Times, certain strains of Hindu teaching reveal that the manglik dosh are astrologically cursed to suffer trouble in their marriages – infidelity, a never-ending spat with the mother-in-law, sickness and hot-headedness, divorce or even the premature death of a husband are the fated lot of the manglik dosh. The solution?
To first marry a tree or urn, then pre-empt the curse by becoming a widow, and finally marrying their true love once the curse has dissipated. And this is where the banana tree comes in: in order to ensure that their daughter-in-law is not a she-devil, using her curse to claw through their son’s tender body and stacks of gold, the Bachchan family have been attending cleansing ceremonies with Aishwarya, including one in Bangalore during which she was betrothed to a banana tree with absolutely no consideration for the tree’s feelings on the matter.
And so the sinister toll of the black widow calls to the tree… ominously, she has already felt the curse lift and gone on to marry Abhishek, while the fate of the poor banana tree has been withheld. Which goes to show that even when the rich are getting away with murder in order to escape the supposedly God-given fate which poor banana trees are obliged to accept, the mainstream press (being as awfully unhip as it is) does not even challenge the sinister silences.
Now, I hear what you are thinking, dear reader. Since, as we all know, astrology was banged together by a bunch of early Hellenic and Brahmanic mystics according to a geocentric view of the solar system in which the planets revolved around the Earth through various ‘houses’ of stars, how could a modern, enlightened women such as Rai use it to justify such callous acts against a banana tree? I am afraid I do not know.
Perhaps it is because India, with its dozen-odd television channels devoted to astrology, takes the whole thing kinda seriously – not as seriously as Myanmar, which moved its capital city into the jungle a couple of years ago because of what the stars said, but still… Anyhu, since Bachchan’s family is universally loved, and Rai is often scorned by the Bollywood press for being a 33-year-old spinster with (gasp!) former involvement with men, she is just trying to stop the public from telling her fiancé that their marriage will be a curse.
Well, many have balked at her cruelty – lawyer Shruti Singh has filed a suit against the couple’s families, saying such ceremonies are in violation of the Indian Constitution and offensive to women because they derive from the caste system. But even those who oppose the marriage on legal principles have ignored the fact that a tree is one of mother earth’s creatures, just as deserving of life, liberty, and the right to vote as any man or woman, and just as deserving of a legal minimum wage for its hard work growing bananas.
I do not want to have the sad duty of writing an obituary for this tree once its inevitable felling is announced; rather, I shall endeavour to save it, yea.
I hereby call upon all those who accept the sentience of the Tree and the universal power of the Union of United Socialist Flora to take a stand against the oppressive space lords of Bollywood. Do not let them corrupt you with their damn catchy dance numbers, rather, fear! Demand that the archaic practice of marrying and murdering inanimate shit is consigned to deep the red massacre that is the people’s flag! And if they refuse, we shall defeat them with the powerful sobbing of our lentil tears. Then we shall go knit some group organic pottery until we feel better. For a banana tree may not be allowed to suffer, no matter how gorgeously Aish wafts. Ladies and gentlemen, I rest my case.