'Jackfruit or banana?'

'Jackfruit or banana?'

The discussion on the park bench that evening was about jack fruits and bananas.   ‘Which is better? Jackfruit or banana?’

“It is jack fruit, “Siva said with conviction. “ Look at its size, portly but majestic   when opened, yielding tiers of smooth yellow, tasty, pods enough for the whole family for days.

Do bananas have such august appearance? Critics may uncharitably assert that a jackfruit is prickly, looking like a porcupine. Rubbish. Look at a banana.

Small, that too curved, looking like a servile party worker bending before his political leader.  Furthermore, bananas may prove to be dangerous.

It is customary-rather a ritual-for a banana eater to throw the peeled skin carelessly, making people who happen to tread on that slippery skin skid and have their hands or legs in POP for weeks.

On a literary plane, what is banana’s star contribution to the idioms of English? The derogatory one: ‘to go bananas’. Compare it with ‘jack of all trades’.

How complimentary! Haven’t you all tasted   chakkai pradhaman, Kerala’s payasam, fit for gods? Can you put it together without a jack fruit?”

Banana votary Ram cleared his throat. “Listen! A fruit must be easy to eat. Take a banana. You can remove the skin with a swift movement of   the wrist as if working down a zip.

And the tasty fruit is ready in all its glory to delight you. Is the jack fruit that user-friendly? No. That monster of a fruit has to be cracked.

Operation jack fruit requires a  sharp, thick  knife, a  cup of gingili  oil,  first aid kit and oodles of patience, besides technical expertise.

Furthermore, if not careful you may have to spend packets of detergents to remove the stains from the clothes. 

A banana is hygienic, with an easily removable insulation. An ape can do it.  But the culled jack pods if not protected will invite a swarm of the ghastly flies.

The plebian banana aids digestion--ready to move the bowels with ease.

On the contrary, a jack fruit indulgence may compel   frequent trips to the smallest room in the residence. Huh!”

We turned to Sammy for his cryptic comments: “Agreed. But Jack fruit symbolises hard work. Banana the opposite. Pleasure lies in enjoying the fruits of labour after strenuous work.   Besides, as a man who values national prosperity  I  dislike a  banana because of its  contemptuous  collocation with republic! Period.”

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