Partly Facetious: Looking at the glass as half full


Writer: Anjum Ibrahim

“See there is something in the translation that reflects the character of the translator.”

“You know your statements are getting more and more cryptic and if you think they are profound then you have another thing coming.”

“Well, let me give you an example – in Urdu there is a verb, one word, for having something done by another, examples would be karwana (to have something done by another), marwana (to have someone killed by another), jalwana (to have someone burnt by another…”

“You always look at the glass as half full – there are some more neutral examples as well for example samjhana (to make someone understand), khilwana (to have someone play), manana…”

“Could you back off the First Family for Pete’s sake.”

“What did I say?”

“You said Panama…”

“No silly, I said manana…”

“Have you shifted your guns towards Rehman Malik and his referring to apples as bananas and…”

“No silly, I said manana, an Urdu word which means to appease someone angry at you…”

“Oh yes, sorry – I was misled by the similarities and…”

“And that my friend is true for our leaders, they do have similarities – even the Khan with respect to the Sharifs and the MQM in terms of launching protests for example…”

“You left out the Zardaris.”

“Haven’t seen them launching protests yet, except in the province they rule…”

“Oh right, but what I wanted to say was that while there are similarities within the country there aren’t that many with politicians abroad and this is evident not only from our very language but also parables like in Pakistan the story is of the little boy who cried sher (lion) while in English it’s the little boy who cried wolf.”

“Hmmm, so you reckon wolf can checkmate a lion?”

“Only if you rely heavily on wolf droppings – and yes I am referring to foreign aid.”

“Oh dear, dear me.”

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