Partly Facetious: Difference between words ‘imitate’ and ‘immolate’


—Business Recorder

“Hmm, I reckon he is trying to imitate Putin, the Russian strongman.”

“I disagree – if he or any member of his family was then they wouldn’t be submitting their reservations against two members of the Joint Investigation Team to the court – one for being a Musharraf acolyte and the other a PTI supporter – a Musharraf acolyte who is perhaps the only one left, other than a handful who no other party would like to induct in their ranks and I don’t mean Zahid Hamid, or Marvi Memon or Danyal Aziz or…”

“Don’t be facetious, but you know I wasn’t referring to Mian sahib when I said he was trying to imitate Putin…”

“Did you use the word imitate or immolate?”

“Hmmm, I see where you are going with this – words that to an untrained Subcontinent ear may sound similar yet are so different – one seeks to copy while the other to kill…”

“Right, and you and I both know that the Sharif family does not imitate, it may threaten to immolate but what with this dratted democracy and institutional checks and balances some of which are not democratic are no longer an option for true enemies – though it remains a potent threat to loyalists.”

“Don’t be facetious; anyway as I said I wasn’t referring to Mian sahib when I mentioned Putin.”

“You can’t be referring to any other party leader…they simply don’t have the range of powers enjoyed by Putin and…”

“Does Mian sahib? I mean…”

“It’s all about comparability – Putin’s pervasive powers, Mian sahib’s less than pervasive powers with him pushing the boundaries, not of the constitution, but the ground realities – if there is a push back then his reaction is different to when there isn’t and so the cookie crumbles.”

“Right, but the one who I was referring to whose actions reminded me of Putin is the Man Who Shall Remain Nameless in cricket whatever shenanigans he may employ – remember Putin was the man with the real power then he appointed Toothless in Moscow (with the Man Who Shall Remain Nameless appointing Toothless in Lahore) to be his front man and then he became the power himself again…”

“Ah, but I thought Putin is also being held responsible for the Trump electoral victory?”

“Ha ha, how very unsubtle of you!”