“The pen moves fast, then sometimes slow. One can tell,” she said.
Her speech was almost inaudible, and she spoke very slowly.
Her words, like a damaged cassette in the tape recorder. This angered me, but I continued to let her speak.
“You do not need to know the language, Saheb, to figure out if the writer of words is angry, sad, or happy.”
“Good,” I said. “You are illiterate.”
She could not read and write and this made me happy. Her face was intelligent, but she could not read from left to right or right to left and this made me happy. She had no access to Kischen’s intimate thoughts. But as I was walking back to the General’s kitchen I felt sad that so many people in the land of our enemy cannot even read and write. I felt pity for her. She was a smart woman but she really was leading the life of a donkey.” (133)