chef by jaspreet singh

“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)

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One thought on “chef by jaspreet singh

  1. “Not far from me, a little girl is sitting on the aisle seat. A peach glows in her hand. Moments ago she asked her mother, What do we miss the most when we die? And I almost responded. But her mother put a thick finger on her lips: Shh, children should not talk about death, and she looked at me from a brief second, apologetically. Food, I almost said to the girl. We miss peaches, strawberries, delicacies like Sandhurst curry, kebab pasanda and rogan josh. The dead do not eat marzipan. The smell of bakeries torments them day and night.” (9)

    “Did I mutter something on love? I have wasted the years of my life being too much in love. Love that was not even returned. Love for the wrong person or thing. Love is a dish that is either overcooked or undercooked. Love never tastes right. Love smells like the inside of a garbage bag. Love has the odor of decay. Throw it away.” (219)

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