I gaze directly into her pinched face. “Miss Bartlett, why do you think you have so much trouble learning Bengali? You grew up here. It should be easy for you to speak the local language.”
We sit in silence as the gharry sways towards our destination.
“It’s too confusing. And the girls I teach know English.”
“Do you think students should speak your language, but you don’t need to know theirs?”
“That’s not what I meant. I just meant it’s difficult for me. I always spoke English at home and school. My father didn’t allow us to speak Bengali or mingle with local people.”
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