cuckoo sitting on a bare tree, looked listless. It had lost its voice, she thought like she had
lost hers as they thought. Or is it—the cuckoo couldn’t recall the lyrics, being tricked by
the treacherous play of memory?
Once, it happened to her. Years ago, in a cultural program at school, she and her
friend sang a popular song of Abba: Chiquitita, tell me what’s wrong…
It was all perfect till they came to the last stanza. One line was missing.
They stumbled over the misplaced line, broke the melody. They stopped. Everyone stared at
them. Her friend, too ashamed; left the hall, sobbing.
She didn’t leave. She stood there, transfixed. Her memory frantically searching the missing line. She had to remember. Fast. Or else she would lose face!
After almost a decade, she could hear the song, its flawed lines, broken tune. The
cuckoo became the singer. She was amazed. It got back its voice. Don’t lose your voice
again! Losing voice is worse than losing mind! Or is it—when you lose voice, you start
Here, in this psychiatric ward, she felt happy and safe. She looked again at the
diary, with a bird in its cover. She couldn’t remember whether it’s the bird or she that had
lost words? Who was it?
Marzia Rahman has an MA in English Literature from the University of Dhaka. She is a freelance writer. Her articles, translation, book reviews and short stories have been published in The Daily Star, The Independent, Dhaka Tribune. Her article Bringing Light into Darkness published in 2008 has won her CSF Journalist Fellowship Award for best report. She is also a member of Dhaka Translation Centre. Currently she is working on a novel. In addition to writing, her interest includes painting.