The time was 2011. Our family along with two of my uncles’ went to Barisal. There were 13 of us including our parents. We were 7 cousins: Maiyan, Mim, Tonni, Mahin, Topu, Tapshiya and I. Tapshiya was the youngest among us. She was 7 years old. We all loved her so much. It seemed to all of us that the trip was going to be very rewarding. Everyone was very happy to think that we would board the launch.
We got on the launch on 16 September. We took three cabins. Our mothers cooked and carried so much food. When we got on the launch, my father was repeatedly urging us not to go near the railing. We too were very scared at first. Slowly the evening came down; there seemed to be a very beautiful landscape in the middle of the river—the sun was setting. We took a lot of beautiful pictures. As night fell,the sky began to darken. We all had an early dinner and went to bed.
It was 3 o’clock at night when Tapshiya woke up and left her father’s lap. As she walked around herself, she touched the railing and climbed to the roof. The whole roof had got wet and slippery in the night rain. Everyone on the launch was then in a deep sleep. A piece of red cloth was hanging on the railing of the roof. It drew Tapshiya’s attention. She wanted to grab it.
In the meantime, everyone woke up. They were looking for Tapshiya everywhere and finally reached the rooftop. By the time they located her, Tapshiya moved forward, extended her hands to grab the piece of red cloth and slipped off the roof. Like a star falling off the sky, my sister dropped and sank into the dark river—silently, leaving an echoing sound of splash in the ears. At once my father jumped into water but couldn’t bring her back. We couldn’t save Tapshiya.