September 23, 2023


Connecting Asian writers with global readers

Short Story: Toxicity by Tanzia Tasnim Usha

1 min read
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Photo by Luis Dalvan on

Tanzia Tasnim Usha weaves a poignant tale around themes like mental health, emotional abuse, toxicity and parental pressure.

“You know they are your family. They want to look after you.”

“You should not make such a big deal out of the situation.”

“If one person is yelling, then try to be the bigger person and be quiet.”

“Usually, people who hurt you the most are hurting inside.”

“Why do you talk about this? You have no idea what it does to me when I hear you nag about the same thing.”

“This is Bangladesh. Do not bring western culture here. Families stick together no matter what.”

Saira has heard all of these before and she knows what will be the outcome if she tries to explain again. She has been trying for so long that now, all she can do is stay quiet in her room. Every time her abuse goes unnoticed, the incidents are thrown away as if they are being stretched by her, or worse, she is trying to get attention. Most of the time, she is lectured about the moral values of family and how to be accepting of those members who hurt her. Apparently, this is the way of Bangladeshi men and women- to be tolerant, to be wise, and also to keep quiet to help nurture family’s peace. 

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