Actress Zaira Wasim has made a rather controversial departure from Bollywood. In a lengthy social-media post on Sunday, Zaira, while announcing her decision to quit acting said, “Five years ago, I made a decision that changed my life forever. As I stepped my foot in Bollywood, it opened doors of massive popularity for me. I started to become the prime candidate of public attention, I was projected as the gospel of the idea of success and was often identified as a role model for the youth. However, that’s never something that I set out to do or become, especially with regards to my ideas of success and failure, which I had just started to explore and understand.”
In the post, she goes on to hold Bollywood and the entertainment world responsible for leading her on the illusory, self-destructive path away from her religious beliefs.
The ‘resignation letter’ has evoked mixed responses from the film fraternity.
“She is obviously a confused kid who couldn’t handle all the stardom that came her way at such a young age. Being part of a conservative Kashmiri Muslim family, she was constantly under scrutiny and criticism, all of which took a toll on her self-esteem,” says an actor who worked with Zaira.
Zaira’s co-star compares her predicament to that of Jack Gleeson, who played King Joffery in Game of Thrones. The young actor had quit acting after his character was killed off in the series. He admitted to being damagingly affected by the demands of show business at such a young age.
Zaira began her short-lived, three-year, three-movie career in Bollywood as Aamir Khan’s spirited daughter in Dangal. The role fetched her immense popularity and recognition. A year later, she was back with Aamir Khan in Secret Superstar. However, with the bouquets came the brickbats, especially from conservative Kashmiri community. In 2016, she was savagely trolled for being ‘un-Islamic’ in her choice of career. In 2017, the-then minister of Sports Vijay Goel posted a picture of Zaira, complimenting her for breaking free of a patriarchal system. Zaira had responded by asking the minister to refrain from using her example.
Zaira has now decided to quit after completing her third film The Sky Is Pink, which is directed by Shonali Bose. She enacts the real-life casualty of pulmonary fibrosis Aisha Choudhary.
A statement following her decision to quit from the team of The Sky Is Pink says, “Zaira is an exceptional artiste and we are lucky to have had her play Aisha Chaudhury in our film. This is a purely personal decision, which she has taken after much thought and we will be supportive of her in every way.”...