The Kashmir born Dangal fame actor Zaira Wasim in a surprise move announced her decision to quit Bollywood as continuing in the films was “threatening her relationship with religion”. In a detailed post on her Facebook page, Zaira said she realised “though I may fit here perfectly, I do not belong here”
She rose to fame with her debut in Aamir Khan’s film Dangal in 2016. For her spectacular and perfect performance, she won a number of awards including a Filmfare Award and a National Film Award–National Child Award for Exceptional Achievement by Ram Nath Kovind in 2017. The child actress again proved her acting skills when she took up the lead role in Secret Superstar.
She took her friends and followers by surprise when she announced her “disassociation” from film acting, saying she was not happy with the line of work as it interfered with her faith and religion.
It is worth mentioning that she was trolled by fundamentalists when she joined Bollywood. However, the then chief minister Mehbooba Mufti had appreciated her achievement. Zaira said she realised “though I may fit here perfectly, I do not belong here”. “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,” she said in the post.
The 18-year-old actor said as she completed five years in the profession, she wanted to “confess that I am not truly happy with this identity i.e my line of work”. “For a very long time now, it has felt like I have struggled to become someone else. As I had just started to explore and make sense of the things to which I dedicated my time, efforts and emotions and tried to grab hold of a new lifestyle, it was only for me to realise that though I may fit here perfectly, I do not belong here.
“This field indeed brought a lot of love, support, and applause my way, but what it also did was to lead me to a path of ignorance, as I silently and unconsciously transitioned out of ‘imaan’ (faith). While I continued to work in an environment that consistently interfered with my ‘imaan’, my relationship with my religion was threatened,” she said.
Wasim said as she continued to “ignorantly pass through” while trying to convince herself that what she was doing was okay and was not really affecting her, “I lost all the ‘Barakah’ (blessing) from my life”.
“I was constantly battling with my soul to reconcile my thoughts and instincts to fix a static picture of my ‘imaan’ and I failed miserably, not just once but a hundred times…”
Talking about her life as an actor, she said she continued to observe things and twist her perceptions as she wanted them to be, without really understanding that the key was to see them as they were. “In the great and divine wisdom of the Quran, I found sufficiency and peace. Indeed the hearts find peace when it acquires the knowledge of Its Creator, His Attributes, His Mercy and His commandments,” she added.
Zaira said she began to heavily rely upon Allah’s mercy for help and guidance instead of valuing her own believability. “I kept trying to escape but somehow I always ended up hitting a dead end, in an endless loop with a missing element that kept torturing me with a longing I was neither able to make sense of nor satisfy. Until I decided to confront my weakness and began to strive and correct my lack of knowledge and understanding by attaching my heart with the words of Allah. In the great and divine wisdom of the Quran, I found sufficiency and peace”.
“I discovered my lack of knowledge of the basic fundamentals of my religion and how my inability to reinforce a change earlier was a result of confusing my heart’s contentment and well being with strengthening and satisfying my own (shallow and worldly) desires,” she said and questioned the deepest sources of her ideas of success, meaning and the purpose of her life.
About announcing the decision on social media, the actor said she was openly doing so not to paint a holier picture of herself, but “this is the least I can do to start afresh”. “This journey has been exhausting, to battle my soul for so long. Life is too short yet too long to be at war with oneself. Therefore, today I arrive at this well-grounded decision and I officially declare my disassociation with this field”.