Zaira Wasim
Zaira Wasim Image Credit: Reuters

Get off her case. While the world rages about Zaira Wasim’s decision to quit show business, we are forgetting to ask ourselves this: Why did she feel the need to justify her decision so publicly?

That the 18-year-old ‘Dangal’ and ‘Secret Superstar’ actress is talented is not in question; in fact, opposition to her career choice is crowding the internet. But why should anyone – except perhaps her guidance counselor - be able to weigh in on what a teenager wants to do? As a 13-year-old - that's when she landed her first acting gig - what did YOU want to do with your life? Did you want to be an astronaut, a doctor, a star? Most kids romanticise their future. But when they divert from that chosen path and conform to a well-worn one, it is shrugged offf and called ‘growing up’. Just because Wasim landed her then-dream job, why should her ambitions not change? Why should not her career path?

In zig-zag waves we grow, the assumption here is that the learning must be linear.

What is disturbing is her decision to not simply fall off the radar. Try radio silence…you know, just get on with life.

First, there was the whole plane business, where she accused a man of molesting her on flight – a claim denied by the man and his wife. Whether the charges hold true or false, the question remains: Why post a teary video about it? Was it for publicity? Did she feel the need to shame the man or society at large in public, or is it simply a case of the irate millennial? (If a social media post doesn’t go up about it, has it even happened?)

There are likes and follows and unfollows – this is how media companies take stock of the state of enmities in Tinsel town. The Kardashians, whose public rows on Instagram and other media are well documented, are famous for it. But so is the family, for reality television.

So what does it say about us, as society as a whole, that an 18-year-old whose ambitions take a different route feels the need to explain herself on a public platform? And what does it say about her fans, who, shocked by the post, chorused that her account had been hacked – this isn’t true, by the way, she posted again to let us know.

Perhaps veteran actor Anupam Kher is right – she has been forced into retirement.

Maybe she’s being honest and she hasn’t. She could change her stance somewhere down the road and become the comeback kid, or a happy adult doing something else she loves. The common denominator is HER. Who is anyone else to say what’s right or wrong about the choice? Get off her case.

It’s time to let Zaira Wasim grow up. It’s time to let her move on.

It’s time to let Zaira Wasim grow up. It’s time to let her move on.

What's the fuss about?

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New Delhi: Actress Zaira Wasim during "Behtar India award ceremony" in New Delhi, on Dec 5, 2017. (Photo: IANS) Image Credit: IANS

Zaira Wasim, the Kashmiri girl who became famous overnight after her superb debut in Aamir Khan's Bollywood blockbuster 'Dangal' on Sunday said she has decided to say goodbye to her film career as "relationship with my religion threatened".

In a detailed post on her Facebook page the 18-year-old cited religious reasons for her decision to quit her promising career in Bollywood.

"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.

"As I complete 5 years today, I want to confess that I am not truly happy with this identity, that is, 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' (a Muslim's steadfast path in Allah's devotion).

"While I continued to work in an environment that consistently interfered with my Imaan, my relationship with my religion was threatened.

"As I continued to ignorantly pass through while I kept trying to convince myself that what I was doing is okay and isn't really affecting me, I lost all the 'barakat' (fulfilment bestowed upon a devout Muslim by Allah) from my life.

"Barakat is word whose meaning isn't just confined to happiness, quantity or blessing, it also focuses on the idea of stability, which is something I struggled with extensively.

"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. No matter how hard I tried to wrestle to firm my decision, I ended up being the same person with a motive that one day I will change and I will change soon."

"I kept procrastinating by tricking and deluding my conscience into the idea that I know what I am doing doesn't feel right but assumed that I will put an end to this whenever the time feels right and I continued to put myself in a vulnerable position where it was always so easy to succumb to the environment that damaged my peace, imaan and my relationship with Allah," said the actress who also starred in "Secret Superstar".

"I continued to observe things and twist my perceptions as I wanted them to be, without really understanding that the key is to see them as they are. 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.

"Indeed the hearts find peace when it acquires the knowledge of its Creator, His Attributes, His Mercy and His commandments.

"I began to heavily rely upon Allah's mercy for my help and guidance instead of valuing my own believability. 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." - IANS