24 hours after Zaira Wasim made headlines for quitting cinema — not even Amitabh Bachchan had made so much news when he quit politics — I was speaking to an eminent Muslim liberal voice from the film industry about Zaira’s noisy exit. And he said, “Who is this girl? Yeh hai kaun? Isske jaane se kya farq padta hai? Is she Smita Patil, or Shabana Azmi or Meryl Streep leaving a vacuum behind the industry that no one can fill? Arrey, the girl is under pressure. Let her sort out her life. Jaane do ussey. Mat roko.”
I completely agree with the above view. First of all, Zaira Wasim is not such an important actor that we need to mourn her departure. Sure, she did well in Dangal and Secret Superstar. But nothing that any other competent actress couldn’t have done. Why such a big tamasha over her departure? Is this Jaya Bhaduri bidding cinema adieu?
It was evident from the start that Zaira had an ultra-conservative family background to deal with. She is not the first conservative Muslim woman to seek an acting career. Decades ago Waheeda Rehman faced ferocious flak for facing the camera. They caller anti-Islam and other names. But she stuck on. She knew what she was doing. Waheedaji made a huge name for herself. She never shamed her family. Her dignity didn’t suffer because of her chosen profession.
It is sad that Zaira makes the film industry sound like a den of vice. It is as evil or straight a workplace as you make it to be. Raveena Tandon has not faced a day of stress or turmoil. I wonder how the entertainment industry can ever come in the way of an individual’s tryst with God, because to the greatest artistes of Bollywood, their WORK is God.
Do you know that the greatest artiste of India Lata Mangeshkar never went into a recording studio with her footwear on? To Lataji, the recording studio was a temple. Every time Madhuri Dixit dances on stage she first pays respect to the stage by touching the stage and then touching her forehead.
What made you so insecure, Zaira? God knows what the pressures were but you could have left quietly. Why the noise? And now your manager joins in the ruckus to claim your account was hacked. Of course it wasn’t. When religion invades the work place there is no confusion on account of one’s belief.