Eighteen-year-old Zaira Wasim has called it quits in Bollywood after a short, but rather illustrious career of five years. Tinsel town and her fans are shocked and everyone has a take on Wasim’s exit.
Wasim, who hails from Kashmir, and has a few prestigious acting awards under her belt, announced her exit over the weekend on the social media in a longish post. She said her acting career interfered with her faith.
Some see her move as “regressive”, some others have called her “ungrateful” – given the fabulous films “Dangal” and “Secret Superstar”, she has had on her platter, both doing roaring business at the box office. Her third film, “The Sky is Pink”, where she stars with Priyanka Chopra and Farhan Akhtar, releases in October.
In a tweet yesteryear actress Raveena Tandon called out to a “two-film-old” and “ungrateful” individual, wishing that “they'd exit gracefully and keep their regressive views to themselves”.
Doesn’t matter if two film olds are ungrateful to the industry that have given them all. Just wish they’d exit gracefully and keep their regressive views to themselves .— Raveena Tandon (@TandonRaveena) June 30, 2019
Reams has been written about Wasim over the weekend. Most like Raveena thrashing the teenager for being a fundamentalist, while the kinder ones respecting her decision to exit Bollywood.
However, given Wasim’s self-confessed bouts of depression - she has even contemplated suicide - one is unsure if she will not reconsider this decision later.
Wasim is only 18, and has just started out on the road to self-discovery, like most thinking teens are wont to at this stage of their lives. To add to this, Wasim’s depression, or the inability to think and act coherently, may have resulted in yet another emotional outburst on the social media.
Her actions may also be a part of the Burnout Syndrome – most people who start out too early and experience celebrityhood too soon encounter. There are innumerable examples from around the world of people who have faced this. Perhaps Wasim is too stressed or too insecure about what future Bollywood holds for her and wants to bid goodbye while she is still at the top of her game.
Even if it’s a clash with her faith, there are chances that she may reconcile with it, find a middle ground and get back to acting. After all, there is no dearth of Muslim role models around, including her mentor Aamir Khan. There is also a good chance, once of the newness of her thoughts of her chosen profession clashing with her religion settle in, she may reject her faith.
Remember Avicii? The Swedish DJ and producer who started out at 16 and was found dead in Oman last year at 28? His family said he was “a seeker, a fragile artistic soul searching for answers to existential questions”.
They said he was an over-achieving perfectionist who worked at a pace that led to extreme stress. He also really struggled with thoughts about meaning, life, happiness and could not go on any longer.
What if Wasim is also trying to find answers to these existential questions? Besides, she is a Kashmiri (been trolled for that by Kashmiris and non-Kashmiris) and her peer group influences are too strong to pass up.
At 32, Hollywood actor-singer-businesswoman Lindsay Lohan, who started acting at 10, is still struggling to find answers. Closer home, top actress Deepika Padukone shared her travails with depression and opened up the platform for the younger actresses to not feel any shame in talking about the crises within. Wasim has probably just taken a cue from there and is subconsciously looking for help or for somebody to convince her to stay on.
I am betting on Wasim striking back in Bollywood with more stupendous performances, picking up more awards along the way. What she does need is a good support system that sees her as an 18-year-old in turmoil, not the secure brat she is onscreen.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed within this article are the personal view point of the author. The facts and views appearing in the article do not reflect the views of India TV and India TV does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.