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Does Zaira Wasim's decision to quit Bollywood have anything to do with how society thinks women should navigate their faith? Or is it purely an individual choice?
Does Zaira Wasim’s decision to quit Bollywood have anything to do with how society thinks women should navigate their faith? Or is it purely an individual choice?
We Indians live in a society that deeply advocates for religion and faith. Yes, I too believe that faith is something that gives us inner strength, but how do the fundamentals of faith impact the choices of a woman?
Actor Zaira Wasim, who was much applauded for her breathtaking performance in movies like Dangal and Secret Superstar is in the news now. The popular and charming national award winning actress decided to quit her career in Bollywood, citing conflict with faith as an issue. This in turn raises questions of respecting her individuality on the side, examining the choices of a woman on the other and the fundamentals of faith and religion at the center.
As an individual, I respect her choice, but we can’t ignore the fact of why someone cannot have both her career and faith simultaneously. Social media platforms have been flooded with both positive and negative reactions to her decision.
It is a massive shock that someone who has proven herself at such a tender age made such a big move, because she was unhappy with a line of work which she believes interferes with her association with her religion and, because she thinks that she does not belong to this industry, even though she had a good acting career.
Her detailed post on Facebook says, “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.”
Zaira thinks that she was battling to get back her real self since she did not feel like she belonged in the world of cinema. She added that for her, “Success is the accomplishment of the purpose of our creation.”
Yes, she can make choices for her own life but what does this move cater to? Is it a simple choice to hold faith and tear apart one’s talent? We are far away from finding the answers.
Top image is of Zaira Wasim from the movie Secret Superstar
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I recommend reading Manjiri Indurkar's Origami Aai alongside her memoir to have a fulfilling and enriching experience of telling one's story with grace.
It’s All In Your Head, M famed author Manjiri Indurkar’s debut poetry collection, Origami Aai, is independent and yet an extension of her memoir in which she speaks with utmost grace about all forms of abuses that she has survived. In this book of intriguing and evocative poems, the poet weaves words to form images of the everyday life of her middle-class family, love found and lost, trauma, and healing.
The collection is divided into four segments, beginning with the family, slowly moving towards the world, and finally colliding them together.
We aren’t in mourning, but we are creatures of habit.
So we talk of each one who died of drowning,
and I listen to her stories with the patience
of a chronicler.
– Funereal Stories
When someone accuses you of "too much feminism", what they are really saying is, "I am uncomfortable with you challenging the status quo and disrupting my privilege".
Time and again, there is one phrase that keeps coming up in the social media discourse on feminism. Any guesses?
Ah, no prizes for guessing the infamous “itni bhi feminist” or “too much feminism” phrase, a classic eye-roller for me, and I am sure for many more of my tribe, in the realm of gender equality discussions.
Pray tell me, how can an ideology, a movement be too ‘much’? It’s not salt or the seasoning of your soup where you can go, “Oops, too much salt, only one spoon was required”. Either you stand for what feminism stands for, or you don’t.
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