It took only two movies for her to show everyone the wealth of talent that she was. And even before Bollywood could do justice to her potential, Zaira Wasim decided to leave the industry for good. On Sunday morning, fans and fraternity members woke up to a heartfelt post from the 18-year-old actor announcing her "disassociation from the field" as it has subconsciously transitioned her "out of her imaan".
"She was chosen for reasons best known to all of us. There's a sense of loss because Zaira is an extremely talented actress."
It hasn't been an easy ride for Wasim since she made a splash with the 2016 blockbuster. She was accused of espousing the cause of the Indian state and going against the Kashmiris, by playing an Indian wrestler. She was also targetted for meeting Jammu and Kashmir then-chief minister Mehbooba Mufti. Last year, she took to social media to reveal that she was battling depression. Ask Tiwari if she turned to him during these episodes, and he says, "Zaira and I lost touch post Dangal. We briefly met during award shows. Her reasons are best known to her. She must have thought about it and taken the step. None of us has the right to pass judgment on what she has decided."
The makers of her next, The Sky Is Pink, stood by Wasim's decision.
They issued a statement, that read, "Zaira is an exceptional artiste and we are lucky to have had her play Aisha Chaudhury in our film. She has been a complete professional all through the shoot. This is a purely personal decision, which she has taken after much thought and we will support her in every way, now and always."
Understandably, she found support in the man who brought her to the world of films, Nitesh Tiwari.
Talking to mid-day, the Dangal (2016) director said, "I read about it in this afternoon, and it came as a shock to me. This was unexpected, but at the end of the day, it is her life and she has the right to lead it the way she [deems fit]." The filmmaker, who — along with producer-actor Aamir Khan — had zeroed in on Wasim for the wrestling drama, remembers being impressed with the youngster's audition tape.