Glamour industry is one such place where people aspire to be the biggest stars. It’s a dream land for people who want a break in the world of acting and showbiz. Among the many who struggle to get their dream debut, there are only few who are chosen.
Among those also, many climb up the ladder and continue to be successful while some are one time wonders and disappear. But there is also a third kind. Celebrities who taste success and glamour and yet choose to move away from it.
They listen to their spiritual awakening and choose that over their fancy profession. Here’s taking a look at 9 such celebrities who walked away from showbiz for religious reasons.
1. Sana Khan
Actress Sana Khan decided to quit the entertainment industry early this month after she felt enlightened by the ‘teachings of Islam’.
Sana took this decision during the lockdown after she broke up with the famous choreographer Melvis Louis. In an Instagram post, Sana Khan called her decision to leave showbiz as the ‘happiest day’. Khan was last seen in Bigg Boss and Jai Ho. She was also popular on her Instagram for her make up tips and tricks. Taking her fans by surprise once again, she again took to Instagram to announce her wedding.
After a public and messy break up with Melvis, Sana tied the knot with a Gujarat based man Anas Sayed. Her cryptic Instagram caption is making fans wonder if she did it out of love or in the name of Allah.
2. Zaira Wasim
The girl who had an outstanding debut with Dangal followed by Secret Superstar and The Sky Is Pink stunned India after taking decision to quit Bollywood. “This journey has been exhausting, to battle my soul for so long,” she wrote in a lengthy Facebook post.
Zaira received a major backlash for leaving Bollywood before the release of her film, The Sky Is Pink. While many supported her decision, many Bollywood celebrities felt she had a super bright future in the world of movies. And now recently, Zaira Wasim has been requesting fans to remove her pictures from fanpages: ‘I am trying to start a new chapter in my life’.
3. Anu Aggarwal
The actress Anu Aggarwal became an overnight sensation with Aashiqui. However, after a couple of films like King Uncle and Khal Naika, the actress decided to leave the glamour world and follow her spiritual calling. This decision shocked many as many filmmakers thought she could make it big.
4. Sofia Hayat
From being a sultry reality show star to a spiritual guru, Sofia Hayat has had a drastic change of personality. She was last seen in Bigg Boss and even got engaged to someone shortly after. However, in June 2016, Hayat announced that she had embraced spirituality and become a nun. She adopted the name Gaia Sofia Mother.
Talking to TOI from the UK earlier, Sofia had said, “If you Google Kali Maa, you will find hundreds of pictures of her, nak*d…I took one of those pictures. A lot of people across the world follow me on social media and individuals who file such complaints are going to convey the message that Indians are backward and unintelligent. These people have no respect for Hinduism…they are just seeking publicity using my name. They don’t report hardcore pornography, but have an issue with my devotion.”
5. Mamta Kulkarni
One of the few actresses who has worked with all the three Khans way back in 90s. Featuring in some of the hit films of the 90s like Karan Arjun, Sabse Bada Khiladi, China Gate, Mamta proved her mettle not only as a sultry looking heroine but also as someone who can act. She quit the film industry after her appearance in the film Kabhie Tum Kabhie Hum to find her spiritual calling.
6. Vinod Khanna
The man who was touted as the most handsome one in 70s. The one who had a bright future in Bollywood. The man who featured in cult classics like Qurbani, Aman Akhbar, Anthony, The Burning Train shocked his audience by quietly walking out of Bollywood.
Vinod became a disciple of Osho in 1975, moving to Oregon and leaving his family–a wife and two kids behind in Mumbai. Many said he opted for Sanyaas which means giving up your life in totality. He, however, soon made a comeback with movies like Dabangg where he played the role of Salman’s father.
7. Barkha Madan
A successful model, film actress and a movie producer but she found solace in leaving all this. Barkha Madan always looked upto the the ideologies of Buddhism and was mighty impressed by the same. In November 2012, she set her mind to become a Buddhist nun after being an avid follower of Dalai Lama for many years. She later commented that it was the most important and right decision she ever made in her life.
8. Suchitra Sen
She was a famous Bengali actress who had a potential to rock her career but she suddenly disappeared from the Indian film industry and turned into a recluse. After a successful stint in her career for over 25 years, the actress called it quits. Suchitra avoided the public gaze after her retirement and devoted her time to the Ramakrishna Mission. She passed away in 2013.
9. August T Jones
Not just Indian celebs but many international celebrities have also left showbiz at the peak of their career to pursue a path for religious reasons. One such actor is August T Jones from Two And A Half Men. He spent 10 years as Jake Harper on Two And A Half Men before quitting the popular showing 2013 citing that it conflicted with his religious beliefs.