Confession True Story bollywood casting couch

Why I Quit Bollywood And You Should Too If You're An Outsider

( words)
*For representational purpose only.

Who am I, and who was I anyway to have that big a dream of becoming a Bollywood actress? That too without a background. Just because I look like a famous actress and I'm not plastic, I thought I could make it. Yes, some of you may know me — some of you probably don't care and others are probably busy "warming" other people's beds while I write this confession. I wish I could but I can't give you my name, I would love to but you know this thing called "Bollywood"? Yes that. It's a dark place and I'm hoping to never see it again. I hope to never ever give anybody the permission to look at me like that ever again. Those freaks, those womanisers, those assh*les who probably make  movies to clear their conscience through portraying nice, innocent, saintly characters. It was tough, it's still tough, but here is my story that might just kill your acting dream if you're reading this but trust me, that's not my intention. I was probably just one of those unlucky ones.

So while you're probably getting inspired by watching Dil Dhadakne Do at the comfort of your homes or theatres, passionate people like us are being forced to kill our dreams with our own two hands. Just because we made a choice of not satisfying some frustrated maniacs' sexual desires. Don't get embarrassed, it's not a big deal over there. How else do you think a female escort can become a Bollywood star in one night?

To clear your doubts, I'm the same girl who once dreamed of entering this ugly industry to become a top heroine. But here's how the life of an actress without a famous background goes like in your so-called "city of dreams" — walk into auditions and get rejected at the entrance or walk into auditions, give audition and get rejected and finally get through audition, don't sleep with the asshole and get rejected. What's common? Rejection. But what's more common? Desperation, hunger, the vile environment and unpredictable people. Oh sorry, I mean unpredictable, ass*olic f*ckers.

How could I let these ugly f***s kill my dream like this and how dare they even think I'll sleep with those hideous looking faces with big fat bellies? But there comes the harsh reality — they did it and I'm the loser, it all happened in front of my eyes and guess what I did? I quit. I gave up. I lost.

The indignities I went through in the past couple of years is nothing unbelievable but I had never expected it to come from the people who did it to me. Trust me, when I say "dark", I mean it. The most innocent man on-screen is probably the most disgusting man off-screen. Don't be disappointed when I take their names. It's one thing to meet a guy at a party and choosing to sleep with him but this atrocious industry is a kind of brothel that hasn't been shown in movies yet. And will never be shown indeed. Sadly, I can't deny the fact that Bollywood helped me discover my best hidden talents, such as dancing and acting, just so I could crush those dreams in the palms of my hands and finally gulp it down my throat. I grew up watching Hindi movies and so I had this instant inclination towards this industry.

I am not trying to say that I led or lead a filmy lifestyle, I hope you get my point. I do wish I had that lifestyle, it would've saved me the misery of feeling like a w**** so many times in that worthless piece of shit.

All I had wanted was to convert my passion into a profession. But apparently in that world, there's only space for the brightest stars that have great history. Unfortunately, I wasn't one of them. And that gave Bollywood the right to treat me like a prostitute trying to sell her body rather than talent. I wanted to become a full-time dancer and perhaps get a break as an actor one day. I worked hard towards achieving my goals, and I did. I made as many contacts as possible within the industry, I looked up directors, scriptwriters, dancers, and who not on Social Media. I remember being up all night waiting for their replies. I linked up with so many people since then and I built such great relations with some of them that I actually forgot to tell them why I added them in the first place. But I didn't know what I was throwing myself into. I was young, new and inexperienced, I couldn't possibly know what was yet to come.

I should've guessed then that this was the lull before the storm. I don't want you to feel bad for me, don't get me wrong. I just want you to hear me out.

My first incident happened back in 2011, where I had just started performing for shows. I came to know about a certain Mister (whose name will not be revealed for the sake of his wife and children only) who was running a popular beauty contest affiliated with Miss India. This 'Mister' was looking for an Indian girl to represent my country, which is not India (can't be disclosed because I do still love my life), for the upcoming contest. Since that country is so small that it's Indian population is equal to three buses full of people and the only eligible girl refused to go, I was asked to take part and considering the chances of exposure, I accepted the offer.

That was my first mistake out of the many mistakes I was about to make in that land of leeches, excuse me for not calling them humans because they have absolutely nothing human about them. Nothing!

My second mistake was that I gave him my number because he insisted, just in case he had to contact me for contest related information. I did not think much of the first phone calls he made because those talks were genuine until soon enough, when these talks turned into investigative phone calls. I remember him calling me and asking me whether I had a boyfriend or if I had ever been involved in a relationship with a guy. I was taken aback for the first time there. Though the questions didn't sound dodgy, I kept wondering how this was related to me entering the contest. They were not relevant at all! But then came my biggest mistake. Without any ill intentions, I asked him the location of his hotel, so that I could  book something nearby for myself. This was solely for convenience. I didn't know the city so I thought it would be wise to lodge nearby without getting lost or stuck in traffic whenever I had to meet him.

Then it happened: "Why do you need to book a hotel? I already have one room."

After he said that, it felt as if the ground beneath my feet lost stability. I went numb for a few seconds because till then, I had just heard of 'casting couch'. Till that day, all that while I was thinking in my head, "So far so good". So, without letting him know I cancelled my plans and never got in touch with him again. After that incident, I completely lost my will to try my luck in Bollywood. If doing what I am passionate about meant losing my soul and dignity, then NO, I was not interested. I was better off doing stuff on my own and be rewarded for my hard work. Sadly, I was no Nawazuddin Siddiqui. I was a female stuck in a sickening male dominated fraternity. But my passion for acting was stronger than I'd thought. So I didn't give up just yet. I picked up myself again and this time, because I had somehow touched fame in the most indirect but legit way possible.

Yes, people saw my face and I started getting offers. But life isn't that easy after all, the moment you see things going up for yourself, life throws you right back to where you'd started. It is especially true with me. I had to go through yet another horrid incident before I accepted the real side of Bollywood. The dark, ugly reality of that glamorous place.

This time I met an actor who makes you laugh. He looks very innocent, fair, not-so-tall, not-so-fat guy who has done some great comedy in Bollywood movies and theatre for that matter. Don't hate me for it, you probably love him but this is the truth. I was excited to talk to him just like any other star-struck kid. He seemed to be okay at first and then he told me that he was heading for a EURO Trip and if I was interested, I could catch up with him in Brussels, Belgium as it was just a two hour train journey away from me.

I said, "Okay, why not! I will visit a city I've never seen before and actually meet an actor! How cool is that!"

I couldn't afford the trip so I didn't end up going but I still wonder sometimes why he'd called me (a girl he hardly knew) all the way to another city in Europe to meet him personally. I still thank my stars for not making it though! Unfortunately, my battle against Bollywood didn't end there. Two years later, the same Mister got in touch with me, again very politely. But this time, it was for a different purpose. Apparently some Bollywood directors were interested in filming a story which involved a half Indian/NRI Girl. He had told me that he's told them about me and that they were interested to cast me for a lead role.

Forgetting the incident that occurred two years prior, and that his beauty contest was quite legit and successful, I thought I might consider this as an opportunity to land in a movie, so like an Idiot, I accepted it. Sometimes, dreams do take over your mind I guess. I was blinded by my goals and all these opportunities, like any other struggling actor would. Initially we had discussions about the role, the filming locations, the budget and everything related. But eventually things became really dodgy. Days passed and I was quite keen to be  introduced to those "directors" so I asked him if he could link me up with them, but he kept avoiding my question. I thought 'okay, maybe this is not how it works, so I just rested my case'. However, it didn't take me time in understanding the game he was playing so I played my game this time, just to see how far he could go. How far this industry could go. I can't tell you exactly what he said (because honestly, it is better to forget) but some of his questions were:

"Have you ever had sex?" "Have you ever tried a girl?" "Are you open to doing it with many people at once?" "How about if you're asked to do it with many different people in a single day?" "What color is this, what color and size is that?"

I answered those questions and I noticed, the more my answers satisfied him the more perv he became. But every time I mentioned the "movie", he pushed the topic away and said that we would talk about it later. After finding out about his intentions, I wish I had recorded some of those conversations to send them to his wife or defame him, but I did not want any trouble so I didn't do it. Obviously, like I said, it was a mistake to even try to be a part of this obnoxious place. At this point, I never thought it could become more disgusting than what it was already. I have to say — kudos to Bollywood blood. There's something definitely in the air of that place. With all the cocaine, MDMA, ecstasy running in their blood, they have probably lost touch with humanity. No wonder the place remains dark as hell. Anyway, he finally grew balls to inform me that if I wanted to grab the opportunity, I HAD TO compromise.

So that was it.

I didn't take time to throw his "offer" back in his face. I am NOT a sex object nor do I need to flirt or sleep with someone to obtain fame. Although it might take longer to make a name for myself or it won't happen at all, I would at least know that I am not one of those women who sold themselves to prove their own talents, that only belonged to them.

How I wish I could talk to at least one of them to tell them what they were worth.

Bollywood is only nice to watch at home. Being in it is no fun, I realised this fact way too early in my non-existent career in this industry.

80% of it is made up of talentless people who sleep their way up to success to satisfy those pervs that lure them within the industry to take advantage of their gorgeous bodies. The other 20% are underrated actors and actresses who do not make it big, surely because they are not ready to compromise.

But you know,  I've been reading so much about how women are sexually exploited in this country in the last few weeks that I couldn't stop myself. I of course broke every contact and  stopped thinking about that dirty place at all. There is so much room for me everywhere else, so I say NO TO BOLLYWOOD.

I quit.

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