New Delhi: Former actress and now activist Somy Ali, who moved to Mumbai at the age of 16 in her pursuit to follow her heart and marry superstar Salman Khan in her recent interview has opened up on her life journey.
Somy Ali told Bombay Times that after watching Maine Pyar Kiya in 1991, all she wanted was to marry Salman. “It was 1991 and I was 16. I saw Maine Pyar Kiya, and I went, ‘I have to marry this guy!’ I told my mom that I am going to India tomorrow. She, of course, sent me off to my room, but I kept pleading that I have to go to India and marry this guy — Salman Khan. That night, I had a dream that I have to go marry Salman because he is going to be my saviour. Since she wouldn’t relent, I called my dad. Of course, I didn’t tell him why I wanted to visit India.”
“I told him that we have relatives in Mumbai and I wanted to meet them. I also told him that my biggest dream is to see the Taj Mahal, which I must admit, I haven’t seen to this day (laughs!). I was born in Pakistan and had lived there for a few years before I move to Miami, so I spent a week there, and then landed in India and checked into a five-star hotel. People used to make fun of me because I was this “struggling actor”, who was staying at a plush hotel”, she quipped.
Opening up more on her initial days in Bollywood, Somy Ali added, “I was every director’s nightmare and refused to go for rehearsals. I was different from others. I was too Americanised and too much of a tomboy. I was such a misfit in the film industry. I had no interest in pursuing a film career, and my only goal, which sounds preposterous at this age, was that I have to marry Salman.”
However, the former actress also shared her trauma which she bore during her childhood. “I grew up in a home in Pakistan, where I witnessed domestic violence. I have no qualms about admitting that a house help sexually abused me from the age of five to nine. Then, when I moved to the US at 11, I was a victim of rape, and later, domestic violence, too. For me, it was like taking all the bad that I had endured and building something good out of it, in the form of this organisation. See, you can be sorry for yourself, or make sure that whatever happened to you doesn’t happen to others.”
Somy Ali is now an activist, working for women rights, victims of domestic and sexual abuse. She is the founder and president of No More Tears USA and is happy working for the society.