Kashmir’s Successful Artist Is A Madrassa Dropout

Courtesy Her Facebook Account
SRINAGAR: A Kashmiri woman successful in the tinsel town as a model is living in anonymity, back home in Kashmir, newspaper Hindu reported. She is known as Rouhani, her new identity for the last one decade.
Courtesy Her Facebook Account
Rouhani, according to the newspaper has worked for Rohit Bal and Satya Paul collections, besides being part of Maruti and Grasim campaigns. She was even featured in Elle, Grazia and Cosmopolitan.
Courtesy Her Facebook Account
“But the story she narrates of her journey into Mumbai’s glitzy fashion circles has all the makings of a Bollywood pot-boiler: she ran away from her madrasa at the age of 17, was spotted by a top fashion photographer at a party in Mumbai, and was later hounded by a politician from home,” Pirzada Ashiq, reported in the Hindu. “When I meet her at one of Srinagar’s popular coffee joints, she has a crinkled mustard yellow headscarf firmly in place. There is nothing, except perhaps her stylish haircut, to mark her out as one of Kashmir’s few successful fashion models.”
Courtesy Her Facebook Account
Who Rouhani actually is, is not known. But this is her story, according to the newspaper.
Once, she slapped her teacher in a Srinagar school. Reason: “He asked my classmate an indecent question about her body. I decided to stand up for her. But the principal complained to my family and they packed me off to the madrasa.”
Her family sent her to Gujarat where she was one of the 400 girls in a seminary. “Bullied and beaten”, she once was asked to clean 300 dishes as punishment. Later, her parents decided to take her home but by then more than four years had elapsed, according to the newspaper. Lacking formal education, she was not eligible for admission in any educational institution so she was sent to Mumbai for a course in computers.
There, a film director and well-known advertising and fashion photographer detected her with a comment: “You have the face of a model”. Rouhani told Hindu that she was “speechless” and felt “liberated”. Routine tensions at the first shoot were over once the results were out. “When my shoot was over, no one would believe it was my first,” she was quoted by the newspaper.
After establishing herself, she has made “peace with her family”. The family now “reluctantly support” her career, according to the newspaper. Based on her own story, she has done a video Moorakh Duniya, (foolish world), a satire, that was released in Tel Aviv.