Every now and then we hear news about female actors unable to find a home in Mumbai. Recently popular star Shireen Mirza from Yeh Hai Mohabbatein faced a harrowing time as she was looking to rent a flat in Mumbai. Baring her heart out in a Facebook post, Shireen shared how landlords have been giving her a hard time as they have been refusing her a place because she is a bachelor, Muslim and an actor.
In a long post, Shireen stated, “I don’t deserve to get a house in Mumbai because I’m M B A – MUSLIM, BACHELOR, ACTOR. This pic was taken when I came here with a dream of living in Mumbai and now After spending almost 8 years in this city this is what I get to hear.. Firstly, Yes I’m an Actor and I do not Smoke or drink and I have no criminal records. So, How can they judge my character on the basis of my profession?? Second, I’m a bachelor and when I call brokers they ask me higher rents for the flats which are available saying Pay extra or u won’t get it since ur a Bachelor. My question is nuisance can be created by families too??? Third, I called up another person and they ask me wether I am a Hindu or a Muslim and reverted back with an answer that Muslims are not preferred. They also mentioned that take the flat on ur friend’s name who’s not a Muslim. I mean what’s in a name??? There’s no difference in the blood. Renting or buying a property in the city that never sleeps. Mumbai which prides itself on its cosmopolitan character is divided on basis of religion, profession and marital status?? I’m shocked to see that Mumbai which has given me so much that I don’t stop praising about Mumbai by calling it Aamchi Mumbai still doesn’t have a place for me and so many of us coming from out of town still struggling with identity crises. With a heavy heart and after many refusals my question is Do I belong to this city ?? #supportandshare.”
When indianexpress.com reached out to Shireen, she said, “It is so shocking that I am being treated this way. Even being a known face, I am facing such a scenario. It’s sad that people have lost faith in each other and mostly on actors. You won’t believe that the old society I am staying in also wants me to go through the entire interview process, which was heartbreaking for me. As for others, they want to tweak the contracts and ask for more money from me. I was really sad as Mumbai is known for its progressive thinking.”
But seems like her post has brought a new light of hope as a person approached Shireen after seeing her post and offered to rent out his place to her. “He was really sweet and even though he is a non-Muslim he had no issues with my religion and even my profession. I am so relieved that there are some good people still left in the society, who want to help people like us, who leave home to make a living in Mumbai.”