Back in the ‘90s a Pakistan born American teenage girl, who had a huge crush on one of India’s biggest heartthrob, packed her bags and flew all the way from Florida to Mumbai to marry her then love of her life, none other than Salman Khan. And that teenage girl was Somy Ali.
Born in Karachi, Pakistan, Somy moved with her mother in Florida after turning 12. And as soon as she turned 16, the former actress, whose strings were attached to Salman, convinced her mother to allow her to move to Mumbai.
After landing in Mumbai in 1991, Somy began modelling and eventually, she stepped into the field of acting. Somy’s stint as an actor began in the year 1992, with Buland, as the leading lady of Salman Khan, but unfortunately, the movie got shelved for unknown reasons and never got released. And while the movie Buland never made it to box office, the off-screen chemistry and relationship between Salman and Somy became a buzz in the industry.
The 44-years-old former actress, who made her presence felt in Bollywood with noteworthy films like Chupp, Mafia and Teesra Kaun?, now runs an NGO called No More Tears for victims of sexual abuse, domestic violence and rape, says that while she loved being part of the Hindi film industry, but there were places she could have handled things differently.
“I have mixed feelings when I look back to those years of my life. I have no regrets for sure. But I have to admit that I was very young at the time and have no one to guide me. And I ended up trusting wrong people. In fact, the person who I was listening to was actually someone who I should have never trusted. However, I am proud of my journey. I made sure to be the way I am and spoke up for things I did not agree with,” Somy says.
Somy has bittersweet memories as a Bollywood actor and there were some who stood by her when her personal life had hit a rough patch. On the same note, she quips, “I used to get to travel so much. I loved that. Also, I loved working with my co-actors Suniel (Shetty), Mithunda and Om Puri. There were a few people who stood by me when I was involved in a bad relationship. I have bittersweet memories of my time as an actor in India,” she says.
She adds, “I would also like to mention Salman’s mom here. She was so amazing to me. I don’t really remember any great encounters with anyone else. I don’t think it was their fault either as I was also very confused about what I was doing. I was so young and gullible. I made a lot of mistakes, and learnt from those. ”
The actress who bid adieu to Bollywood early feels that leaving the film industry was the best decision of her life. “I think it was the best thing that I have done in my entire life. I was really suffering and I knew that if I continued, it would really affect my emotional well being and health,” she says.