Singer and social worker Khatija Rahman on how she holds her ground for her sartorial choices
"I’ve stopped looking at negative comments on social media"
SOCIAL WORKER AND MUSICIAN
People have often been unreasonably insensitive about my choice of wearing a burqa and a veil. I’ve stopped looking at negative comments on social media, which can range from being called a dustbin to a tent. While dealing with trolls can be very emotionally draining, having a strong support system in my amazing family and friends has helped me immensely. As a social worker, I believe my clothes reflect my sense of modesty, humility as well as confidence to wear what I am comfortable in.
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‘HOLDING MY GROUND’
I’ve always had a strong opinion about my sartorial choices; so in 2018, when I was trolled for wearing a sari with a veil to the 10th year celebration of Slumdog Millionaire, I decided to be vocal about it. It was unfair that my father, AR Rahman, was dragged into the controversy, where people assumed he forced me to wear a veil. This was completely untrue because I am not compelled by anyone to dress a certain way.
‘FREEDOM IS IN COMFORT’
I’m no stranger to receiving unsolicited advice. I remember this one time when someone close to me insisted I would look “prettier” if I trimmed my eyebrows. She didn’t seem to quite understand that I’ve accepted myself the way I am—comfortable in my own skin. I do not want to be judged for my choices anymore.
Illustration: Vivan Kamath