“I cannot believe it’s been 20 years since Chaiyya Chaiyya!” exclaims the beautiful Malaika Arora. In Chennai for an exclusive fashion event hosted by a luxury brand at the Palladium, Arora looked as lovely as she did dancing atop a train two decades ago. In the years following her success with Dil Se, the Mumbai-born Malayali who started her career as a model went on to find fame and fortune both on and off the big screen. Arora, born and raised in Mumbai, confesses she has always had a deep affection for the south as her mother is a Malayali.
In the last few years she has also become Instafamous with over 6 million followers and successfully launched her clothing line ‘The Label Life’. Confessing that she grew up watching Mammootty and Mohanlal films and Tamil films, she says, “I love Malayalam films. I have always had this deep connection with the South as I am a Malayali. I have even worked in a few Telugu films. I can’t believe it’s been 20 years since Dil Se. The whole experience of working with Mani sir, Shah Rukh and Farah (Khan) who choreographed the song, remains so dear to me. It was a song far ahead of its time. There still hasn’t been a song like that, has there?”
Ask who her favourite is, Rajinikanth or Kamal Hassan, Malaika says, “I admire them both greatly. But since you are demanding an answer, I would have to say Rajini! I am definitely a huge Rajini fan. I have watched Kaala, loved it! By the way, black is my favourite colour too.” Having worked a lot in South Indian movies, she expresses a wish of hers, “I would be glad to come back and work with Prabhudeva. I cannot think of anyone with a talent like his.”
Back in B’town, Malaika has a big line-up of films. “I just finished shooting the song Hello Hello for Vishal Bhardwaj’s Pataakha last week in Mumbai. I haven’t done anything like this in a while and it was a wonderful experience working with people like Rekha Bhardwaj.” The media has always been hailing her as a ‘mega-mom’ who gracefully balances professional and personal life.
“Thank you for the compliment! Honestly, I have a lot of help from a great team – a manager, hair, make-up, stylists who work tirelessly. For me, it’s also about the combination of a healthy mind and body that keeps me going. When my son was younger, he is 16 now, well it was different. I think it’s very easy to let work take over your life, but I think it’s about prioritising. I also had a great support system at home so I make sure I give my best to whatever I put my mind to.”...