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‘I'd rather be sexy than dowdy'

She makes news with her peekaboo outfits. Malaika Arora Khan fields questions from Janaki Vishwanathan.

entertainment Updated: Jul 26, 2008 13:52 IST
Janaki Vishwanathan

She makes news with her peekaboo outfits and is considered an emblem of high glamour. Right now, she is on the Film city sets of Zara Nachke dikha in her make-up room. Malaika Arora Khan fields questions from Janaki Vishwanathan.

Let's start with Katrina Kaif's birthday bash. Why weren't you there?
(Sighs) I don't need to clarify things. This is so ridiculous. We were shooting here! One can't be everywhere. If you're working, you can't go. I was working till late. But my absence has been made into such a big drama!

What about the talk that neither Arbaaz Khan nor you get along well with Katrina Kaif?
That ‘talk' is baseless.

How do you look back at the Ponds episode which claimed that Arbaaz Khan and you had split?
That has been the most awful part of my career. It was totally uncalled for and very ugly . I'd like to put it behind me.

After Kaun Banega Crorepati 3, Arbaaz and you haven't made a public appearance together.. any plans to do that?
There are a couple of shows... Like 10 ka Dum?

Nope not that. Something else.

Have you recovered from Thoda Pyaar Thoda Magic in which Ameesha's character was modelled on you?
(Sighs more audibly) Ameesha's character and I just shared the same name.. and there were a couple of references to me. I watched the film.. nothing about her character was remotely like me. But Kunal Kohli should have let me know that there would be references to me. I wasn't upset.. that would be giving the entire thing too much importance.

Okay, you're back as judge and you have hosted a show too (Dhoom Macha De).. so why don't you take part in a reality show?
As a participant! No, no, no, no. I have been offered shows but I wouldn't enjoy that aspect. It's not as if I need to fulfill a dancing dream of mine. I do enough of it in the movies.

What's more fun? Judging or hosting?
They're both fun..and very time consuming. (Laughs) The difference is that in one I'm standing, in the other I'm sitting.

Who make better dancers.. men or women?
I think women naturally look good dancing. But the guys in Zara Nachke Dikha are so cut-throat competitive. I was quite amazed by the classical round. They had to do kathak.. and they were amazing.

Why get children on a show like this?
I wouldn't want to comment on this. It's the channel's decision. But yes, there should be an age limit. If you have kids working, you have to stick to certain rules.. children can't work very late. But the parents of Swini Khara and Amey Pandey have given their full consent. At the end of the day, that's what matters.

Would you allow your son to take part in a show like this?
No, never. I have a problem even if he's photographed. I don't need to expose him to all this right now. I think it takes away his innocence.

Do Swini and Amey behave like mini-stars?
Not at all. Most of all, I bond with them. They're kids, they behave like kids. I didn't know Swini was called Sexy in Cheeni Kum. On the sets she's just Swini, she's really adorable. They both are.

It's said that you're taken on a show for the glamour factor. How do you react to that?
Considering Chunky (Panday) isn't adding anything to the glamour factor, I guess I'll have to do that.. I do hear this a lot and I don't want to argue about this. I'd rather be glamorous and sexy than be dowdy, boring, plain and bland.

But if you say I'm doing nothing else.. you'd actually be telling me that I'm nothing but a bimbette. I don't take kindly to that. I've worked with these guys (SOL Productions), they wouldn't keep repeating me unless I had something to contribute.

It's so wrong to believe that women who are glamorous don't usually have anything in the upper storey . That's something men say because they're probably intimidated. Like oh she's glam.. so she's got to be really dumb, right? Right. Most actresses shy away from item numbers.. you seem to have no qualms about them. I wouldn't call myself an actress.

What would you call yourself then?
I'm not a full-fledged actress by any standard. Whatever item songs I've done are always for friends.. Farah (Khan) or Shah Rukh (Khan) or Karan (Johar). I really don't know what I would call myself. It' Malaika's Mould. I'm really grateful because I may not be an actress but I get the same respect.

Amrita (Arora) and you were both seen on MTV.. any chance of the two of you appearing in the movies together?
That's pretty much been our life, since we were little. She followed me to the same school and later to the same college. It followed to our friends' circle, and then MTV .

We've always been together. Relatively, it's been easier for her to make decisions. She has always been known as my little sister. Now, she has her own identity. As for coming together in the movies, it was to happen for a song in Sanjay Gadhvi's film but that didn't work out.