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Saturday, Dec 14, 2019

Malaika Arora defends her dance numbers, says ‘if anyone calls me an item, I’ll slap them’

Malaika Arora has said that she stands by her special dance numbers, and if anyone calls her an item, she’d ‘turn around and slap that person’.

bollywood Updated: May 03, 2019 08:41 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Malaika Arora in a still from the Munni Badnaam video.
Malaika Arora in a still from the Munni Badnaam video.

Actor and TV personality Malaika Arora, who is known for her special dance numbers such as Chaiyya Chaiyya, Munni Badnaam and Anarkali, has said that she is opposed to referring to such performances as ‘item numbers’. She said that she would want to ‘slap’ whoever refers to her as an ‘item’.

She told journalist Anupama Chopra in an interview, “Whenever I did a song I did it on my own accord, I never did it under any duress. I was comfortable.” She continued, “If I felt like I was not OK with something, I’d voice my opinion. I’d say, ‘no I don’t like that step’. If I felt like I was being objectified, I’d say it, and I’m not stupid.”


Malaika admitted that the times have changed since the heydey of ‘item numbers’ in the 80s and 90s. “I’ve always had a problem with it being called ‘item song’. Imagine someone calling me, ‘yeh kya item hai’ (what an item), I’d turn around and slap that person,” Malaika said. Malaika admitted that she was aware of the suggestive nature of the lyrics, but said that most of it was ‘tongue-in-cheek’. “I’ve never felt that it crossed that line where it was downright vulgar, or downright offensive,” she said. “According to me, it was always in a nice fun, tongue-in-cheek sort of space.”

She said that nowadays, ‘a lot of filmmakers have taken that stand’ to not have such songs in their films. “I come from a different school of thought,” Malaika said. “If a woman feels that it is not a safe environment, then I (don’t think we should have them).” She said that she’d never call for a ban on such songs, but she admitted that she has a problem with ‘the terminology’. “Our films have always been about this (song and dance) culture, why should one just change it overnight?”


Malaika most recently performed a special dance number in the film Pataakha, directed by Vishal Bhardwaj. She has been making headlines of late for her rumoured relationship with actor Arjun Kapoor. Malaika touched on the subject in the interview, and said, “This is all media made.”

Also read: Arjun Kapoor on wedding rumours with Malaika Arora: ‘She is special, but I’m in no hurry to get married’

“I guess everyone wants to move on and find love and find companionship, and if you do, then you’re lucky to get another chance at being happy,” she said, without admitting anything. Malaika was previously married to Arbaaz Khan and has one son.

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