'I don't like starving or dieting'

Working out

'I don't like starving or dieting'

From her infamous ‘train dance’ in Chhaiya Chhaiya to her latest oomph-filled avatar in Munni Badnaam Hui, she’s managed to keep all eyes trained directly at her. 

What’s more, she doesn’t seem even remotely bothered by the bevy of beautiful ladies who’ve been encroaching on her territory. Metrolife caught up with the diva recently to find out more.

It’s been more than a decade since Chhaiya Chhaiya, but Malaika is still the reigning item-girl in the industry. Ask her how she’s managed this, and she says, “I’ve just hung on to the title. Actually, it’s quite close to my heart. And for me, it’s not about age or being young — rather, it’s about having a fan-base and understanding the need to constantly reinvent yourself.”

She also dismisses the idea that she feels threatened or marginalised by all the new entrants to the genre.

“I don’t bother about competition. To each his own, really. I think there’s enough work for everyone, and really have no time to dwell on who’s doing what. In fact, with most girls, the competition is with themselves. It’s all about bettering yourself,” she explains.

She may be a mother, but she still has a body that’s the envy of many of her peers. She insists that she’s quite conscious about maintaining this. “I’m quite particular about my health, as well as my physique. I make it a point to work out and eat right. I’m also really into yoga and pilates,” she says.

However, she maintains that she’s never fallen in with the cult of excessive dieting. “I’ve always propagated being healthy and eating well. I don’t like starving, or dieting to stay skinny. I’m a mother, and I can’t afford to do that — I wouldn’t be able to manage half the stuff that I do now, if I did,” she says, adding, “I propagate a fuller, healthier body — which means eating right, not dieting, and not smoking. No one should do anything stupid.”

Malaika, who is half-Malayali, admits to growing up on films in that language. “I’ve seen lots! I’ve grown up watching Mammootty,” she says, adding, “now, most Hindi movies are re-makes of Southern films. I think there’s a great bank of movies here — the industry is very organised, and there are some amazing scripts, which is why many Hindi movies tap into South Indian reserves. But we have some great, original films in Bollywood too.”

It’s been a while since she’s been to Bangalore, and she says a lot has changed here since her last visit. “Bangalore is great, and coming here is always special. It’s been quite some time since I came here, so everything feels new. But it’s still amazing,” she concludes.

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