Malaika Arora Khan

Looking back and reminiscing that song… the more we replay it in our heads, the more it’s as clear as spring water. It wasn’t so much for the daring cinematography; nearly not as much to do with the unusual lyrics. Maybe a little concerned with the dimpled Shah Rukh gyrating to the thumping score of Rahman’s. But what we perhaps have and will always remember the chart-busting number for is Malaika dancing into the hearts of millions across the world. 17 years later she is still called the Chhaiya Chhaiya girl… and we absolutely adore her for that!

She wears many hats now – actor, dancer, producer – and she wears them with élan. It has been a long journey since her MTV days and since she became a Khan bahu. But one thing that has stayed with Malaika is the sheer sexiness and magnetic appeal. Be it the heart-stopping pole dancing in Maahi Ve or pulse-racing belly boogying in Munni Badnam Hui, whatever this diva has made an appearance in has become iconic and timeless. Imagine our plight–we had the daunting task to make the sex icon look sexier. We think we did a darn good job of it. After all, this is FHM. Since it was a wet shoot, we just had to ask Malaika this and get it out of the way. Her favourite rain song. “It has to be Pyar Hua Ikraar Hua from Shree 420.” That’s cute but we’re talking a little bit of hotness here and there. Then it had to be Tip Tip Barsa Pani, which has Akshay and Raveena, said the lass. But let’s focus back on her, shall we? Did you know that Malaika has done 14 item numbers in 17 years! Yup. We told her this and she was just as zapped. That must be a record of sorts… We asked her her favourite three songs. Naturally, it was hard to choose. But we insisted and she rated – Chhaiya Chhaiya was right up there, followed by Maahi Ve and then came Munni. But to be fair to her, she did say that it was a bit hard to choose and all were close to her heart. As hard it was to concentrate on the interview (we’re talking Malaika here, goddammit!) we did manage to ask her scores of questions on her career, personal life and growing up years. It was loads of fun…

FHM: Now that you’re a producer with Arbaaz Khan Productions, how does it feel to be on the other side of the screen?

Malaika: It’s different, it’s interesting, it’s a bit nerve racking at times, because I feel I am at the receiving end of a lot of angst (laughs). Also a lot of times Arbaaz is irritated and frustrated with stuff so I have to face the brunt of it, but it’s fun. I think at the end of the day it’s a very creative process and I am enjoying every bit of it.

It’s been decades that you have been reigning Bollywood; how do you remain such a fantasy for everybody?

I really don’t want to answer that (laughs out loud). I have a 13-year old son so I really don’t need to be answering why am I still boys’ fantasy.

And school days…tell us something about that. Were you hot property back then?

Hot property? I was a topper. Actually I was quite a good student. I knew all the boys used to check me out but…

If you had to get abody part insured, which one would that be?

Let’s put it that way....

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