The Tribune - Spectrum

Sunday, November 24, 2002
Lead Article

Celebrity couple
From besotted lovers to doting parents

Arbaaz  and Malaika give each other space in the relationship
Arbaaz and Malaika give each other space in the relationship

The Malaika-Arbaaz marriage, with love as its brew, now celebrates the pleasure of parenthood.

IN an ideal world, she would be 'a showgirl in Vegas or a cabaret dancer on Sunset.' And Arbaaz, like the rest of the teenaged population of the country, would be a cricketer.

Instead, both became models. While one made a mark as a VJ in one of the premier music channels, the other turned to Bollywood and has managed to notch up a hit like Pyaar Kiya To Darna Kya. Having converted their five-year long relationship into matrimony, life is a long honeymoon.

Born to a Punjabi father and South Indian mom, Malaika loves to be in the all-film family of Arbaaz Khan. His is one of the most respected Bollywood families with father, writer Salim, brothers Sohail and Salman and step-mom Helen.

She loves surprises and says, 'My marriage to Arbaaz was a surprise - though it was love at first sight, when we met on the MR Coffee ad campaign.'

Dil Se

The love story that began on the sets of one of the most controversial advertisements in India, culminated in marriage in December '98. The honeymoon? In Disneyland, 'where I'd always dreamt I'd go someday,' she adds. Adept at winning hearts Malaika admits, 'I do all the housework.'

About their marriage, the teen icon, Malaika sensibly feels that it provides one with a sense of security. Though, 'We had a ceremony for society. Otherwise, it makes no difference to be legally bound to someone, when physically and emotionally you are already one with that person.'


Like a husband straight out of a romance novel, Arbaaz agrees on all the right things, 'The bond between two people is important. Marriage is just a ritual, a procedure which society makes mandatory. Though we too had an elaborate ceremony, it was more as a way of celebrating the event with friends and family.'

They had two ceremonies - both with Christian and Islamic rites - just to make the respective families happy. And after their honeymoon, the two now live in Arbaaz's apartment, in Mumbai's hip western suburb, Bandra.

Look into my eyes

What is that they see in each other? Malaika is not someone anyone would mind taking tips from. She loves everything about him but, 'His eyes are the mirrors to his soul. I keep telling him, that I wouldn't mind our child having my nose, even my complexion but definitely I would want our child to have his eyes.'

For Arbaaz, it's her overall personality that's so appealing, 'It's her integrity. Though she is physically very attractive, it's her overall personality that stands out.'

And it's not stars in the sky or promises of the moon that keep them going, 'Arbaaz is very supportive, warm and takes good care of me. And above all, he doesn't interfere in my work,' she gushes. Adding, 'He's so giving that at times I feel guilty.'

As a model, VJ and as the Chaiyya Chaiyya girl in Mani Ratnam's film Dil Se, Malaika has sent several hot-blooded males crawling up the wall with sheer pleasure. Being an independent, career-minded and headstrong woman, it is vital for her that her mate gives her the required space and understanding. And that's exactly what she gets from Arbaaz. 'He gives me what I want. Besides which, he is a wonderful person, physically as well as emotionally strong, someone who can protect me.'

As far as Salman Khan's kid-brother is concerned, he 'likes everything about her. Her simplicity, her beauty, her intelligence and her passion. She simply fascinates me.'

Malaika also shares a wonderful relationship with Arbaaz's family. 'Sohail is such a darling. He's a friend, guide and someone I can talk to about anything and everything. Salman is so busy that we hardly meet each other but he's also a lovely person. Whenever there's a family get together, we have loads of fun. I'm really lucky to have such a wonderful family.'

Together times

They continue their professional relationship after marriage. The two came together for singer Shubha Mudgal's video, Dholna, for an album produced by the Rajshri brothers.

Though married into a family of actors, Malaika's love affair with films has been erratic. She is excited about Tinnu Verma's directorial debut Maa Tujhe Salaam. She says, 'Tinnu asked Arbaaz whether I would be interested in doing the opening song of the film. I agreed immediately, simply because Arbaaz and I have never done anything together on the silver screen, and I really wanted to. This is a very erotic and sensuous song…'

The one thing that keeps their relationship going is their desire to lead independent lives. Her being a working wife, especially the one with a whole lot of panting, lusty male fans, doesn't perturb Arbaaz. He believes that as a husband he is, 'very liberal and non-restricting. I like to give my wife complete freedom. She is an individual in her own right.'

Malaika, in turn, respects his space. That's one of the reasons why she does not see her husband as a means of getting into Bollywood. She is quite content keeping her personal and professional life separate.

A bonny offspring

As sizzling promos of Sanjay Dutt's Kaante, with a swaying Malaika are doing the rounds, the new mum is busy crooning lullabies.

The hottest couple have today turned parents of a little Khan. While Malaika carried her pregnancy with awesome oomph, Arbaaz played a supportive spouse. Having been a part of the entire delivery ordeal, Arbaaz was by his wife's side to welcome the newborn. The couple, who are inheritors of interesting secular influences, have proved that love alone is sacred.

— Leisure Media News