'Those rumours were offensive'
On the professional front, Bollywood It couple Arbaaz Khan and Malaika Arora Khan are on top of their game with their production Dabangg scooping a prestigious National Award last week. But their personal life seems to have taken a hit, with rumours of their marriage being on the rocks being splashed across all Indian dailies.
tabloid! caught up with Malaika Arora Khan over the phone from Mumbai to get to the bottom of it.
"Isn't this ridiculous? At first, we just laughed it off. But frankly, it has taken us both by surprise: it's not something that we read about too often. I have never encountered such a situation where people are pointing fingers at our marriage or us it's a little disheartening," said Khan.
This power couple has been married for more than 12 years and have a son together. Their courtship is the stuff of fairytales with romance blossoming when the two worked on a steamy coffee commercial together.
"For once and for all, I want to say that everything is wonderful between the two of us. We are like any other couple who have our ups and downs. And I am sorry to disappoint all those people who think there's a rift and that we are going our separate ways. I think they should pick on someone else."
She said that it was social networking sites and callous journalism that aggravated the situation. "Firstly, all those rumours were offensive and it's rather callous on the part of all those journalists and people on the net.
"I think Web is one place where people think they can write anything and get away with it. They think it's their birthright to point fingers at us I don't think anybody has that right. That's one of the reasons why you will never find me on any social networking site it's all an utter waste of time."
Her next few words further illustrate her all-is-well stand. Currently, the two are working on the sequel of Dabangg, which will be directed by her husband instead of the original director, Abhinav Kashyap.
"Arbaaz needs all the support he can get. And this time, we are pretty hands-on, because we both know there's a bloody high standard set and we know we need to surpass it. But both of us are looking forward to that challenge."
The film is in its scripting stages, she added.
Asked if there will be a sequel to Munni Badnaam Hui the titillating song featuring her in the lead in the Salman Khan-starrer she said it all depended on finding that "it" track.
"All my songs have been different and Munni Badnaam was path-breaking in terms of costume and choreography. If there comes an option, it should be better than Munni and I have to make sure that it's talked about even more. We have a huge challenge before us, after all music is such an integral part of Bollywood films. It's all about the package."
The 37-year-old model-turned-VJ is an expert at making song-dance cameo appearances in Bollywood blockbusters. Dancing atop a train with Shah Rukh Khan and gyrating to racy tunes in swanky nightclubs are all in a day's work.
She turned producer along with her husband with Dabangg. The two will also be travelling to Toronto to attend the International Indian Film Academy Awards next month. Their film features prominently on this year's nominations list.
"It's tough to believe all those people who say that awards don't matter to them. Getting an award is a great feeling and it's wonderful to know that your film has crossed all genres popular, critics' choice. It's absolutely gratifying."