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CHISELLED FEATURES and a dusky tone, there would be many more eloquent words that nevertheless would be less to describe this diva, men would agree.

As a bonny baby she endorsed diapers, baby products and soft toys and grew up to be the face for De Beers, Benzer, Pierre Cardin and now L'Oreal, Spaces by Welspun, Taj and Stanza. Featuring on the cover of Cosmopolitan recently, she now joins the league of Cindy Crawford and Claudia Schiffer.

Malaika Arora Khan has been a photographer's dream; ask Farookh Chothia and Atul Kasbekar. Lensman Natarajan was not wrong when he clicked her for the first time for Society magazine's cover, way back in 1993. Ten years later, " I am doing a mix of all— films, shows and television," says the model-actress and veejay, during her recent visit to the twin cities.

Unabashed and professional, from doing her first and steamy ad campaign for MR Coffee with Arbaaz Khan to her recent pole dance in Sanjay Gupta's Kaante, well she adds that sensational effect to the film even with her single song appearance. Ask her about Chaiyya Chaiyya and she says, "shooting on the train top with Shah Rukh Khan for Dil Se was lots of fun. But seriously, it is hard work, especially if you want good results. I am shooting for some songs for my forthcoming films," she says. Malaika has had her training in Bharatanatyam and jazz ballet as well.

A multi faceted person, as regards her stint with the tube, she did a gig with Jas Arora for the Gur nal ishq mitha video, has played agony aunt for the teens in MTV Loveline and now appears as the style guru in MTV Style Check. "I thoroughly enjoyed the MTV Loveline. It was great fun working with Cyrus Broacha. We did the show for three years. But I realised it was time out. So when MTV approached me after I came back, I told them I was looking for something new. Thus MTV Style Check happened. The programme is about fashion and is doing well. Recently we had the Style Awards," she recollects. And she seems the perfect choice for the show having modelled for top designers such as Shahab Durazi and Wendell Rodricks, the latter also happens to be her favourite designer.

But bouncing back to glamourdom meant a lot of hard work. "When I decided that I wanted to come back it was a combination of diet and workout. When I put my mind to something, I do not lose focus. At the moment it is one and a half hour of workout daily," she says. "But intensity of work has come down since Arhaan (translated the ruler) was born.

There is the pang to spend more time with the little one. Wherever I am in the country I want to go back to my son in the evening. Demands of the profession are high but then you have to manage. World over you have working parents and there you find the solace," she reflects. On cards are her music album, garment's line and restaurant. One can easily vouch that she would virtually have people eating out of her hand.

SYEDA FARIDA

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