Dancing diva Malaika Arora shot to fame with the song "Chaiyya chaiyya" back in 1998. The song, sung by Sukhwinder Singh and Sapna Awasthi, for the Mani Rathnam film "Dil Se" is an all-time favourite dance number of most people.
Its video featured Malaika and superstar Shah Rukh Khan matching steps atop a train, and continues to be popular.
Over the years, Malaika made headlines for her iconic dance numbers like "Kaal Dhamaal", "Hoth Rasiley", "Munni Badnaam Hui", and "Anarkali Disco Chali" to name a few.
Recently, in an interaction with Namrata Zakaria for her podcast "Tell Me How You Did It", Malaika defended the concept of having "item numbers" and asserted that she enjoyed being an "object of desire."
She said, “That’s what our films are all about, let’s not hide that fact, let’s not be shy about the fact. That’s what we celebrate in our films. Our films are a celebration of life, they’re larger than life. Yes, the concept now, in today’s day and age, has really dwindled. Because there’s just so much emphasis on not having to objectify, etc. But when I did it, and when I was a part of all those songs, for me it was liberating. It really was."
“I felt that I could just be on screen, as this woman and this object of desire. For me, it was very liberating. I never looked at it as, ‘Oh my God, you’re being objectified’. For me, it felt like I was in control. I’m anyway one of those women, I like being in control, I like being the master of my own destiny. I don’t like being told what to, how to, where to. It felt amazing," added Malaika.