I am living the dream of thousands of women in Pakistan, says Veena Malik
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In town to shoot a sizzling item number and make a special appearance in upcoming Punjabi film Jatts in Golmaal, Malik takes her own sweet time to convene the conference at Press Club. "She is getting ready," the organiser apologises for the delay of more than an hour.
The wait finally ends as Malik's car wheels in and cameras start rolling. "I have always wanted to come to the Press Club, and I really like Chandigarh," she says. Draped in a mustard saree, Malik flashes a smile and exchanges the usual pleasantries.
After Pind the Kudi in 2007, this is her second Punjabi film, which she says should actually be counted as her debut. Having already been on a reality show (Bigg Boss 4), three Bollywood and two Tollywood films, Malik chats about being a workaholic, a very private person and how controversy loves her. "Everytime something has happened in my life, it has just started on its own, and rumours have just followed me. It is the price one pays for being a celebrity," says Malik, referring to her cricket expose, her volatile confrontation with a Muslim cleric on a show, her alleged nude pictures on FHM magazine, her recent MMS scandal, her going 'missing' for two days in Mumbai, the cancellation of Veena Ka Vivah after she got 75,000 entries from prospective grooms for it...the list is long and endless. Malik says she has always been outspoken and believed in herself. "These things used to bother me initially, and being prone to depression, I would slip into it too. But now I take it in my stride and draw the line. For instance the verbal spat with the cleric - I would not let anyone make fun of me or attack my honour and prestige, and no woman should," says the actress-anchor-comedienne, adding how "she has always stood for the right reasons in her life."
Ever since the age of 14, she has been working and living out of a suitcase. "I am living the dream of thousands of women and girls in Pakistan." Bring up the label of her as a seductress and a sex symbol, and she takes a stance - "Yes, I am hot and sexy. I wake up everyday, look into the mirror, and still without make-up I exclaim - God, I am so glamorous! I am not an activist or a feminist, just a confident woman living her life on her terms."
She finds item numbers alluring, exciting, glamorous and would love to play a spy, action figure and a comic role in a film. "It is Bollywood for now, not television," she says, her fingers crossed for 2013 which will see her as a mysterious sexy character in the 3D horror flick Mumbai 125km, as a sex worker in Zindagi 50-50 with Aarya Babbar, as a supermodel in Supermodel with Ashmit Patel, as Silk in Kannada film Dirty Picture and as a woman who follows her dreams in the south Indian film Nagna Satyam.