Hema Malini, Bollywood’s “Dream Girl”, is always seen in the traditional sari with jewellery to match. With the Festival of Lights or Diwali just around the corner, and Malini in the country as the brand ambassador for Malabar Gold, The weekend tabloid! chatted to the actress about the precious metal and the traditional dress that is an integral part of the festival.
Why do you prefer to purchase gold over any other metal during Diwali?
Diwali is about prosperity and is identified by the Lakshmi, the Hindu deity of wealth, who is always adorned with many gold chains. My name Hema Malini means “garland with gold” and that is how the deity is depicted.
Personally speaking, do you prefer to buy gold at this time of the year?
Do you prefer traditional or modern styles?
I like traditional and modern pieces. I think the modern designers are innovative and they are challenging themselves more than ever before.
We’ve mainly seen you in saris on and off screen. What does the sari signify for you?
I don’t know.
What do you think of “designer” saris? Do you prefer traditional styles?
I like both designer and traditional. My favourite designers are Neeta Lulla, and Shyamal and Bhumika. I am wearing a Shyamal and Bhumika sari.
How have you seen the sari evolve in Bollywood?
Nowadays there is no sari, it’s just bikini.
Do you think young women today are shying away from wearing them?
No, women do wear it. I think a sari is very sexy and depending on how you wear it, it can be very flattering to any woman’s body.
What type of sarees do you prefer?
I can dance the Mohiniyattam which is a traditional dance from Kerala. For the dance we wear a very beautiful sari which is white with a thick gold border. Mohiniyattam means enchantress. I also have many Kancheepuram saris. Andhra Pradesh sarees are very beautiful and I like Benarasi. Madhya Pradesh Chanderi saris are very lightweight.
How will you be celebrating Diwali this year?
I’m looking forward to celebrating Diwali with my big extended family this year, with my new son-in-law. As a child I would wait to light the patakhe (fire crackers) and as a mother I used to love watching my children gleefully do the same. As a mother-in-law I wonder what our new happy memories will be made of. We have to wait and see.