Arjun Kapoor: I admire Malaika for giving me, our relationship so much dignity

Arjun Kapoor and Malaika Arora are head over heels in love with each other, and their social media posts are proof that they arenot seeking anyone’s approval for their relationship. After keeping it under wraps for a long time, it was in 2019 that the actors finally made it Insta official, followed by several holiday pictures and public appearances together.

However, they still have not spoken much about it in public. On Valentine’s Day, Arjun, 36, for the first time opens up about his bond with Malaika, 48, and in an exclusive interview with HT City, tells us about how they’ve evolved as a couple, and what it takes to stand by his ladylove and deal with all the social media negativity that is thrown at them.

It’s beautiful the way you’ve navigated your relationship with Malaika in public and on social media. Has it been a difficult road or does love make it all easy?

I didn’t think so much about anything else except genuinely giving the relationship respect, dignity and integrity. That’s what it should be when you love someone and care for someone. That’s pretty much been my thought process. I made peace with the fact that once you come out and you’re out there for people to see and judge, you’ve to allow a bit of breathing room for people to understand and absorb and start looking at the relationship the way you want them to. You’ve to behave a certain way and allow things to shift. It’s like shifting people’s perspective and you can only do it by being honest and earnest. I never thought of it as difficult. I just knew that it takes time, and you need patience and hold your silence and dignity to make people understand that something is just too precious for you. So, you want to give it time and nurture it.

When you posted your first ever picture on social media and kind of made it official, did you both talk it through? Or did the rumours acted as a push that you felt the need to no longer be discreet about it?

The decision to come out and be open about our relationship was not something that was planned. It’s not like we spoke about it. It happened organically. As a man, I had to give space and respect to Malaika and her life decisions on whether she wants to make things public or give it more time. We knew we had to do it at some point. I think there just came a point where you kind of get tired of thinking so much about the consequences and XYZ factors. At some point, you just allow things to flow. And that’s what happened (with us). We allowed things to happen after a certain point when we felt we were solid, and steady enough to face all the speculation and all the conversation that would come our way, because that would be temporary. And what we feel for each other would eventually be seen by the audience and by the people who care about us.

Also, you’ve to sometimes look at the positives – the fact that our relationship dynamic is unique for people who have a slightly traditional outlook to love. Today, we can stand up and say we came out and spoke about us or became a public couple to encourage the thought process that age is not something that is in the way of being in a relationship. I think it was done respectfully. We never threw it in anybody’s face. And when it happened, we just decided, ‘Okay, let’s embrace it and take the journey as it comes’.

You’ve been like a rock though everything in this relationship, and always had Malaika’s back. Do you realise that somewhere, you two are among those very few celebrity couples to show that love needs no labels in today’s time?

Yes, I’ve stood by her. And, she has stood by me. We stood by each other through this relationship, facing speculation, facing brickbats, facing chatter, unnecessary at times, because of social media toxicity. It was hell for us for many days. She had to face so much because of the fact that we came out in the open, but I admire her for giving me and our relationship so much dignity. Standing by Malaika never felt like it’s something extraordinary. It felt just the right thing, the most natural thing to do.

  • We’re glad that we were the first of our kind where we showed age is not of any consequence when you love someone. And at the same time, I think we did it in the most decent manner, and we allowed things to happen naturally, rather than shoving it in people’s faces. If we’re being called torchbearers, people who broke the ice and shattered labels, then we’re simply humbled because we just wanted to stand by love and let people see who we were with each other. We see a lot of more relationships now being a little more open and less worried about what people speculate. I’m glad that we were one of the first few couples who took away the fear and anxiety from celebrities, perhaps from coming out.

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