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Fearless at 40 

If every 40 something woman had a spirit animal, it could well be Malaika Arora. Not only did she manage to walk out of an evidently lopsided relationship (she was reportedly the most hard-working person in that family, other than her famous former brother-in-law), she has knocked out living daylights out of everyone with her choice of boyfriend. 

Even as new reports emerge every day of her affair with Arjun Kapoor, the nation wants to know when the two are likely to get married. Their 12-year-age gap puts Arora right in the league of Demi Moore, Jennifer Aniston and Robin Wright. And closer home, Amrita Singh and Sushmita Sen. Singh was 12 years older to Saif when the unlikely couple tied the knot. Sen, who manages to cast a spell on every man who walks into her gym, is 15 years senior to a certain bright-eyed, bushy tailed Rohman Shawl.  

Ever since Arora and Sen allegedly made their relationships ‘public’ we seem to be in a great hurry to see them married. We are either confident that these relationships are unlikely to survive, so we are desperate to see what happens next. Or we cannot stretch our imagination any further than the ‘next logical step’ in the relationship. 

Here’s our mind works. Young guy, older woman — the guy is twisted. Bit of a perv. The woman is a cougar. Cradle-snatcher. I am not even getting into the territory where such women are marked with a four-letter acronym.

Going by the spunk in Sen’s twitter repartee, she is having a blast. She is looking hotter and fitter than ever. There is a glow in her cheeks that comes either with a killer fitness regime or great sex. Sometimes, both. She is successful and has had several relationships with good looking and interesting men. She has two beautiful daughters and has never really cared for convention — except for that one time early in her career when she suddenly turned up for a press conference with silicon implants. Nothing spells “ready for Bollywood” louder than freshly sculpted cleavage.

Arora, for the generation that grew up with MTV and Channel V, was the ultimate goddess. She was perfect. And sassy. And she continues to own the spotlight with her supreme confidence, even when the world gawks at her arm candy. If at 45, post a bad marriage and motherhood, she can still manage to turn men into hormonal boys, and make men out of overgrown boys — she is beyond reproach. 

So three cheers for the fierce-at-forty women. Even as we struggle to decode their inexplicable hold over the imagination of young and good-looking men, they are quite happy to have them wrapped around their little fingers. I know of many who would kill to be in her stilettos right now!

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