Fondly known as Malu to her gazillion fans across the UAE and beyond, this chirpy young RJ on City 101.6’s breakfast show is far more than just a pretty face.
Meet Malavika Varadan. Arguably one of UAE’s bubbliest RJ’s, a talented singer, and fitness blogger all rolled into one. She is also an unintentional fashion icon and a healthy living guru.
Sorry boys, she’s happily married.
Tell us a little bit about yourself. What influenced you into becoming an RJ?
I am Malavika, a 28 year old radio presenter. I work with the UAE’s no 1 Bollywood Radio Station City 1016 as their Breakfast presenter on a show called Breakfast no 1, that I cohost with a funny, crazy boy called Sid!
But I also do a few other things. I run a social-media-led campaign and fitness blog called “100 Healthy Days”. I am a fitness enthusiast.
I also sing. In fact, I am lucky to be with an extremely talented bunch of musicians and we call ourselves Aftermath. In fact we are going to be opening for Punjabi MC on the 14th of November, Friday at Music room. We have another local band performing with us as well. Please do come! 100 AED entry at the door and it will be worth every dirham.
Also 3 of my best friends in the world and I have started a project called Act 4 where we teach theatre and performing arts to children and we are currently training our first batch of 50 children. Act 4 is a theatre company that teaches dramatic arts to children. We have 50 children between the ages of 8 and 13 right now. We have our first performance on 20th Dec at Children’s City! Follow ‘Act 4’ on Facebook and we’ll keep you posted on details!
I’m also currently doing a TV show called Property scape on Colors TV.
Lets see… I m a scuba diver. Does that count?
Wow! You really are super talented. Where do you get the time to fit all this in? Any tips on time management?
I’m exhausted on most days. But the trick is in compartmentalizing and breathing.
What do you love most about your job?
Which one? Hehehe I love the fun Sid and I have on the show. We laugh on air, we laugh off air, we have A LOT of fun! Also, our listeners. They are amazing!!!
Favorite Bollywood celebrities? Any Bollywood celebrity to aspire to?
I love the way Shahrukh Khan interacts with his fans. I have noticed over our many meetings that he has the fans love, takes the time out to make them feel special and this is why he is the star he is.
I love how simple and genuine and kind Vidya Balan is. When she smiles the whole room lights up. She seems to take all her ups and downs in her stride and I love that about her. She doesn’t let anything phase her. Quite a star!
Most people go on and off the healthy bandwagon, but you made your attempts public with the hugely popular 100 Healthy Days site. Was it scary starting this? What kept you going?
I do too! That’s the truth. I’m not healthy everyday. There are some weeks when going to the gym is impossible and eating healthy is the last thing on my mind. I reach dead ends too and get frustrated with my own journey. But the honesty is what keeps it real. As a blogger, it is my duty to say it as it is. NOT Photoshop my pictures. To tell you about the troubles I have and how I am dealing with them. Once I have that out of the way, things get a lot easier.
Was it scary? Yes, I had the idea brewing in my head forever. But I have a friend who heard my idea and said “That’s a good idea, you should start” and suddenly it didn’t seem so scary anymore. Then another friend said she would join me, and another and another and another and that’s how an idea becomes a revolution.
What motivational tips can you give healthy-wannabes like me? Take small steps – that is the best way to stay motivated. Just try being healthy TODAY. And every day is a new day and a new beginning.
Take charge and don’t play victim. Make a choice.
Take others on your fitness journey with you. It makes a world of difference.
How did becoming the ambassador of FitBit influence your fitness regime? There are a number of similar gadgets in the market now, but what makes FitBit special to you?
I was chosen by Fitbit because the ideas behind both 100 healthy days and Fitbit are so similar. Small steps make a big difference.
Fitbit is special to me because its mine! I love the colors and I love the accessibility to it on my phone.
You looked super hot in all your 100 Healthy Days posts! Where do you buy your fitness wear?
Hahaha! Thank you. All credit to John Eapen who photographed me! My fitness wear is a mix of Nike and Reebok and Adidas honestly! But my shoes are my best buy yet! Asics running shoes. They work like a dream and support me through all kinds of crazy stunts. I also highly recommend investing in a great sports bra!
During your 100 Healthy Days, you experimented with a lot of healthy cooking. Can you share a low calorie healthy recipe?
My favorite recipe right now is a South Indian dish called “Shundal”. It’s basically chick peas with a sprinkling of coconut and a ‘tadka’ of mustard, curry leaves a red chili and some hing. Very basic, but great source of protein!
I loved your remix of ‘Lat Lag Gaye’ with Jasim! Was this your debut into singing?
Well, I have been singing for a while but just in school and college. Then Jasim was nice enough to ask me to be a part of his production, I said yes and wow! It’s been amazing since.
See the video clip here
You are a member of a band! Please tell us more.
Aaaah! The band. These are my favorite people in the world. Doesn’t matter what kind of day I have been having – I just need to enter the band room, hear the first chords and the world is a better place!
We are called Aftermath and we do a bunch of covers of Bollywood and English songs with a twist. We also have a few originals. Most importantly, we have a LOT of fun!
I reckon you are a fashion icon and don’t even know it! Where do you shop? What fashion tips can you share with us?
Why, thank you!!! I’m hardly a fashionista! Infact I have a “I don’t know what to wear” problem EVERY day. But when I shop – I love River Island and Topshop. They are just the right mix of a little serious and a little crazy.
You really are superhuman. The Batman pants really do suit you! Where are they from?
They are from a brand called ‘Cotton on’ bought at Ibn Battuta Mall.
Thanks Malu, you really are a star!