He makes every morning a pleasant experience for most of us – musically. If you are a student, parent or work in a multinational company or bank, you are sure to have enjoyed Khalid Malik live on his radio show on FM 91 at some point or the other. You cannot help tune in to the radio as it’s a natural instinct for most. And when you do, you get hooked to Khalid’s chirpy conversation and his offbeat birthday greetings in whichever language he chooses. Not to forget his choice of music. And for those of you who are not musically inclined or are not radio buffs then you are sure to have seen him on screen in television dramas donning the garb of a feudal lord, selfish brother or the doting husband, and the list of Khalid’s TV appearances is endless. He has also appeared in a few Pakistani flicks – Sabiha Sumar’s Josh tops the list.

It wasn’t always that Khalid had planned on becoming a Radio Jockey and actor. Having spent his childhood abroad he had always been educationally inclined. “I spent most of my early years in Malaysia and Australia. My family is settled in Australia. I did my Bachelors in Science and majored in Anatomy and Physiology. I then did my Masters in Business Management from Australia. After completing my masters I worked in advertising for a number of years as an account manager. Targets, targets and more targets! I hated it. It was later that I did a diploma in acting,” reminisces Khalid.

It was in 2004, while in Sydney that Khalid went to meet someone in a media company after having given up on the corporate sector. “The CEO and I got to talking. Out of the blue he asked “hindi bol sakte ho” (can you speak in Hindi), and I said “ji ji, urdu bhi bolta hoon, Punjabi bhi” (yes I speak in Urdu and Punjabi as well). He sent me to the radio station they were just starting up, and I nailed the audition.”

“Radio came accidentally into my life. When I started radio I decided to go and get some training which I did. It has changed my life quite literally. I owe radio a great deal.”

On asking if he got a break as an actor or an RJ first, he replies, “Well I initially trained as an actor from Melbourne, so TV came first. But it was all part of a divine plan; for me to get to radio eventually.”

However, Khalid believes that he is more successful on radio than television. “When I am alone and speak at interviews I often catch myself smiling on the inside thinking how amazing life has been; I trained as an actor first but Radio has become my life, my breath,” says Khalid passionately about his first love.

But it’s not just music and acting that he’s passionate about. A complete homebody, Khalid is the perfect family man. He dotes on his wife Mahrukh and three adorable kids, and is amazingly a hands-on dad as well. He not only helps his wife with household chores but also takes care of the kids. “Family is very important to me. Family comes first. I hold family close to my heart; I think maybe I am old fashioned in many ways when it comes to family.”

How he met his wife is straight out of a romantic flick. “I was sitting in the food court of Atrium Mall, all by myself, waiting for a movie to start at the Cinema. That’s when Mahrukh walked up to me in the capacity of a fan. She was excited to see me. I don’t know what it was about her but I liked her instantly and said to myself ‘she’s really cute.’ We chatted briefly and then Mahrukh went off. Our next meeting was at her cousin, Javeria Abbasi’s place. Javeria is a friend and I had no idea Mahrukh was her cousin. After that we became friends and continued bumpinh into each other. All this while that we were meeting I felt myself drawn towards her. I was attracted to her and liked her a lot,” shares Khalid with a smile.

However, the lovebirds did not decide on their course of action at that time. “Mahrukh was leaving for Chicago and there was nothing between us at that time. I was apprehensive as I thought long distance relationships don’t work. I remember doing the show on the day she was supposed to leave. And throughout the show I was in touch with her through WhatsApp and text messages and it was then that I told her I wanted to take our friendship further. Mahrukh said she needed time to think about it.”

“Mahrukh’s family is settled in Chicago and she too jetted off to foreign shores leaving me behind. However, I was not staying behind. I went to her house in Chicago where I met her parents. I then told my mother about Mahrukh. I told her I had met someone who was extremely sweet, decent, cute – who understood relationships and most importantly understood me. My mother liked Mahrukh also.

He further adds, “I had always wanted a wife who could be my best friend, who would understand me, know her responsibilities and also the fact that a woman’s role is that of a nurturer while a man’s is to support and provide. I have nothing against independent working women, but you should also be aware of your priorities. And I didn’t want my wife to be from showbusiness. It’s not healthy for a relationship.”

A perfect companion for Khalid is “someone who treasures love and will always be by my side, no matter what.”

If there is one thing that Khalid cannot stand is for his wife to be upset with him. “I don’t leave her alone if she’s angry and keep on following her around the house until she comes around. I can’t stand her not talking to me.”

We ask Khalid to share with our readers something nobody knows about him? “Career wise, I have covered the IIFA 2006 in Dubai where I interviewed Amitabh Bachchan, and on a personal level when I get overly nervous I can and do have the tendency to peel my skin off my fingers!”

There isn’t any one person that Khalid thinks has played an important role in his success. “Everyone that I have met throughout my career, from the CEO of the first radio station to the director on set about 11 years ago who told his assistant to get rid of me because I was just an extra on set – They have all helped me and were a part of this divine plan,” he signs off.


Wardrobe: Humayun Alamgir & Chester Bernard
Photography: Humayun Memon @ 18 Percent Grey
Hair & Make-up: Ali’s Salon