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Sunday, June 22, 2003

Television

Changing face of face to face

Dilip and Shobhaa De in Face to Face: Together series
Dilip and Shobhaa De in Face to Face:
Together series

THIS surely is the season of the chatterati. Not the one-guest-at-a-time shows but a celebrity accompanied by husband/wife/parent/child. If Simi Grewal has been chugging along merrily with Rendezvous for years on Star Plus, Karan Thaparís Face to Face on BBC World every Saturday at 10 p.m. too is becoming more family-oriented.

The one-on-one interviews are being replaced by twosomes ó Shobhaa and Dilip De, Ritu and Rajan Nanda, Madhu and Naresh Trehan, Mrinalini and Mallika Sarabhai and more. The change of profile is positively impacting Face to Face that was in danger of getting snowed under by other shows.

Perhaps the reason for this is the careful selection of guests who are lively, articulate and frank. Take the case of Shobhaa and Dilip De. When Thapar asked the couple whether the odds in matrimony were stacked against them since they were both married earlier and had kids, Shobhaa De replied candidly, that such a marriage could work brilliantly provided the two people were ready to commit to it.

In another episode, when Thapar asked Madhu Trehan, wife of celebrated cardiologist Naresh Trehan if she was happy in her marriage, she replied, "What is happiness? Itís such a huge word. There are moments of happiness, there are moments of anger. If you ask me are you happy, Iím happy because of myself, yes Iím very very happy. I donít look to other people to make me happy."

Candid answers that become delicious discussions in cocktail circuits!

Character awards

Kasautii Zindagii Kay: Choose the character not the star
Kasautii Zindagii Kay: Choose the
character not the star

This sure is a new way of infusing life in to the characters of serials. And so confident is Star Plus of succeeding that it is convinced others will be aping the trend as well. The channel is introducing an awards night where the award will go not to the star but to the character he or she is portraying.

So you can now select the Bahu you like the most or the saas you loathe with your heart. Choose your favourite pati from one show and the patni from another. This is your chance to pair Tulsi with Om or Pammi with Mihir!

The idea is to get the viewers to vote the most popular character from various shows on Star Plus. The result will decide who will come together to form the perfect Star Parivaar.

Says Tarun Katial, Senior Vice-President, content and communication, "As we are celebrating the third anniversary of Star Plus going completely Hindi, Star Parivaar is the best way to recognise the appreciation of the TV viewers by providing them a platform to choose their most loved characters."

So get set for July 6,2003, the starry night when you will meet the perfect Star Parivaar youíve voted and selected.

Timing the rapids

The Great Descent: Rafting down the Brahmaputra
The Great Descent
: Rafting down the Brahmaputra

The thrill of the highest bungee, the rush of the wildest river, the call of the rattle snake; there is something undeniably intoxicating about extremity.

It was in search of this intoxicating experience that a team comprising professional rafters from America, Europe and India embarked on a white water expedition down the Brahmaputra in Arunachal Pradesh. It took them through formidable Himalaya terrain, home to some of the most primitive tribal communities that live along this river.

Accompanying the group was a 10-member crew. The result: The Great Descent, a 52-minute film documenting the 10-day expedition down 180 km of the Brahmaputra.

"The film is being distributed worldwide by a French network," informs Niret Alva, executive producer and scriptwriter and should be aired on an Indian TV channel soon.

"It was a phenomenal experience," says director Chandramouli Basu who nearly got swept away by the swirling waters of the Brahmaputra. "A once-in-a-lifetime kind of thing that in spite of being inhumanly tough was incredibly enjoyable as well."

Call of the wild

Jungle Book: Repeat value
Jungle Book
: Repeat value

Remember Jungle Book, the super successful TV series on Doordarshan back in the early nineties? In case you donít hereís your chance of refreshing your memory.

The animated serial featuring Gulazarís title song Jungle Jungle pata chala hai, chadi pahenke phool Khila Hai, is being aired again, this time on Sahara Manoranjan, every Friday at 6.30 P.M.

The world-famous novel by Rudyard Kipling is the story of a boy lost in the jungle as a child and adopted by a family of wolves who name him Mowgli. Hunted by the Bengal tiger Shere Khan, Mowgli is protected by Bagheera, the black panther, and Baloo, the brown bear, who teaches wolf cubs and Mowgli the law of the jungle.

The book has spawned two Hollywood movies and several TV adaptations. This one being among the best and a refreshing change from teary-eyed soaps.

Underwater graveyards

Heroes of World War II: Re-discovering sunken flying boats
Heroes of World War II
: Re-discovering sunken flying boats

Tales of ships and pirates and the search for the treasures of the sea continue to fascinate the young and the old Heroes of World War II on June 23 at 10 p.m. on the National Geographic Channel, a part of the Shipwreck Detectives series unveils the once hidden flying boats of World War II.

Travel to Broome, Australia, where sunken flying boats have been lying undisturbed in the murkey and dangerous waters for 60 years. The expedition team led by Jeremy Green uses cutting-edge technology to locate 12 sites of the flying boats. The team battles huge tidal currents and navigates through sharks, crocodile and poisonous jellyfish-laden waters.

See why rumours of a cache of lost diamonds lying amidst the wreckage emerged and how fears of treasure hunters destroying these historic remains will affect the teamís mission. A fascinating programme that highlights the importance of heritage and history.

Defying age

Scientists are now increasingly coming to believe they will be able to extend the human life span to 150 years. A number of tantalising and remarkable discoveries indicating how to stop the human body from aging are about to turn science fiction into reality.

In Forever Young, on June 24 at 8 p.m. on discovery, scientists predict that in 50 yearsí time, every organ of the human body, except the brain, will be replaceable. The future wonít just be a longer life but a healthier one as well. The search for eternal life is now being taken seriously.

Based on the latest discoveries from the frontiers of science and using cutting-edge imaging techniques, the series presents a new way of looking at the human race.

It demonstrates how, for good or ill, scientists are using the power and knowledge they have gained about genetics to manipulate life and make it both long and healthy.

Is this the first step to immortality? The answer perhaps is yes!

ó Mukesh Khosla

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