Desert fox

Taboo—Skin Deep shows a painful initiation to manhood
Taboo—Skin Deep shows a painful initiation to manhood

BACK in the sixties David Lean’s epic Lawrence of Arabia created magic at the box office. The film won seven Oscars and catapulted Peter O’Toole and Omar Sharif to the pinnacle of superstardom. Since then the small screen, too, has spawned a series of telefilms on Lawrence. A Dangerous Man: Lawrence After Arabia, many feel, is a perfect sequel to the original masterpiece. The History Channel airs the David Puttnam’s Emmy-winning epic television film on Monday at 9 pm starring Oscar nominee Ralph Fiennes star as Lawrence. Lawrence, the young, dashing hero of the desert campaign, is determined to support claims of his wartime Arab ally Prince Feisal at the Paris peace conference. But his opponents in the meeting rooms and corridors of power prove far more deceitful and lethal than any he encountered in the desert.

Spicy sitcom

Mumbaikars call them paanipuris, Delhites know them as golgappa and in Kolkata they are phuchka. This lip-smacking street food of India is popular all over. This may explain the popularity of the new Star One show Paanipuri on air every Saturday at 9 pm. The story revolves around Vikas Puri, a struggling actor and Divya Paani, a corporate executive, who are poles apart. He is a robust Punjabi guy and she’s a coy Oriya girl. He is messy and chaotic and she is organised and well-planned. Yet the two fall in love and get married. Circumstances force the classy Paanis and the boisterous Puris to stay under one roof. And what follows is a comic mayhem making Paanipuri an eminently watchable sitcom.

Tattoo travellers

Travel the world to cultures where scarification—modifying the body by cutting into the skin—is not only a thing of beauty; it is entry into manhood. Taboo—Skin Deep on Friday at 10 pm on the National Geographic Channel travels to Papua New Guinea for one of the most painful initiations known to mankind, where tribesmen slice teenage boys’ chests, backs, arms, legs and buttocks up to a thousand times to create scars that will look like the hide of a crocodile. Here such body piercing is considered important for families who have social standing in society. The more the tattoos on the body the more the status of the family. The pain of undergoing such surgical changes is just a part and parcel being born in wealthy families. NF