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Reading List, May 2022


Our monthly stories are productions looking to connect people to the magic of stories.

We create supplementary reading lists as a way to give you an insight into the inspirations and thinking behind our monthly stories. These reading lists take you behind the story, revealing the process of its making.



Rasa → Kāruṇyam (कारुण्यं): Compassion, mercy. Presiding deity: Yama. Colour: grey, Adbhutam (अद्भुतं): Wonder, amazement. Presiding deity: Brahma. Colour: yellow, Bībhatsam (बीभत्सं): Disgust, aversion. Presiding deity: Shiva. Colour: blue





Sadness is a rainbow; Low blues to brown dreary places and champagne-pink melancholia; From frantic orange distress and kind yellow glows of compassion, to the positively mossy green wet states of drunk-sad and everyday miserableness; The beige slow death of grief; Anguish cutting red and pointedly-purple brief displeasures; Grays—somber and dour—towering over the unmoving black waters of clinical depression.

The Rasa theory from eastern performance arts studies is one of our most useful storytelling tools. It’s a great viewpoint into human emotions and their enormous breadth. Among the Rasa theory’s nine elemental emotions, or aesthetic flavours, one of the most poetic rasas is karunā—a rasa embodying a range of emotional states from empathy to sorrow. Although not exactly a pleasurable emotion, karunā is an aesthetic flavour that has a curious ability to create beauty through vulnerability. This month’s story portrays the breadth and diversity of this emotion and the kind of beauty that it inspires. We’ve brought light undertones of two other rasas to add more dimension to the story; Adbūtha (wonder) voted most popular by our subscribers and bhībhatsa (apprehension).

We used the caregiver archetype from Jungian psychology to construct Siri’s character and explored some of its shadows like guilt and feelings of inadequacy. parallel to its strengths like the immense capacity to nurture and care.

In the reading list below, you’ll find stories, art and incidents that inspired us; from Joe Abeywickrema’s award-winning performance as ‘Wannihami’ capturing a father’s long-drawn sorrow, to the psychological disease ‘Munchausen by proxy syndrome’—where a caregiver fearing loneliness imposes nonexistent sickness on an otherwise healthy dependent.


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