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Reading List, August 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 → Hāsyam (हास्यं): Laughter, mirth, comedy. Presiding deity: Shiva. Colour: white, Adbhutam (अद्भुतं): Wonder, amazement. Presiding deity: Brahma. Colour: yellow





This story was created with the central character Leela who embodies the shadow side of the rebel archetype. Among the archetypes presented in Carl Jung’s theory of psychoanalysis, the rebel is the one fearlessly heralding change. Also known as the revolutionary, the reformer, the misfit, the maverick and the free spirit, the light side of the rebel archetype is at the frontlines of all historic movements that led to better and fairer distribution of liberty and rights. The rebel archetype is inspiring—moving mountains, facing hard truths head-on and leading to progress that benefits generations; But, in its shadow, this archetype can be tremendously frustrating as troublemakers, provocateurs, and downright outlaws who pointlessly rebel without a cause.

The aesthetic flavor that we chose from the Rasa Theory for this story is comic or hāsya. A secondary rasa was brought in to give the story more dimension and to also work in the most popular mood voted in by our subscribers—adbūtha, or wonder.

In this reading list, you’ll find stories, events, films, and research that connects to the rebel archetype from Jungian psychology and the aesthetic flavor of hāsya.

  • 1940, The Great Dictator, Charlie Chaplin. Charles Chaplin Film Corporation. This iconic movie, released during the years leading up to WW2, struck a chord with many. It carried an important message with Chaplin’s characteristic humor and great writing.

  • 1996, Trainspotting. D. Boyle based on a novel by Irvine Welsh. Channel Four Films, Figment Films, Noel Gay Motion Picture Company. In this memorable scene Mark Renton, played by Ewan Mcgregor, rages on being Scottish with funny and unforgettable wit.

  • Batalanda detention centre was an alleged detention center in Sri Lanka used to torture and exterminate people leading dissent, particularly of the janatha vimukthi peramuna (JVP) during uprising of 1988–1989. The detention center was said to be run by counter-subversive units of the police who were tasked with destroying rebels.

  • The Matale rebellion, also known as the Rebellion of 1848, took place in Sri Lanka against the British colonial government. It marked a transition from the classic feudal form of anti-colonial revolt to modern independence struggles. It was fundamentally a peasant revolt that led to significant changes in how the British ruled Sri Lanka.

  • An article that first appeared as a pamphlet issued in September 1953 by the Lanka Sama Samaja Party of Ceylon. Its author, Dr. Colvin R. de Silva was considered to be one of Asia’s finest orators. Among his published works are a well-known two-volume history, Ceylon Under the British Occupation, 1795-1833, and An Outline of the Permanent Revolution (January 1955)— a basic Marxist training manual.

  • Ashta Bhairavas are eight manifestations of the Hindu divine symbol for time, and change. Their ferocious iconography embodies the merciless nature of time which brings an end to all rules, systems and beliefs made by humans.

  • Orabi Pasha was a famous Egyptian nationalist and military leader exiled to Sri Lanka from 1883 - 1901. Orabi led a national revolt against the injustices of the Turkish ruler Fewfik, who called on the British to protect him. The Egyptians under Orabi fought against the British troops who entered Cairo and occupied Egypt for 70 years. Orabi was arrested and exiled for life in Sri Lanka.

  • Richard de Zoysa was a well-known Sri Lankan journalist, author, human rights activist and actor, who was abducted and murdered on 18 February 1990. His murder caused widespread outrage inside the country, and is widely believed to have been carried out by a death squad linked to elements within the government.

  • The caricatures of Gaganendranath Tagore, an artist of rare talent, stand out as satirical commentaries on emerging classes, religious systems, and society in general. Gaganendranath experimented with many styles throughout his life. Picking elements from Japanese brushwork to cubism, but always filtering them through his own take, Gaganendranath Tagore’s humorous caricatures suggest a refusal of affiliation.


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