In the Indian theory of rasa (aesthetics) there are 9 defining sensibilities - shringar (erotic), hasya (humorous), karuna (pathetic), raudra (terrible), veera (heroic), bhayanaka (fearful) bibhatsa (odious), adbhuta (wondrous) and shanta (peaceful). Rasa means juice, essence or taste In Sanskrit and in Tamil, this same is this idea is indexed by the words ruchi or cuvai. More literally, in Ayurvedic terms, there are arusuvai or 6 categories of taste - madhura (sweet), amla (sour), lavana (salty), katu (pungent), tikta (bitter) and kashaya  (astringent). The mango offers the possibility of 4 of these in one tasting - pungent, astringent, sour and sweet. The three performances at the Singapore Biennale 2016 were centered on the ritual offering of this marvelous fruit. In the 1st of the three mango performances, I was had the privilege of making this offering to Rathi Karthigesu, who is a Singaporean pioneer of Bharatanatyam

© 2017 by Niranjan Rajah

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