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  • Reenita Malhotra Hora

Episode 21 - A New Normal

Arya has changed, seemingly overnight, as he returns to school the next day. He stands up to his bullies, no longer afraid or affected by their taunting. Pa is astounded at his son’s maturity, especially as they prepare to remove Ma from life support. Arya knows she is at peace in the backwaters, but Pa feels only emptiness and sadness. Arya knows what his father needs – deep medicine that lives in the pages of the Ramayana. Together, they begin a journey through the stories that Ma once told him as a boy. Stories and memories now etched in his heart.


  • [00:01] Previously on Shadow Realm

  • [00:59] Confrontation with Athena

  • [01:25] The boys and the new mural

  • [04:05] Dinner with Pa

  • [05:01] Saying goodbye

  • [07:45] Arya reads the Ramayana to his Pa


  • Arya goes to school the next day. No longer afraid of his bullies, he bravely stands up to Athena and The Boys.

  • Someone, Arya believes Rishiji, painted and added an Asian boy to the mural outside the school.

  • The Boys try to get Arya to spray paint over the mural addition – or “the terrorist” as they referred to him as – but Arya refuses and the boys eventually let it go.

  • Arya and Pa have dinner and decide it’s time to let Ma go. His Pa marvels at how much Arya has changed, seemingly overnight.

  • Arya fills Ma’s hospital room with Jasmine flowers –her favorite Indian fragrance– and places her copy of the Ramayana by her pillow. They remove Ma from life support.

  • Arya knows Ma is at peace in the backwaters, but Pa is very sad and is in need of deep medicine.

  • After Ma’s funeral, Arya gets out the Ramayana and sits down in the prayer room with Pa. Together, they journey back to the Wild Woods and visit places beloved by Ma and a warm sensation of blue energy vibrates within Arya’s core.


Shadow Realm was written and executive produced by Reenita Hora. Based on her middle grade novel When Arya Fell Through the Fault, this story constitutes ‘Part 1 of The Arya Chronicles.

An original soundtrack was composed for this story by Kanniks Kannikeswaran (

Audio adaptation by Shane Sakhrani. Audio Direction and Production by Daniel Gonzalez and Gabe Mara.

The narrative for the trailer was voiced by Carnie Wilson (

The podcast features

Recorded at Studio City Sounds and The Room at Melrose.

Chapter 13 uses “Lake Waves Hjalmaren” by Owl

Chapter 17 uses “New Holland Honey Eaters 32x Slower” by digifishmusic

Chapter 18 uses “New Holland Honey Eaters 32x Slower” by digifishmusic

Episodes are available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. Music is available on Spotify.

If you are already a fan of the show, tap the share button in your podcast player and post this trailer on Facebook or Twitter.

Or text it directly to someone you know who’d love to journey through the Arya Chronicles.

For more information visit


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