MOONING

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Surya, Indian cinema seems preoccupied with the moon!

Well, our poets, from as early as Sangam literature times, have been obsessed with Moon because of the soft glow, grace, cool & calmness that Moon affords. Poets always compared the moon to women and the Moon is considered Female. So the natural association of a woman & moon in literature!

Really?

Also,  the moon was the beloved friend of literary heroines to whom she could confide her deepest emotions; and often her emissary! Cinema lyricists, inheriting such literary legacy, endowed the Moon in film songs.

My name is Nila!

Your parents must be quite romantic!

*Surya is the name for Sun and Nila is the name for the moon in most South Indian languages.
*In terms of film output, India ranks first in the world, followed by Nollywood, Hollywood and China!
*Sangam period is the period in the history of ancient Tamil Nadu (known as the Tamilakam) spanning from c. 3rd century BC to c. 3rd century AD. It is named after the famous Sangam academies of poets and scholars centered in the city of Madurai. In Old Tamil language, the term Tamilakam referred to the whole of the ancient Tamil-speaking area, corresponding roughly to the area known as southern India today, consisting of the territories of the present-day Indian states of Tamil Nadu, Kerala, parts of Andhra Pradesh, parts of Karnataka and northern Sri Lanka also known as Eelam. According to Tamil legends, there were three Sangam periods, namely Head Sangam, Middle Sangam and Last Sangam period. Historians use the term Sangam period to refer the last of these, with the first two being legendary. So it is also called Last Sangam period or Third Sangam period. The Sangam literature is thought to have been produced in three Sangam academies of each period. The evidence on the early history of the Tamil kingdoms consists of the epigraphs of the region, the Sangam literature, and archaeological data. The period between 600 BC to AD 200, Tamilakam was ruled by the three Tamil dynasties of Pandya, Chola and Chera, and a few independent chieftains, the Velir. There is a wealth of sources detailing the history, socio-political environment and cultural practices of ancient Tamilakam, including volumes of literature and epigraphy. Tamilakan’s history is split into three periods; prehistoric, classical  and medieval. A vast array of literary, epigraphical and inscribed sources from around the world provide insight into the socio-political and cultural occurrences in the Tamil nation. The ancient Tamil literature consists of the great grammatical work Tolkappiyam, the ten anthologies Patthupattu, the eight anthologies Ettuttogai, the eighteen minor works Pathinenkeelkanaku and the five great epics, Silappadikaram, Manimegalai, Sivaga-Cindamani, Valayapathi and Kundalakesi.
*Friday Fictioneers is talented group of enthusiasts penning down a story, a poem, a prose, etc., expressing their heart about a photo prompt, every week. Thanks for this week’s beautiful photo prompt © Ted Strutz
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MARITAL & MARTIAL

The plains of marriage are littered,
With the dead and the dying,
What was meant to be a garden,
With beauty and blessing,
Today has become a field of battle,
Pitting against one another,
Two who were meant to be one!

The crops of the union have become
Poisonous hemlock and bitter gall,
The fruits of the fusion were designed to be
Sweet to taste and strength to life!
The real victims of this evolution
Often are the innocent and the endearing
Little ones who are a message from heaven!

Whatever happened, to passion and compassion
God in Your mercy, grant us to be human!

*Wrote this when I was burdened and sad about the increasing number marital breakups. Not judging anybody or anything, its the outpouring of my heart!

I chopped up my poem to fit the word limit. Here is the full version!

MARITAL & MARTIAL
The plains of marriage are littered,
With the dead and the dying,
What was meant to be a garden,
With beauty and blessing,
Today has become a field of battle,
Pitting against one another,
Two who were meant to be one!
The crops of the union have become
Poisonous hemlock and bitter gall,
The fruits of the fusion were designed to be
Sweet to taste and strength to life!
The real victims of this evolution
Often are the innocent and the endearing
Little ones who are a message from heaven!
Whither this change, so dramatic and drastic,
So damaging and destroying!
Wherefore this phase, so blatant and blase,
So blustery and blundering!
Whatever happened, to passion and compassion
To endearment and endurance!
God in Your mercy, grant us to be atleast human!
*Friday Fictioneers is talented group of enthusiasts penning down a story, a poem, a prose, etc., expressing their heart about a photo prompt, every week. Thanks for this week’s beautiful photo prompt ©  J Hardy Carroll
                                                      

 

GOLDEN SLIPPERS

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"Children, today I am going to teach you O DEM GOLDEN SLIPPERS". 

(Sings and teaches them to sing). 

"Not them but dem!" 

"Why?" 

"Its a negro spiritual and must be sung like that." 

"Its so sad, Thatha!" 

"Yes, maganae. 
It echoes the heart and longing of a negro slave
He is yearning for heaven because he will be treated as human being.
He wants to be valued and be equal to everybody else!"

"Why do people make slaves of others? 
We are all God's creation!"

"I don't know!"

My paternal grandfather was a good singer and taught all his grandchildren from his rich repertoire of songs. I remember him teaching us negro spirituals and insisting on their language. This photo prompt reminded me of one of the first songs I/we learnt at his feet!

In its original form, it was a spiritual sung by black slaves to express the hope of freedom and of meeting God. 

Golden Slippers Also known as Oh, Dem Golden Slippers 1879 was a popular song commonly sung by blackface minstrel performers in the late 1800’s. Golden Slippers was written by James Bland, a black songwriter who wrote for minstrel shows. Bland was also the first man to put the 5th string on a banjo. He did very well touring Europe in 1800’s. Bland had much less success touring in the States because blacks weren’t permitted on many stages, unless it was to perform for an all-black audience.
The song’s first stanza tells of setting aside such fine clothes as golden slippers, a long-tailed coat and a white robe for a chariot ride in the morning (presumably to heaven). The song is well-known today as the unofficial theme song of the Philadelphia Mummers Parade.
LYRICS
Oh, my golden slippers am laid away
‘Cause I don’t spect to wear ’em til my wedding day
And my long tailed coat, that I love so well
I will wear up in the chariot in the morn.
And my long white robe that I bought last June
I’m goin’ to get changed ’cause it fits too soon
And the old grey hoss that I used to drive
I will hitch him to the chariot in the morn.
CHORUS:
Oh, dem golden slippers
Oh, dem golden slippers
Golden slippers I’se goin’ to wear
Because they look so neat.
Oh, dem golden slippers
Oh, dem golden slippers
Golden slippers I’se goin’ to wear
To walk the golden street.
Oh, my old banjo hangs on the wall
‘Cause it ain’t been tuned since way last fall
But the darks all say we’ll have a good time
When we ride up in the chariot in the morn.
There’s ol’ brother Ben and his sister, Luce
They will telegraph the news to uncle Bacco Juice
What a great camp meetin’ there will be that day
When we ride up in the chariot in the morn.
So, it’s good-bye, children I will have to go
Where the rain don’t fall and the wind don’t blow
And yer ulster coats, why, you will not need
When you ride up in the chariot in the morn.
But yer golden slippers must be nice and clean
And yer age must be just sweet sixteen
And yer white kid gloves you will have to wear
When you ride up in the chariot in the morn.
http://www.digitalhistory.uh.edu/music/titles_noncopyright.cfm

*(Thatha – grandfather, Maganae – son in Tamil)

*Friday Fictioneers is talented group of enthusiasts penning down a story, a poem, a prose, etc., expressing their heart about a photo prompt, every week. Thanks for this week’s beautiful photo prompt © Sarah Potter

BY BREAD ALONE

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Abby, stop sulking. Come along.
You said it would be fine, Leah. Its not!
Of course it is. I love all this walking!
Are you kidding me? We were safe inside. You said it's better outside!
You were the one cribbing and couldn't wait to get out!
I didn't know what we won't have! What we would go through!
Just wait. It will get better, don't worry. At least no one is watching us constantly!
I liked that at first, but now I am tired. Of wandering!
I love it all, our freedom!
I miss it all, especially the bread!
*Friday Fictioneers is talented group of enthusiasts penning down a story, a poem, a prose, etc., expressing their heart about a photo prompt, every week. Thanks for this week’s beautiful photo prompt © Kelvin M. Knight
 

 

LOW POINT HIGH GROUND

Forlorn in desolation,
Yet majestic in isolation.
Desperate with barrenness,
But pregnant with promise.
Lowly in appearance,
Yet noble in substance.
Lost in vastness,
But protected in fineness.
Darkness around the nearness,
Yet lightness around the horizon.
Overshadowed by the depth of the grave,
But canopied by the grace of the heavens.
Standing in the history of the Tomb,
Yet resting in the promise of the Resurrection.
Missing you forever in the present,
But meeting you forever in the future,
In weakness made strong,
Standing tall in this my strength!

*I am writing this in the aftermath of my sister’s early demise last week around this same time frame. This is more an echo of what my bro-in-law is/will be feeling right now, an articulation of a lonely path he is right now treading. They didn’t have kids and so his being left behind is poignant. Please do pray for him.

The expression of my own sorrow is my earlier blog https://mullingspicewordpresscom.wordpress.com/2017/09/07/tribute-to-my-sister/

*Friday Fictioneers is talented group of enthusiasts penning down a story, a poem, a prose, etc., expressing their heart about a photo prompt, every week. Thanks for this week’s beautiful photo prompt © Danny Bowman

HIDDEN STRENGTH

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"Where shall we go for our vacation this year?"
"Singapore & Malaysia - Sentosa Island, Petronas Towers, Batu Caves, 
cable car ride to Genting Highlands..." 
"Let's do Disney World, USA. 
Better still, let's visit the Middle Kingdom in New Zealand!"
"Mom has that look on her face!"
"Cappadocia in Turkey".
"So weird!"
"Cappadocia is famous for underground cities in natural volcanic formations. 
Early Christians formed them to hide from their Roman invaders. 
It's a beautiful historical place."
"What else?"
"Song from Rajini movie Chandramukhi was shot there!"
"Then let's go there!" (Clamorous clapping)
"That explains your secret smile!"
"I know my kids!"

*This week’s photo prompt reminded me of three things:

1. Proverbs 30: 24-28

24“Four things on earth are small, yet they are extremely wise: 25 Ants are creatures of little strength, yet they store up their food in the summer; 26 Hyraxes are creatures of little power, yet they make their home in the crags; 27 locusts have no king, yet they advance together in ranks; 28 a lizard can be caught with the hand, yet it is found in kings’ palaces.

2.  Cappadocia 

Here the Romans tortured the first Christians. Religious cave paintings display evidence of early Christianity. These caves were also used as hiding places. This is the most unique natural environment in Turkey with its magical, fairy like landscape. Mount Erciyes, previously known as Argaeus, is only 50 km away to the south of Cappadocia is a former volcano. The previously violent eruptions of the volcano caused sedimentation of large quantities of ash layers in whole area. The ash layers were solidified during the following centuries, at the same time rivers and brooks gouged grooves and wind and rains eroded the top level in different shapes and depth. The result was the cone structures here and there and sometimes a large group of them concentrated in one area. Some of them hide below a harder stone hat, under which they can better resist erosion.
At the bottom of these stone formations and cones, churches, cathedrals, homes and storage facilities were hewn out. During the early ages of Christianity, this place was a refuge for first Christians of Asia Minor. More recently, the area was a safe-haven for the Christians, under the threat of Muslim Arabs, between 7th and 13th centuries. There are hundreds of churches carved on rock formations in the area. Urgup, Goreme, Zelve, Avanos, Soganli, Derinkuyu, Kaymakli, Ihlara Valley, Cavusin, Pasabag, Ortahisar, Uchisar are among the famous places with large numbers of early Christian settlements and churches in Cappadocia region. It is also known that St. Paul established one of the first Christian colonies in this region with his followers.

3. FILM SHOOTING LOCALE

Ah the magical Cotton Castle hot springs of Turkey is truly a romantic place to bask into. The movie that ran for more than a 1000 days made it’s mark on Pamukkale and Cappadocia to shoot a song for Chandramukhi. https://blog.pickyourtrail.com/5-locations-every-rajini-fan-must-visit/
Cappadocia hosts world-renowned movies: http://www.hotel-in-cappadocia.com/en/cappadocia/important-facts/filmset-cappadocia.html
A total of 265 state and private TV stations from 45 countries have shot either documentaries of films in Cappadocia in the last 15 years. The Cappadocia region in central Anatolia, famous for natural wonders such fairy chimneys and caves, has become the focus of attraction for both international and Turkish TV producers (Statement issued by the Nevşehir Museum Directorate).
Cappadocia has hosted several famous movies over the last 15 years, its attraction aided by its magnificent natural beauty, historic and religious sites and underground cities. Among them were “Medea,” in which the leading role was played by world-famous soprano Maria Callas, ”Monsieur Ibrahim et les Fleurs Du Coran,” with famous actor Omar Sharif and “L’Empire des Loups / Empire of the Wolves” which included famous French actor Jean Reno.

I combined these in to my account! If you know Indians (and Asians) you will understand the film craze and especially the craze for one particular actor!

*Friday Fictioneers is talented group of enthusiasts penning down a story, a poem, a prose, etc.,  expressing their heart about a photo prompt, every week. Thanks for this week’s beautiful photo prompt © CEAyr

HOME AGAIN

Ananya hated moving, leaving the familiar for the strange, the old for new. Wanted things to be as they were. Hated leaving her flowers.

Her husband loved it all. Couldn’t think of staying more than three years in a place. Loved the newness of it all, even the packing and unpacking!

His parents’ job entitled a move every three years. Hers had stayed rooted and grounded in one place all the time.

The movers had already unloaded their stuff and gone. Fumbling with the unfamiliar knob, she pushed the door open.

She stopped breathing. They were breathtaking. It would be alright. She was home.

*Friday Fictioneers is talented group of enthusiasts penning down a story, a poem, a prose, etc.,  expressing their heart about a photo prompt, every week. Thanks for this week’s beautiful photo prompt © Dale Rogerson