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  • You'd think it a dream I'd drifted into deep within a heat-waved night. A summer vision from some other world.

    But it was real. It happened. I was there.

    A Shaadi in a Vermont field:

    Sanscrit chanting low and deep
    Mothers dancing to son and daughter
    Within the ribboned tent
    Mehndi's henna awakening a bride's inner light
    Saris rippling across color and tone
    Kurta and jutti instead of suit and shoe

    Cooks at a tandoor, peeling naan from the walls
    And handing it to me hot
    Another hemisphere's music dancing with Vermont starlight
    As Sangeet reconciles day with night, old with young, stranger with sister.

    The second day
    The heat, the melting heat, waving at the mountains
    White umbrellas shocked by the sun
    Rose petals falling onto green grass
    The groom in Punjabi finery astride his flower-bedecked mountain bike
    Drummed by family and friends onto the field
    To welcome his bride arriving bindi-ed and bell-ed and red-sari-ed
    Surrounded by her women
    And then her parents.

    They hold hands and circle the fire and speak poetry
    We throw flowers
    A bagpiper leads us to dinner
    Their parents dance all night
    Punjabi and Maine-French Canadian
    Stunning pair: lightness and love, once and perhaps, beauty and joy
    All on a mountainside in Vermont.
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