Māngalayam, and


This is a sacred thread, essential for my long life
I tie this around your neck, may you live for a hundred winters.

I heard this oft-repeated Sanskrit expression – this is the traditional Vedic marriage mantra recited by the groom to the bride – emanating from the television in another room, while I dipped my fingers in the hot wax of a just blown cinnamon candle, and after a moment:

fragmented flowers,

fingerprinted petals.


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