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On a grassy lawn shadowy with overhanging boughs like the old dark forests with their vaulted arches, they make their own tradition.

And yet, she in her cotton skirt, bare feet in sandals and with him in jeans and sleeveless vest, they might be a Brahmin couple wed ritually at the cow-dust hour, sashed together with a silken scarf, who, being one, need never thank each other, for ''does the head thank the heart?''

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Their words are their own: a prayer, a poem that lights a dusty window into tomorrow. And yet a pledge, a promise has been made.

Even unspoken, the question has been asked - even unacknowledged, the answer affirmed.