My blogging idol, John Fea, threw down the gauntlet and demanded a statement on hope. When I stood under a palm tree and watched two strangers exchange wedding vows, I knew what I needed to write.
The Scandinavian-American groom arrived in an Aston-Martin as opposed to dismounting from a white stallion. His pasty female relations processed in saris revealing unfortunate shoulder tattoos before the Indian-American bride arrived in a palanquin to bollywood-bhangra-ballads.
As I stood chatting with Cuban-American National Humanities Medalist Teofilo Ruiz, the Hindu priest serenaded the couple with Kabhi Alveda Naa Kehna (never say goodbye). They apparently share my love of Shah Rukh Khan romantic extravaganzas. So much so, that the fair-haired groom closed his vows with title of the Khan-Kajol classic, “Kuch Kuch Hota Hai” (something’s happening).
The cross-cultural gathering captured the hope ingrained in our global community and manifested the best in America’s pluralist dream. The dais on which the couple pledged their troth backed to open ocean off Palm Beach, but I saw a smiling Statue of Liberty dancing over the water. An African-American woman seated among celebrants had long dreadlocks draped over the same shoulders as her sari. She came to symbolize the cultural synthesis of which we are capable when we chose to celebrate diversity rather than fear difference.
In the euphoria that followed, I posed with the topiary elephant the couple had stand guard their nuptials in lieu of a living pachyderm to lead them into the inherent optimism that is marriage.
Hope hota hai. Hope is happening.