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Nelumbo nucifera, the colour of Panthera tigris by Simone Dinshaw

Art by Pierre Andrieu

Nelumbo nucifera the colour of Panthera tigris

The faded henna

On the young bride's hands

On the old man's beard

Smells the same

The holy river

Once ablaze with diyas

Now bloated with bodies

Winds on unassumingly

Grief the colour

Of embers on the pyre

Of the fading bruise

Of the very last sunset

Because saffron is

Not an ideology but

A spice that grows in Kashmir

So potent you can taste the

Single strand

In an oversized vessel

Of food

Because we take back what we love

And lotuses aren't orange anyway

Simone Dinshaw is a writer and editor based in Bombay. She studied literature at Middlebury College. Her interests include baking, diving, and disordering words to craft meaning.


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