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.