The Pride story – Celebrating the power of love with diamonds

Love after all, is love. This Pride, 3 homegrown artists talk about love and diamonds.

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Love is a rollercoaster of emotions. From smiling non-stop to wanting to run around town, and sometimes, just scream out. Love hits everyone the same way, irrespective of gender, sexuality, and identity. Love, much like Pride, is all about strength, resilience, uniqueness and beauty. So, is it really a surprise that the ultimate symbol to represent it also embodies these qualities, in the form of a natural diamond? 

Illustration by Arzoo Naqvi

The truth is, it’s love that chooses you at the end of the day. And when you find love that’s like a rare natural diamond, you choose to cherish, nurture and love it with all your being. After all, a diamond symbolises your commitment to the love you want. And to talk about this rare kind of love, is Arzoo Naqvi’s little love story.

Love is rare

“Love is lying on the floor with you. Love is when you call for our favourite pizza but without onions, because I don’t like them. Love is reading magazine ads in a funny voice with you for no reason at all. Love is listening to the playlist you made for me 2 years ago together because it’ll always be my favourite. Love is taking care of our pet together. Love is all the small things. Love is lying on the floor with you while doing all this. Love is lying on the floor with you and do nothing at all.”

Then, there’s a different kind of love. A love that’s almost difficult to accept – a love for yourself. This love helps you find strength, resilience, and acceptance of your true self. Jishnu Bandyopadhyay talks about his journey of discovering self-love and what owning a diamond means to him.

Illustration by Jishnu Bandyopadhyay 

Love is resilient

“For me, loving someone else has always been an easy task. Loving myself on the other hand, and loving my queerness with it, has been a difficult road for the most part. With so much hate that surfaces no matter how much positivity and goodness I surround myself with, I have found it hard to give myself credit for the things I have achieved and for the bad days I have persevered. Finding resilience has not been easy. For centuries now, diamonds have been a symbol of a loved one’s affection towards another: I want the first diamond I buy to be for myself, I want it to tell me that I have been there for me hundred per cent of the time, readily or otherwise. I want it to urge me to ignore the noise and focus on my dreams. I want it to remind me every day that the world is my oyster, just with a tougher shell.”

Illustration by Aarti Bhalekar

The true essence of love is accepting yourself for who you are – rough edges and all. That acceptance gives anyone the power to shine bright like a diamond. Finding happiness in her friends’ acceptance of who they are, Aarti Bhalekartells us a little story.

Love is beautiful

“To me, love means celebrating your true self.

I’ve watched my friends from the community live closeted lives for a very long time. But the rise of the LGTBQ movement has given them the confidence to celebrate themselves; and more importantly, letting go of the fear of judgement.

It was an important reminder for them that they have people who love and support them for who they are.

I watched my closeted friends overcome their hesitation and truly accept themselves. I have watched them embrace the liberation that comes with self-acceptance and self-love. And that is something I believe everyone should strive for… for themselves and for others.”

Love is a lot like a diamond that’s just been found. It’s not perfect, but with the right amount of care, work and effort, you make it. And so, it doesn’t matter if it isn’t perfect for the outside world to see. What matters is that it’s the perfect fit for you. And it’s this love that resides in the heart of everything Pride. Because no matter what your gender, all love wants is to make you happy.