It is a timeless representation of love that transcends boundaries of gender, colour, orientation, and age.
A Diamond is not just nature’s most precious rock.
It is an eternal symbol of love that transcends boundaries of gender, colour, orientation, and age.
Since time immemorial, humans have strived to create symbols that capture our life, emotions, thoughts and vision that outlast our mortal existence. These symbols express who we are today and what we aspire to be in the times to come.
In celebration of Pride Month, we present an artistic rendition that fuses two powerful symbols of love—natural diamonds and the Pride flag.
But first, a little bit of history.
Designed by Gilbert Baker in the late 1970s, the Pride Flag symbolises resistance against discrimination and a fight for equality, acceptance, and visibility of the LGBTQ+ community, offering a vision of a non-discriminatory and accepting world. With red representing life, orange for healing, yellow for new ideas, green for prosperity, violet for spirit and blue for serenity, these colours have become cornerstones for a community. And the hope for a glittering future based on equitable love.
Through paintings, songs, poetry, and prose, we reimagine the six different colours of the Pride Flag as miniature worlds within the facets of stunning natural diamonds.
Red, a poem
In the heart of the diamond of life, there is a red world Alive, glittering, elemental, and against every mould A claret sun shines over streets aflame with Palash trees They end at a vermillion beach washed by raging red seas The houses are made of ruddy bricks that glow bright Everyone wears robes of fire that gleam in the night Some drive Ferraris, others flaunt their Louboutin pair Some wear Ruby Woo, others have feathers in their hair Some drink Merlot, and others sip their Bloody Marys. Some dress as unicorns and others are dazzling fairies. The currency is in roses and kisses No matter if you are a Mrs and a Mrs Within this diamond there is life and love It is the beating heart of the eternal dove
Orange, a kaleidoscope
Inside this diamond there is an orange future that washes away hate In its healing colour, our tomorrows have hope and a better fate Look through a facet and you will see black rivers of pain Look again and see it tinged bright orange and flowing again Look through another angle and see lovers divided Look again and they are orange hued and united Look at a town of people carrying their broken hearts on sleeves. Look again closely and they are healed, happy and at peace Look to see a past where freedom is under a tight lock and key Look at an orange present where rules are broken as they should be Look at a place where everything is labelled in a square or round box Look at the new orange freedom where lovers are not pelted by rocks Yet another facet shows a land of ignorance and oblivion. Throw in the fireworks and you have a rainbow revolution. Hold the diamond up to the light and you will see an orange glow. What was once a tragedy in parts is now healed and made whole.
Yellow, a game of light
We never knew the sun in our world. We had never seen it since we were children and we didn’t know that light could be. We thought very little, we did as were told. We woke, we worked, we ate and we slept. Sometimes the elders told us stories of dreams that they had dreamt, where they saw a blazing ball of yellow. But when they woke, it faded from memory and it was night again.
One day, something changed. Into our dark world came a shining light. An all-seeing diamond eye that exuded brightness we had never known. We learnt of a colour called yellow. And suddenly, we found our song. We learnt how to think. We learnt how to love. We broke the rooms for one.
Our diamond eye led us to new lands, where we spread our knowledge. Little by little the night lifted and the skies turned blue. A blazing ball of yellow appeared and our rock turned into a nurturing home. We found our way out of the shadows into a yellow dawn.
Green, a short play
A, B and C are sitting at a bar by a highway to nowhere. There is an old bartender and the place is a faded memory of a once-grand salon. The three are waiting for something or someone and sharing a bottle of wine.
(A looks at their watch and takes a swig)
A: Since we are here, why don’t we get to know each other? Let’s talk about our homes.
B. Sure. I’ll begin. I come from a place where everything is white and it snows around the year. Our trees are white. Our dogs are white. Our tribe lives in units of four—a man, a woman and two children—in boxes cut into the snow. We wear fur cloaks of pristine white. We work in the frozen rivers, fishing from dawn to dusk. We wake early. We sleep at sundown. Our wives work hard. Our sons and daughters work hard. It is a good life really. Except…
A: (taking another swig): Sounds dreary. And dreadfully cold. I hate cold places.
C: Yes, I don’t think I would be able to take the cold. Where I come from it is all gold. There are acres of golden desert with shifting sands. Our tribe lives in units of four—a man, a woman and two children—in tents covered in gold leaf. We wear veils of gold to keep the sand out. Our shoes are made of gold. Sometimes they are a bit uncomfortable but they look pretty. All of us work in the giant factory making gold shoes from dawn to dusk. We wake early. We sleep at sundown. Our wives work hard. Our sons and daughters work hard. It is a good life. Except…
B: Gold shoes. Sounds dreadful. What about you A? What’s home like for you?
A: Well my home seems like the best compared to you too. It is a city. A big bustling city. We have streets that intersect at right angles and everyone stands patiently in line. Everyone follows rules and there are no lawbreakers or mischief-makers. We live in units of four—a man, a woman and two children—in two-room apartments with every gadget in the world. We wear grey suits. They are smart and efficient. We all go to our offices and work our 9-5 jobs sorting bills diligently. We wake early. We sleep at sundown. Our wives work hard. Our sons and daughters work hard. It is a good life. Except…
C: We aren’t telling the truth are we?
B: Of course, we aren’t
Before A can respond, the door to the bar opens and G walks in. They are a vision in emerald green, a divine being. In their hand is a glittering square. It is filled with pure light.
G: I am Green and I am here to bring you prosperity and growth. You have it all, you say and in your heart, you know it to be untrue. I will travel to each of your lands and bring it that which it needs. With me, you can break the shackles and the drudgery. With me, you can see your children grow into that which they want to be. In my light, you will grow trees and end the sameness of your worlds. With me your tribes will grow and so will your future. So come.
A, B and C look at each other. A cries, B smiles and C teeters in between. They get up from their seats and follow Green out into a glorious sunset.
Blue, a song
In this diamond, there is a world of blue serenity And in this world there is peace, respect, and divinity Azure heavens stretch, like an endless embrace, A celestial symphony plays as clouds interlace Turquoise towers rise, touching the mirror skies, And within those walls, there is love and no lies Waves crash against the shores in shades of ultramarine Sparkling like rare diamonds in a world so serene Sea creatures dance, in a grand ocean ballet, Up on the stage, their queer beauty is on display. And as darkness descends, the stars take their cue, A tapestry of glittering constellations, in every hue In this blue world of calm, we find solace within A sanctuary of peace, where new journeys begin
Violet, a dream of the ages
I have lived through time and the stories of my many lives are stored in this diamond heart.
In the 16th century, I was born a man. I grew up to be a poet. My work was loved by many and my fame spread across the land. In my twenties, I fell in love with a man. He was a painter. I would write and he would paint my words or I would bring his colours to life. In the house we built together, we painted the walls purple and grew violets in our garden. We lived, loved, and grew old tending to the flowers in our garden. When he died, I left a violet and a kiss on his grave.
In the 18th century, I was a young girl who believed in freedom for herself and her country. I grew up and found a soulmate, another free-spirited girl like me. Together, we wore violet scarves and purple flowers in our hair too. We went on marches. We pelted stones and we fought the powers that be. We fought for our land and we fought for our love and found them both in our lifetime.
In the 20th century, I was told that I was a boy. The road to becoming me was one I trod with faith and support. I became a girl. I became a singer and a champion of my people. I sang songs. I danced on the streets and I wore purple frocks to parties. I wore violets on my lapel and I sang till the end of my days.
In the 21st century, I am every person living with pride and with love. My spirit is free, my diamond heart belongs to the world and it is all violet.
About the artist
Jishnu Bandyopadhyay is an artist, designer and writer based out of Mumbai. Their work has evolved while collaborating with the likes of Instagram, Disney, Google, and Condé Nast. Jishnu is currently the Multimedia Editor at Condé Nast Traveller. Their work explores the nuances of human existence through prose, design and art.
Inspiration: Through the pride colours I wanted to imagine utopian worlds where opulence and abundance are easily afforded to queer people, may it be through liberation, prosperity, opportunities, or acceptance. With a diverse set of characters that represent the multi-faceted nature of our community, I wanted to paint pictures of unapologetic queer joy.