Object: Walnut-Wood Tray
Provenance: Kashmir, 1950s
Description: A raised tray carved from walnut wood. Decorated with the leaves of the Nelumbo Nucifera, the Indian lotus, one of the two species of the aquatic plant from the Nelumbonacea family, and flowers, perhaps roses. The piece was bought in Kashmir in the 1950s by my grandfather. The Lotus, that floats on the calm waters of the Dal Lake, a sacred flower, finds reference in the vakhs (poetry) of the mystical Kashmiri poetess Lal Ded, or Lalleshwari.
“I roamed the vastness of the void alone,
Leaving behind reason and sense.
Then I stumbled upon the secret of the Self, unexpectedly.
In the mud where the lotus bloomed for me.”