Bone rattling winter chill was weeks behind and the hot, sultry summer was weeks away. There was nothing to deter me from walking into Mother Nature, all in the comfort of an enviable solitude.
Was the exotic morning my best yet? Inevitable comparisons began with some my finest.
I remembered pulling the curtains in Tyrolean capital Innsbruck to see a picture postcard live. The Inn River flew rapidly down the valley along the Karwendel mountain chain, free from the frozen winter, in a hurry to merge with the mighty Danube.
The water would wash the soils of Braunau am Inn. I felt a touch of history. I saw a glimpse of the Golden Roof and the Büchsenhausen Castle. It was an exquisite blend of history and nature. But, were there as many colours?
Back to my surroundings, I saw all the colours of the rainbow and more. I saw green, yellow, yellow-green, red, orange, pink, violet, purple, maroon, golden, blue, and white. As if a seasoned painter had created hues at will and splashed them all over a canvas with artistic indulgence.
I remembered the magnificent Copacabana in an enchanting Rio de Janeiro morning. Scores of people thronged the famed beach, singing and dancing, in their own world. The Rio carnival was about to begin.
The world looked like a colourful playhouse as if there were no pain, poverty or panic. I had never felt such powerful vibes, so much of positive energy and so much of collective happiness. I saw the tantalising contours of gorgeous Rio coastline. I watched the wild blue waves give in to ever-thirsty sands on the long beach. But, what if all the people high on adrenaline disappeared? Wasn't it awfully short of some flora and fauna?
Returning, I saw a variety of flowers, beautifully choreographed into themes, designs and shapes in a tasteful spread all around the garden. I saw Rose, Hibiscus, Ixora, Marigold, Bougainvillea, Gulanchis at the far end. I relished a colourful spread of Petunia in the inner circle of the driveway with neatly pruned Dahlias and Chrysanthemums at the centre.
There were rows of Bleeding hearts, Azaleas, Salvias, Guineas and Gerberas. I found rows of Tuberose and Kharikajain, with their distinctive refreshing fragrance. I saw Aparajita climbing high on shades made of bamboo sticks.
Walking to the pond, I was greeted by rows of Water Lilies.
What a treat it was! Even the rare ones came out to defend their habitat against some of the best in the world!
I remembered the magnificent Lake Como in Italy with its stunning natural extravaganza. The hilly backdrop sprinkled with beautiful villas and resorts, the spotlessly clean winding roads and the exquisite flowerbeds well justify its status as one of the most popular romantic getaways in Europe. But, did I hear so many birds chirp hopping from tree to tree?
Returning again, I marvelled at the captivating sounds of countless birds. Koo-o! Moi keteki! Krrrr!, Kiu-kiu-kiu-kiu! Quicku-quicku-quicku! Hetlook-hetlook-hetlook...! There were Cuckoos, Ketekis, Crows, Parrots, Pigeons, Sparrows, Kingfisher, a Red Vented Bulbul, Blue Throated Barbet, probably an Oriental Magpie Robin and many more. An ornithologist told me later that I might have even seen Black Headed Golden Orioles, Indian Robins, Tree pies, Black Drongos and more!
Comparisons faded out. With a poetic confluence of the best in nature, that morning in beautiful Assam was beyond compare! I walked around in lazy steps savouring every moment, blessed as I were for such a treat in private privilege.
The author is a freelance writer based in Muscat. All the views and opinions expressed in the article are solely those of the author and do not reflect those of Times of Oman.