A few days back, from our porch on the second floor, Nina drew my attention to the scattered bright red specks that had suddenly appeared at places among the lush green foliage, along the far end of the perimeter of our garden in Vientiane. Till then, the garden was predominantly an image of green, in all its possible shades and structures.
Intrigued, I decided to have a closer look and I found to my wonder and delight that a very unusual variety of “Bird of Paradise” hitherto unknown to us, had begun to bloom. As I peered deeper, I found that there was quite a profusion of these exquisite, brilliant red-orange-peach colour flowers. We had no idea that behind the screen of the leaves, hundreds of flowers had bloomed and many more were waiting to bloom in the days to come. It was as if a veil had suddenly lifted, revealing a mysterious hidden world to us.
I use the term mysterious because the flowers are rather sinuous and from a distance, they seem to have a striking resemblance to the human form engaged in dynamic dance movements. It almost felt like a group of ballerina dancers in bright red, in movement against a green background.