|(Frank Sydney Smythe)|
"... To us the Bhyunder Valley will always remain the Valley of Flowers. It is a place of escape for those wearied of modern civilisation. The means of sustenance are to be found there. Rhubarb grows abundantly, an edible second only to eggs in Shipton's estimation, but one for which Holdsworth evidenced a strong dislike. Sheep are driven up to graze, and doubtless Bharal and other games are to be found. It would be easily possible to secure an abundant supply of provisions from the Alaknanda Valley. True, it would be necessary to descend in the winter to warmer and less snowy levels, but for half a year the lover of beauty and solitude could find peace in the Valley of Flowers. He would discover joy and laughter in the meadows; the stars would be his nightly canopy; he would watch the slow passing of the clouds; he would share the sunset and dawn with God.
Beyond the hills, nations might fly at one another's throats; Mussolinis rise and fall; anarchy and revolution rot the nations; but in the Valley of Flowers the only strife would be that of elements, the only sounds the wind in the flowers, the voice of the stream, and the rumble of the avalanche.
Towards evening, the sluggish monsoon mists drifted asunder. Summits peered through from immeasurable heights. Far up the valley the crest of Ghori Parvat glowed in the declining sun. Day's cold fires were drawn by the dark stokers of the night.
Peace and contentment were ours as we sat around the camp fire. Felt, rather than seen were the peaks about us. A million stars eyed us. The voice of the mountain torrent lulled us to sleep....."
- Frank Sydney Smythe
("Kamet Conquered"- 1931)
The West assumes its superiority over the East primarily because it is further advanced in mechanical matters, but woe betide it should it continue to associate mechanisms with spiritual progress. In Garhwal I met a true civilisation, for I found contentment and happiness. I saw a life that is not enslaved by the time-factor, that is not obsessed by the idea that happiness is dependent on money and materials. I had never before realised until I camped in the valley of flowers how much happiness there is in simple living and simple things.....
... To my mind, the acme of mental and spiritual discomfort would be to live in some super-luxury hotel in the Valley of Flowers. Happiness is best achieved by adapting ourselves to the standards of the environment. For this reason, cranks and extremists are essentially unhappy persons and symptomatic of a life that has become socially and mechanically too complex for its environment. In Garhwal I found no red, green or black shirts, no flags or emblems, no mechanisms, no motor cars or aeroplanes, but I did find a happy and contented people. I think the attitude of Himalayan peoples to Western progress is best summed up in the words of a Tibetian, and Tibetans consider themselves superior to Europeans in spiritual culture. He said- " We do not want your civilisation in Tibet, for wherever it is established, it brings unhappiness and war." It is a terrible indictment and it is true."
-Frank S Smythe
("The Valley of Flowers"- 1937)