Soon, over a long period of holidays due to a religious festival, Becky would join a group of her colleagues to one such hiking trip on mountain trails in the northern state of Himachal Pradesh. In between extended hikes, they would stop in small quaint villages or small towns with unique history. One such stop-over brought the group to the town of Manikaran on the banks of fast-flowing Parvathi River, a holy place to two religions of the country: Hinduism and Sikhism.
First, the group would visit the Hindu Temple, erected next to a boiling hot spring. As circulated steam was creating a mystic appearance, Becky noticed that several tied-up big bags of rice were getting cooked in that boiling water. She learned that though a hot spring, there was no sulfur contamination. Thus following their tradition of everyday service, the disciples of the Sikh religion were cooking rice in a most natural way to feed the poor people of the neighboring towns. “What a peaceful coexistence of two religions,” thought Becky. Subsequently, her group would visit the Gurudwara of the Sikh religion.
But for Becky, the mystery of how water from a hot spring not contaminated with sulfur still remained puzzling. Most of her colleagues were busy taking selfies and immediately posting on their social media sites. She was aware that many of them created popular software, now being integral parts of a modern-day smart-phone. She got hold of Mithila, a brilliant woman from the group. Mithila heard various myths, but the most wide-spread one involved Shiva, the god of destruction and his wife Parvathi (the namesake of the river). They were taking an evening stroll along the bank, when she lost a piece of her jewelry. All efforts failed to recover the piece. And that’s when, Sheshnag, the serpent god appeared in the scene. He hissed, thereby giving rise to a flow of unadulterated boiling water creating the hot spring with the emergence of the jewelry. Then with a skeptic’s mischievous smile, Mithila opined “Now Becky, it is up to you whether to believe this myth or not!”
Becky returning a friendly smile and staying neutral responded: “Indeed, the country made a long journey from snake to software.”