Friday, 5 August 2016

The Conspiracy at Meru

The Conspiracy at Meru (Vikramaditya Veergatha # 2)


Vikramaditya and his Council of Nine have fought valiantly to repel the rampaging hordes from Devaloka and Patala – but Avanti has been brought to its knees. Ujjayini lies battered its citizens are scared and morale is badly shaken. Meanwhile, the barbaric Hunas and Sakas are gathering on the horizon and cracks are emerging between the allied kingdoms of Sindhuvarta.

The only silver lining is that the deadly Halahala is safe. For now.

Bent on vengeance, Indra is already scheming to destroy Vikramaditya, while Shukracharya has a plan that can spell the doom for the Guardians of the Halahala. How long can the human army hold out against the ferocity and cunning of the devas and asuras? And will Vikramaditya’s love for his queen come in the way of his promise to Shiva?

The deadly Halahala, the all-devouring poison churned from the depths of the White Lake by the devas and asuras, was swallowed by Shiva to save the universe from extinction.
But was the Halahala truly destroyed?
A small portion still remains – a weapon powerful enough to guarantee victory to whoever possesses it. And both asuras and devas, locked in battle for supremacy, will stop at nothing to claim it.
As the forces of Devaloka and Patala, led by Indra and Shukracharya, plot to possess the Halahala, Shiva turns to mankind to guard it from their murderous clutches. It is now up to Samrat Vikramaditya and his Council of Nine to quell the supernatural hordes – and prevent the universe from tumbling into chaos!
A sweeping tale of honour and courage in the face of infinite danger, greed and deceit, The Guardians of the Halahala is a fantastical journey into a time of myth and legend.

About the Author
Door-to-door salesman, copywriter, business journalist & assistant editor at The Economic Times; Shatrujeet Nath was all this before he took to writing fiction full-time. He debuted with The Karachi Deception in 2013, followed by The Guardians of the Halahala and The Conspiracy at Meru, the first two books in the Vikramaditya Veergatha series. At present, he is writing volume three of the series. Shatrujeet lives in Mumbai, but spends much of his time in the fantasy worlds of his stories.

Also by the Author:
(Click On the Cover for More Details)

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Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Baby Mornings Golden Mornings

Mornings for me before marriage were relaxed. My mom and my bhabhi took care of practically everything so I could get up late and laze around. I thought they were perfect golden days of my life but looking back now, I feel I just lazed around and wasted my time.

Marriage changed everything. Suddenly I was the one who was responsible. After the initial days, aptly titled the honeymoon period, my mom-in-law started dropping hints about waking up early and getting into the kitchen. It was damn difficult to wake up early and act fresh.

Moreover, I did not have any interesting toothpaste at my new house (some boring brand) nor did I have a fancy and exciting toothbrush like the new Colgate 360 Charcoal Gold toothbrush which could add some zing to my morning. I had to drag myself out of bed and into the kitchen. In my half asleep state, I have often exchanged the sugar for salt in the tea … which unfortunately was consumed by my poor hubby since his office was the earliest and hence he was first up and running.

Then came my baby and life changed drastically. Earlier it seemed difficult because kiddo wont allow me to sleep at night and would keep me awake all through the night … sleeping peaceful herself in the morning when I had to be awake. But then something changed. I am tempted to say things changed but the fact of the matter is that I and my perspective changed while the 'things' remained the same.

Watching her grow up into the cutest and most adorable kid in the world made my day. Each morning I would look at her face and begin my golden morning. She made my day. She made all efforts worth all that I was going through.


Sunday, 13 December 2015

Mumbai Meri Jaan

Having born and brought up in the Bollywood city of India, it is impossible NOT to love it. So invariably, my favorite city is Mumbai … simple because this city is my life. That's why the song "Yeh hain Mumbai meri jaan"

For someone from outside, it is definitely a difficult place to fall in love with. The traffic, the humidity, the heavy rains, the rushed life, the over-over-crowded local trains and so on

Not for me. Mumbai is an enigma for me. I respect the spirit of the average Mumbai citizen who strives to keep his life normal and routine struggling to survive in spite of all the curve balls the city throws at him/her in daily life.

People in Mumbai are simply #madeofgreat stuff and collectively the city itself is #madeofgreat


Every time a 'calamity' has hit Mumbai, the city and its people have risen to the challenge and proved their mettle. Time and again the average Mumbai has been forced on his knees and every time he has pushed back and got up to face the challenge … not for any great achievement or a revolution; just to bring back life to normal again. It is this quest for normalcy that drives the people here. People have struggled with the over-burdened infrastructure for decades and have almost given up on the government to do something concrete about it (except let's say lay out and dig up concrete roads). All that now drives them is the need to have a normal routine (and quite often boring) life. Ironically, it is this normalcy that drives them and not some great ideal. And that is what makes it great.


By design, every Mumbaikar is a survivor. They face problems day in and out which hardens them and prepares them for the worst. The life in Mumbai is designed to make you a tough person. Of course, there are people who have fun and they hardly have to worry about the hardships (except maybe traffic problems). But the vast majority is work hardened and made tough. The complex problems are God's design to toughen the average Mumbaikar.


People connect. You interact with scores of people on a daily basis and you seem to connect with all. The milkman to the newspaper boy to the security guard to the familiar face in your regular transport (bus or train) or even the familiar face in the traffic jam or the road-side vendor outside your college/office etc. You meet people and connect with them. Over a period of time, you feel for them.

Unfortunately, the connect seems to have been slowly reducing and eroding due to our busy as well as selfish lifestyles. Also, a lot of interactions are reducing. You don't visit the stores very often now – you just shop online and the goods get delivered. You miss out on all the interactions you could have had in the store.

Nevertheless, the city is still pretty good and people here have a heart of gold

Mumbai is #madeofgreat and the average mumbaikar is also #madeofgreat 

Sunday, 6 December 2015

Sugar Free Cake for Hubby Dear


Hubby dear had his birthday last month (20th Nov) and I had to make it special

I decided to bake a simple home-made cake for him and his office colleagues. Wanted to make something that his colleagues wouldn't have had before

So I decided to try out the cake made out of biscuit (also because it was easy to make)

Father-in-law had diabetes and looking at my husband's penchant for sweets; I wouldn't be surprised if he would get it too very soon so I had it in my mind to go sugar free for the cake. I wasn't too sure of the taste with sugar-free but decided to take the risk nevertheless.

Let me tell you first that the cake was a roaring success and not just hubby dear but even his colleagues liked it very much. I made a large one which he took to office and then later made a separate one for him and gave him a surprise in the evening when he came home with the cake and some decoration around it.

So here is the recipe of the simple biscuit cake and also the pics of the cake I made.


2 packet of hide 'n' seek biscuits.

2 packet of Parle g biscuits.

1 packet of regular eno or 1 and 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder.

2 cup of milk

A little butter for greasing


Making and Baking the Cake

1. Grind biscuits into a fine powder in a large bowl. You can practically do it with a spoon but can also use the mixer-grinder for speedy results

2. Add milk to it and mix well

3. And the Eno or baking powder to the batter and mix

4. Add a little Sugar Free Natura to enhance the taste. I luckily got it perfectly right. You will need to use your judgement on this or experiment. The biscuits are somewhat sweet so you use less than usual sugar equivalent.

5. Grease the cake mould

6. Pour the batter in the mould

 7. Place the mould with batter in the pre-heated oven (temperature 350 C)


It should take about 20 minute for the cake to be ready. You might want to use the usual cake bake test.

Test: Take out the cake and put a toothpick or knife in it and if it comes out clean, your cake is ready


Allow the cake to cool and you can decorate the cake as you deem fit with gems, chocolate sauce or simply serve with vanilla ice cream (its awesome)


Note: I added some crushed walnut to the mix before putting it in the oven so in effect, what I got was 'chocolate walnut brownie' J Hubby loved it.

Link to the Sugar Free Natura website -
Some pics of the cake I baked and decoration around the cake (not on it)

Friday, 21 August 2015

Being Online Being Connected - Faster

I have been online only for the past 5 years. I guess I was late to jump on the internet bus. I was not internet savvy in my college days nor did I get interested in it after.

It was only when I got married and moved to Dubai with my husband in 2010 that I realized its potential. My husband introduced me to email and FB along with internet voip calling (our primary means of communicating with family back home)

AND I discovered a new world all together since FB introduced me to so many new things including Youtube. I was hooked on to the laptop for the entire day while my hubby was away in office. I got addicted to FB conversations, contests and YouTube videos.

Life did change when I came back to India in 2011. Living with in-laws I could not spend much time with the laptop but the smartphone came to my rescue J

It offered me the joy of online entertainment albeit on a smaller screen size. It was a trade-off but it was OK. It did not trouble me much.

The thing that troubled me most was the internet speed. I was used to better speeds in Dubai and the speed in India was not that great. On the mobile, it was even worse. Waiting for a video to buffer and start streaming is a dampener. Those are dull moments in an otherwise interesting day.

But I have lived. Transitioning from 2G to 3G was a welcome change and the wait got shorter. Photos downloaded instantly and the buffering for videos became rare.

Then came the HD videos and the wait increased again as they were bandwidth heavy. I used to crib about the speed to my hubby who would calmly explain that India is somehow catching up on the speed bandwagon and we kind of remain 10 years (or more) behind US in terms of internet connectivity and speed.

So … when I saw the latest ads and promotions by Airtel about their launch of 4G services in India … I am truly happy. I am just waiting to get onto the 4G bullet train.

Not only is Airtel the first telecom to launch 4G in India but they are doing it in 297 cities/towns at the same time. They are also delivering the new 4G capable sim to your doorsteps for free … you just need to tweet with their hashtag (#GetAirtel4G). Get more details about Airtel 4G at

I am looking forward to getting the new 4G sim .. and simultaneously working on getting my hubby to buy a new 4G capable mobile too. Since Airtel is offering 4G at 3G prices, getting 4G should not be a problem … and with my birthday coming up next month (Sept), getting a new 4G phone should not be a problem either .. heeheehee

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

My Breakfast Menu for Hubby

My husband is very particular about breakfast and never misses it. He pretty much has a standard breakfast - tea with 2 khakhras; except for those times when we would make upma, poha or other hot breakfast - which is usually once in the weekdays and in the weekends.
We have lived with his parents and brother all the while now and we are soon going to move to another home - just me, him and our one-year old.
I have been thinking about the various aspects of living "alone" (without my in-laws) and how things will change for me. I have to take care of the entire house and my child and my hubby too. There, my mother-in-law will not be there to share the load. I will be all by myself.
When thinking about breakfast, i was hoping to give my hubby some variety but then I realized that I will have to pack his lunch too so how will i manage to make his lunch and breakfast together in the morning ... and not to forget my one-year old who could wake up at any time and start running around.
So I began thinking about what preparations for lunch i could do the previous night and what kind of quick-recipes I could use for breakfast. He has not been living a healthy life in past several years because of all the travel he did and I intend to bring his health back on track (weight reduction goal of over 20% - and if that does not give u a perspective, let me tell you that he tips the scale over 92 kg these days)
They have very interesting recipes on the page. The FB page also has links to the Kellog’s website where you will find a whole lot of recipes and other info about Kellog’s products (their nutritional values etc)
These are the recipes I have picked up to try them out myself first (before subjecting my husband to them)
1.    Choco Cornflakes Peanut Chikki – He is BIG peanut chikki fan and a chocolate fan. This is like bringing together both worlds for him

2.    Choco Mint Cornflakes  - I have seen him relishing mint chocolate so this will be perfect

3.    Cheesy Cornflakes – He loves cheese and anything with cheese on/in it. Once in a while, I would let him have it his way.  
4.    Chikoo Banana Cornflakes – Chikoo milkshake is his favorite. Banana not so. Lets see how this goes down with him.
Besides the breakfast snacks, there are some shakes also … this will surprise hubby completely
Black Forest Shake – From the black forest came to the milk shake. He will love this.
While visiting their FB page, I came across their #KellogsWaleGuptaji campaign and the TV advertisement. Well, I would love to visit the Gupta family and learn the tricks of healthy breakfast with variety from them.

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Happiness is Time with Hubby Dear


Spending a day with hubby would not be considered as a Big Deal … right ?

Ask the wife of the guy working in merchant navy who spends 6 months on the ship away from home.

Ask the wife of a soldier who husband is away on the border for most part of the year with danger lurking over his head (literally)

And last but not the least; ask ME whose husband is a frequent-flier Consultant, who is traveling not only across the length and breadth of the country but also across borders to nearby countries of the Middle East.

We got married in 2010. I was told that his job requires travelling to other countries and often it is for long term (more than 4 months) in which case, I will go with him and live in the other country. In case of shorter than 4 months period, I will be staying back in India. It was a difficult to imagine what it would be like at that time.

Fortunately, the first project was a long term project of almost 2 years in UAE. Although I could not travel with him, but followed after 15 days; I was there with him. We were in Sharjah for 10 months of 2011 before his full time tenure on the project was reduced to part time and we had to come back to India.

AND then I coined the word 'frequent flier consultant' for him

His 'part time engagement' in the project meant that he had to travel to UAE for 2 weeks every month. That was a 50% Veer-Zaara situation for me. And that was not all. His office was in Pune while we lived in Mumbai. It did not make much sense for us to relocate to Pune since he would be out of country for practically half the time so he made a request to management which got approved. He now went to 'office' 3 times a week … and the rest was 'work from home'.

This translated in the fact that for 2 weeks of the month, he was away in UAE. During the remaining 2 weeks, he would spend 6 days in Pune (for that he had to leave home at 5 am and would return by 11 pm) and the remaining 8 days were in Mumbai … with family … with ME.

8 days out of 30 … that's just about 25% of his time. 

That schedule went on for almost another 10 months before he decided to resign and take up another job which would give him more time with me. He joined a company in which his friend worked and he had very little travel. Unfortunately, the team my hubby joined was pretty small and once again his travels began.
As per his statistics and records (and he is very good at keeping records  - and unfortunately not too good at keeping records of other things - if you know what I mean) , during 2012-2013, in a span of 12 months; he took 54 domestic flights (that's domestic 27 trips) and spent almost 40% of his time away from Mumbai. In 2014, the tide turned and once again his international trips began and it felt like it was his previous company all over again. He was spending 2 weeks outside the country every month.

With a job like that and he missing almost all our precious occasions – my birthday, his birthday, marriage anniversary – it definitely is a thing of joy to spend a day with him. Go out for lunch and dinner and even evening snacks of samosa with coca cola (have you tried that combination, it's a killer).

Coca Cola has always had family and happiness as their central theme in ad campaigns that's why it appeals to me more than any other soft drink. Watch the Coca-Cola India Video Ad and visit - It is pretty interesting