Saturday, September 17, 2016

Book Review : The Secret of God's Son

This is the tale of the son of Rukmini & Krishna, Pradyumna. Pradyumna is lost. He spent his childhood among the asuras & then realised, that he is Krishna's son. He is valiant & kind. He is torn by the prophecies that he has dreamt & heard. He is afraid of Gandhari's curse .Will it come true ? Will the Yadavas kill each other ? What will happen to Dwaraka & most important to Krishna ? Though , he is brave, yet Pradyumna is confused about his path.Is his path the right one or the wrong one ? And when one has dreaded enemies in the family itself, hell bent on destroying the family &  the clan , what are the chances of anything good happening ?

Pradyumna , does the impossible .Yet, is Gandhari pleased ? Does she take back her curse ? Can any curse be rolled back ? Pradyumna has just one guide ,his father Krishna.He follows his father's instructions .He meets Shiva & Ganpati. Yet, he finds, he has to put faith in himself & his near & dear ones to fight Kali,the demon. .Can Pradyumna do that ? And, will he be able to do that in time, before the demon ,Kali annihilates, all that is good .Pradyuman is assisted by Maya.Do Maya & Praduymna stay together ? Or do they part & why ?

The Secret of God's Son begins  the story where Mahabharata ends.And what a tale it is. A tale of a son who is pained to learn about the curse of Gandhari. He goes all out, to lessen the effects of the curse. And yet, does  success embrace him ? He is assisted by Maya & many others.The tale emphasises the contribution of women in raising hopes, when surrounded by  hopelessness.It states that if women are disrespected then prosperity deserts such a society. And injustice rules. An empowering read about women ! A must read, to understand what happened after the epic battle of Mahabharata .

Usha Narayanan


‘The seas will devour the glorious city of Dwaraka. People will forget your name and your Gita. May the world perish! May the world perish!’

With this cruel curse on Krishna, Queen Gandhari plunges mankind into the unspeakable evil of the Kali Yuga. 

It is up to Pradyumna to try and reverse the dire prediction. To journey into terrifying realms, confront Yama and Shiva, and to vanquish the Kali demon. In order to do so, he must shed all that holds a mortal back—his arrogance, his fears, his baser instincts… He must lead his people out of the swirling vortex of greed, disease and misery. And there is one powerful weapon still…the secret surrounding Pradyumna’s origin.  

Will he uncover it in time to fight off the cataclysm? 

In the answer lies the destiny of all humanity! 

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About the author


Usha Narayanan had a successful career in advertising, radio and corporate communications before becoming a full-time writer. She is the author of The Madras Mangler, a suspense thriller, and Love, Lies and Layoffs, a light-hearted office romance. The Secret of God’s Son is the sequel to her bestselling book, Pradyumna: Son of Krishna, which was published in July 2015. 

When she’s not juggling travel, writing and interviews, Usha reads everything from thrillers to romances, provided her cat isn’t fast asleep on her Kindle. She would love to hear from her readers here: 

You can stalk her @

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Media mentions

Praise for Pradyumna: Son of Krishna

Usha Narayanan has taken a quantum leap . . . to the outright spine-tingling narrative from the leaves of a time before. This book is Indian writing coming of age" Femina

"Like the best of our mythological tales, this too, is a multilayered one . . .There is valour, there is cowardice, there is glory, there is shame, there is sex, lies and deception" The Hindu

"This engrossing tale takes readers on a mythological saga" Times of India

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Tuesday, September 13, 2016

An ode to the pressure cooker.

This post was published on Women's Web on 12.9.2016.

Pressure cooker is one handy device for cooking. It eases off the pressure to cook a nutritious meal . 

As per Wikipedia Pressure cookers can be said to have been brought into existence by Denis Papin ,a French physicist in 1679.He made a steam digester which cooked food faster. This was followed by Georg Gutbrod of Stuttgart of Germany who made pressure cookers of tinned cast iron .In 1918, patent was given in Spain to Jose Alix Martinez for making “express cooking pot “ .By 1924, Jose had published the first pressure cooking recipe book listing 360 recipes. And then there was no looking back.

Pressure cooker is primarily used for cooking rice & dal in Indian households. Homemakers nowadays use pressure cooking for many dishes like cakes, steam cooking of dhoklas, flavoured rices, one pot cooking , etc. The advantages of pressure cooking are that it is time saving.All the nutrients of food are preserved. And when food is steamed & then sometimes shallow fried, it is more healthy as it contains less oil.

Pressure cookers can be used to whip up a variety of dishes namely cakes, dahi vada, pulaos, biryanis, mixed lentils, chhole, rajma, even sweets like rasgullas, gajar ka halwa, aate ka halwas, even sabzis like aloo matar, vegetable kurma, etc. So  a whole range of dishes can be whipped up in a matter of minutes ! And that is so very amazing !

Please find a list of dishes which can be made in the pressure cooker ….

Flavoured rice. A simple pulao or biryani can be pressure cooked & you will be surprised that it tastes great ! 

Khichdi Simple mung dal rice khichdi  can be cooked in pressure cooker .And isn’t this comfort food made in minutes ?

Even bisi bele bhaath,the one pot dish from Karnataka can be whipped up in a pressure cooker .

Steamed dishes  Idlis can be made in pressure cooker. Even dhoklas can be made in pressure cooker.Even patras, kothimbir vadas  & muthias can be steamed in cooker & then shallow fried to get healthier versions of these delicious snacks.

Even momos can be made in pressure cooker.And that brings us to modak, the mouth watering sweet from Maharashtra & the favourite of Lord Ganesha .modaks can be  steamed in pressure cooker.

Sabzis  Aloo matar  can be just cooked in a pressure cooker from the beginning till the end .Undhiyon is an exotic Gujarati dish that can be cooked faster in the pressure cooker
Vegetable kurma can be cooked in pressure cooker as shown in an advertisement for a branded pressure cooker.

Lentils Sangeeta Khanna, an avid food blogger has this one pot quick lentil recipe made from whole masoorI have made this many times & believe me it is quick &  easy .Needless to add, it tastes great !
Mixed sprouts  can be pressure cooked to enjoy a nutritious meal !

The tasty Sindhi kadhi can be cooked to perfection in a pressure cooker. Sindhi rasoi shows the way !

Chhole@ can be ready in a jiffy thanks to it being made in the pressure cooker.

Sweets : Rasgullas @ made so fast in a pressure cooker that you will be amazed !Rasgullas are one of the healthiest Indian sweets. It has very little sugar & is protein rich ! Excellent for vegetarians !

Gajar halwa can be prepared in pressure cooker very easily. Not to mention that this pressure cooker recipe saves time !

Cake can be made in a pressure cooker as well.A branded cake mix is advertised as a cooker cake !

I can go on & on about dishes that can be made faster in a pressure cooker. I am sure, you must have tried many dishes apart from what I have stated above in the pressure cooker.And I am sure, you must have been surprised that the dish turned out superb in the pressure cooker. Do take time to share your recipe with others in the comments below .

A few precautions while using the pressure cooker. Please do not overload the pressure cooker with too much of ingredients. Always clean the pressure cooker thoroughly.Keep gasket in good condition. Always make sure that there is sufficient water in the cooker before pressure cooking. Be careful with foods that froth as steam valves of the cooker may get blocked by froth. Following safety tipwill make pressure cooking a pleasurable  experience !    

Nowadays, the microwave oven , slow cooker, electric cooker, air fryer are getting a lot of attention.Yet, none of them can match the pressure cooker in terms of convenience & cost !
My pressure cooker occupies pride of place in my kitchen for reasons stated above.In fact ,I have two pressure cookers of different sizes.One a large one for rice –dal cooking & another a small one for one pot cooking of khichdi, chhole etc.And both the pressure cookers have a pressure pan thrown in  for free when I brought them ! 

This makes it all the more economical…saving fuel, time & money.And the nutrition remains intact !  What more can anyone possibly ask for ? !  

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