Jai Ambe, Station Road, Vile Parle West, Mumbai

April 20, 2014 § Leave a comment

Jai Ambe Shing chana
I have noticed that you will usually find a Shing chana shop near a railway station in Mumbai. Jai Ambe is near the Vile Parle west station.
I have been buying peanuts from this shop since I can ever remember. My mother also remembers buying Shing/peanuts, chana,rice flakes, rice puffs from this same shop since she can remember 🙂

Since the last few weeks I have found myself enjoying my evening tea with peanuts and chana instead of potato wafers or biscuits.
Balchand  Gupta weighing  my buy

The last time I went to buy to restock the peanuts and chana, on impulse I asked the man about his shop. He was eager to share the information and seemed proud to be the third generation running the business.His name is Balchand Gupta. The shop was started by his grandfather Umrao Gupta.
When I said that Umrao is a female name, so he said in those days, it didn’t matter and same names were used to name female and male children.



Mr Balchand Gupta seemed to be in his early 60’s.
When I asked him when the business was started, he said he thinks it must be around 90 years now!
In this age where small businesses crop up fast and shutdown faster, this small hut like shop has weathered and survived for 90 years!

In the picture you will see a door on the left through which you can see the part of the house.

Balchand has 4 daughters and one son. Son is 12 yrs old.
I have seen the daughters working in the shop sometimes and sometimes the young boys of the family as well.

I remember few years or maybe several years back, the family used to live behind the shop. When I asked him where he lives, he said he still lives behind the shop but now the family has moved to Bhayander and they come to visit once or twice a week.


Food porn

April 8, 2014 § Leave a comment

Iam not sure when and how I started loving food so much.
I mean I was always very adventurous while trying different kinds of food but now it’s more like ‘food porn’ as my friend K tells me.
However I am glad that I enjoy cooking different kinds of food as much as I love eating! I usually like food recipes which are simple, wholesome with fresh veggies. I try to follow the basic Ayurveda rule of not reheating the food once cooked. Hence I usually insist in making fresh and serving immediately. Earlier when I cooked, I was criticised by my father for the food I made which had put me off cooking. However since I moved into my own place, I now absolutely enjoy cooking, especially for friends who I invite over. image It could be a simple Indian meal like brown rice, roti, Ayurveda rasam and karela vegetable with lemon pickle. Or it could be a burnt garlic soup  or  hummus  or  Batata Pavva or wok tossed okra. image



Image 54

I am fortunate to have friends who are not fussy and don’t mind eating whatever I cook for them! You will see several food pictures in the coming posts! 🙂

Nathdwara in pictures through my eyes

April 4, 2014 § 1 Comment

Image 4
Walking through the street


Deserted Chai Stall


Street Dog sunbathing


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Man selling pooja wares


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Lady offering free drinking water


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A cow , garbage truck, people , man selling his wares


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Gopal Prajapati and me


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Man selling peacock feathers


Calm house in the middle of the noise


Middle of the buzz the reality stares in your face, the male and female entrance to the temple 🙂


Shopping is fun


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Beautiful traditional  sarees


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The town through the window


The BIG door of the temple


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Short cut to the temple


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Cow strolling in the lane at night, looking for food maybe?


Resting head


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Shop on a bike 🙂


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Night shopping

Purohit Attarwala , Nathdwara

April 3, 2014 § Leave a comment

This post is the best example to demonstrate ‘looks are deceptive’

I have always seen Sohanbhai sit at the shop with the same safari suit and the same hat. Would never have guessed how wealthy and enterprising he and his family are.

Purohit Attarwala
Mandir Marg

Fatehlal Purohit
– Eldest son – Sohanbhai + 7 sons +3 daughters
– Sohanbhai’s eldest son Rajnish + 1 son +2 daughters



The third generation (Rajnish, in the red t-shirt) has started working at the deceptive looking tiny corner shop.

Upon chatting with Sohanbhai, I was surprised about the story he told me about his family. The joint family (Fatehlal plus 8 sons and their children) consists of 45 members ,living in a haveli, with 22 rooms and eating from one kitchen!
The family now owns 10 shops, 2 cinema houses, 2 hotels plus land, factory, etc etc. Each son has a provision of one plot of land, incase they want to build their house individually.

When I asked him why he still sits at the tiny shop, he replied ‘we learnt the abcd of business from this place, how can we leave this?’ 🙂

Mahesh Purohit, Chaiwala, Nathdwara

April 2, 2014 § Leave a comment

There are several chaiwala’s selling chai in the small lanes running up to the temple.
I had tried 3 different chaiwala’s but his was the ‘bestest and freshest!’

Mandir Marg
Mahesh Purohit

I ordered for a pudina chai (mint tea) in a kullard (clay pot)
There were glasses as well to drink in.

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Made from fresh cow’s milk which he buys locally.
He used to own a dairy farm earlier, however due to its closure he now makes and sells tea on the stall, from morning 8am to 8pm.

He seemed particular where we threw the waste and kullards and hence had a small dustbin in which he asked his clients to throw the kullard’s.

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