I bought the Cheapest Branded Collar T-Shirts from a Surplus Garments Store in Mumbai Suburban

Globals, Uberologie, Flaunt, Boga, North Exchange – clothing stores situated at Shastri Nagar (Behind City Mall, New Link Road), Andheri West. Many times I drove through the lane but never visited these stores.

Finally, I decided to visit Uberologie – a clothing store.

Requested the salesman present to show the Collar T-Shirt.

A few Collar T-Shirts were shown, and I selected POLO RALPH LAUREN white-colored Collar T-Shirt.


Yes – The salesman replied.

How much is the price?

600 rupees only/-.

I tried to bargain, but the salesman said – Fixed Price.

I search Google and the shown results beyond my pocket.

I decided to buy it.

Please show me a few more Collar T-Shirts – I requested.

This time I was shown SCOTCH & SODA Collar T-Shirts.

Without bargaining or Google search, I selected two Collar T-Shirts.

How much is the price?

Rs. 450 only.

Wow! What a fantastic price! – a thought.

Three branded Collar T-Shirts for Rs. 1500/- only. Amount paid.

I was very much happy, but then I questioned the owner – Mr. Naman Gupta.

How come these branded clothes are so cheap?

He enhanced my knowledge as follows:

Manufacturers/Factories receive big orders from branded companies.

Orders are made by manufacturers/factories with overestimations.

A surplus occurs, and these surplus garments are sold by manufacturers/factories to us – the surplus readymade garments retailers/wholesalers at throw-away prices. And we sell to you – The customer at dirt-cheap.

Are these stores also known as export surplus garments stores?

Yes – He said.

My knowledge was enhanced. Thanks to Naman.

I decided, from now-onwards for my tour/journey will buy these surplus readymade garments only. These stores are now one of my favorite places to shop. I definitely recommend that you the readers should visit these surplus readymade garments stores at least once. I am very much sure these surplus readymade garments are not substandard.

Naman suggested that he also sells branded jeans for Rs. 1000 only.

Maybe one day will visit again for sure to buy more – said I.

The journey continues..

Joshi Budhakaka Mahim Halwawala – An iconic Sweet Shop in Mumbai Since 18th Century

Joshi Budhakaka Mahim Halwawala listed on Google Maps – I decided to visit.

Reason to visit: It is Mumbai’s legendary sweet shop that invented the world-famous Mahim/Bombay Halwa.

Once I enter Veer Savarkar Marg (Old Cadell road), approx. half a kilometer drive and a left turn inside the narrow lane known as Kapad Bazar, on the right-hand side, is Joshi Budhakaka Mahim Halwawala.

Very old establishment. The nameplate is the proof.

Joshi’s family is the owner of this business.

I met Ramchandra Joshi (7th generation, 79 years old) – A soft-spoken, thorough, friendly gentleman.

Below is what he shared about the history of Joshi Budhakaka Mahim Halwawala.

Mavji Bhai – forefather, a resident of Pushkar in Rajasthan migrated to Khambaliya near Jamnagar in Gujarat. But as the earning opportunities were less, he decided to shift to Mumbai – The seven islands.

It took him one and a half months to reach Mumbai on foot. He stepped into Mumbai in 1787.

In Mumbai, Bhatias and Lohanas (Gujarati community) helped and guided him; thus, he started door-to-door hawking in the Mahim area by selling homemade farsan (Gujarati snacks).

50 years passed, and his son Girdhar also joined him.

Girdhar was enterprising. He wanted to create something different. One day accidentally he invented Halwa made from the wheat extract and added sugar, pure ghee, dry fruits (later separated by butter paper).

for your information: Bombay Halwa is also made from Maida (refined flour) or arrowroot, but we prepared it from the wheat extract.

At first, he sells it to Mahim’s Koli community (who named him Budhakaka – an old man).

The Koli community appreciated the Halwa very much and complimented that it is even better than Halwa Machi (fish).

Finally, in the 18th century, he opened a shop in Mahim (a little far from the current shop) and named it – Joshi Budhakaka Mahim Halwawala.

The current shop was established in 1951 (70 years old).

Mahim Halwa is also known as Bombay Halwa or Icing Halwa.

It takes 3 days to prepare Mahim/Bombay Halwa but if required early, then icing sugar is used. Thus, it was also known as Icing Halwa.

It lasts for 20-25 days.

They have two more outlets in Mumbai. One at T. T. Circle, Dadar, and one at Tardeo.

Mahim/Bombay/Icing Halwa is 800 rupees a kilo. They also sell Karachi Halwa – 800 rupees per kilo.

They prepare 35-40 types of sweets nowadays at a factory nearby the Mahim shop.

Mahim Halwa is also exported to the Middle East, East Africa, United Kingdom, and Japan.

Timings: Mahim shop is open from 7 am till 8:30 pm (Monday closed).

Dadar (Friday closed) and Tardeo shop (Monday closed) open from 8 am till 8:30 pm.

Late Dhirubhai Ambani – an Indian industrialist, Late Jawaharlal Nehru – India’s first Prime Minister were one of the regular customers.

Joshi Budhakaka Mahim Halwawala is one stop to buy genuine traditional sweets. They still sell mouth-watering Farsan.

I request: If you are in-around Mahim or Dadar, please visit Joshi Budhakaka Mahim Halwawala – a heritage shop if not a regular sweet shop to have a few pure traditional sweets for home.

And not to forget, Ramchandra Joshi – a modest person, presented me a plate full of strawberry/pineapple Mahim and Karachi Halwa to eat and also a sweet box full of Mahim and Karachi Halwa.

I wanted to pay, but he requested to keep it as a gift.

True hospitality – will remember always.

What I find interesting is that their trademark is registered approx. 100 years ago but what is not interesting: Mahim Halwa has yet to have Geographical Indication (GI) registration/tag.

I believe such shops specially established before the partition are heritage. Must be taken care by the State/Central Government.

Recently, in Kolkata 14 iconic sweet shops & restaurants were given the heritage tag. I hope this will too. The journey continues..

I finally found One of The Best Freelance Masseurs in Mumbai

An Affordable, Experienced, Freelance Male Massage Therapist was the search because I cannot afford a massage parlour in Mumbai.

When I am too tired, especially after a long motorbike drive or a long tour, I need full-body massage to relax.

Full-Body Massage reduces long journey stress and produces deep relaxation. It’s a natural healing process.

Last 20+ years I am having massage. A few times at Men’s Salon, very rare at Massage Parlour, but to find an affordable, experienced, freelance male massage therapist was not that easy.

Finally, I found Dilip Gopal Ravanang – a certified, knowledgeable, male massage therapist working for the past 10 years at The Classique Club near Infinity Mall, New Link Road, Andheri West, Mumbai.

Dilip’s journey started as an assistant masseur (male massage therapist) at the age of 35 when he joined MIG Cricket Club at Bandra East, Mumbai. Late Praful helped him for a few months to learn massage techniques. Later he did a massage course at Fort, Mumbai and re-joined the MIG Cricket Club as a male massage therapist and worked there for 4 years.

Then he joined Bharat Petroleum at Chembur, but due to long distance travel, he quit the job and joined The Classique Club.

Dilip’s clients were/are national/international cricketers, television and Bollywood actors.

What I found the best about Dilip is his professionalism, punctuality, dedication, focus, honesty and love for his job.

As per my experience, he is the best at Oil Massage, Dry Massage (favourite), Deep Tissue Massage with the mixture of Thai massage.

I believe (as per my experience), a male massager should have strong fingers/thumb/hands palm – a God’s gift. Secondly, he must know body pressure points very well. And Dilip has that natural gift and knowledge as well.

In general, if the nose is blocked and I am in deep sleep during the massage, I believe I am having the best massage.

Dilip massage removes my body pain, releases muscle tension and increases flexibility for sure. I find his massage techniques proper. A few times I have to request him for light pressure as his pressures are intense.

It is important to request a masseur to reduce the pressure if one is experiencing pain or uncomfortable. A good massage therapist will listen to you.

Dilip charges are Rs. 500 only for an hour full-body massage as a freelance massage therapist having 15 years of experience.

There are three ways to have Dilip services:

  1. If you are The Classique Club member.
  2. If you are a guest of The Classique Club member (Rs. 1000 – the charges).
  3. If Dilip agrees to provide his freelance massage therapy on his weekly holiday.

I suggest that before having a full-body massage one should consult a doctor if having any health issue/s. The journey continues..

Twice I visited Ram Ashraya Udipi Restaurant (Estd. 1939) situated at Matunga in Mumbai

I was searching on Google – oldest South Indian/Udipi Restaurants in Mumbai, and I came across – Ram Ashraya, situated opposite Matunga Kabutar Khana, Matunga, Mumbai, Maharashtra.

20,560 Google reviews and the best was its opening time – 5 am – I decided to visit.

It was early morning hours, and I reached below Matunga Z Bridge near to Matunga Road Station (Western Line).

I parked the motorbike in front of Canara Bank and then upstairs to reach Matunga Z Bridge.

As Ram Ashraya location is on Google Maps, the moment I crossed Matunga Z Bridge, it confirmed – destination reached.

There was a queue, and I had to wait for 10 minutes for the table to be empty.

Ram Ashraya Udipi restaurant having only 30 plus seating capacity.

As I was alone, I got the single seat/table early.

There was no printed/laminated menu on the table.

Today’s menu was written on the chalkboard and at display-board.

Idli Pudi, Upma Pudi, Goli Bhaji, Buns Puri, Tomat Omlet (Veg.), Ulundu Dosa, Pudi Dosa, Rasam Vada, Rasam Idli, Neilyappam.

What to request?

Though they have limited (8-10) menu items, but still I am almost having zero knowledge about them.

Yet to know/have so many Indian dishes.

I requested the waiter to serve whatever he wishes to serve along with Filter Coffee.

The service was really quick. Coconut Sevai was served with sambar and coconut chutney.

Coconut Sevai was little sweet though it was fresh, having cashew nuts in it.

It was OK OK in taste, maybe because I was having something sweet in the early morning hours.

Never ever had Coconut Sevai in my life. Till-date, I have eaten only Doodh (milk) ki Sevai at home-sweet-home.

Filter Coffee was excellent. Almost like Cafe Madras (Estd. 1940), another one of the oldest South Indian restaurants in Matunga, Mumbai.

Anyway, I was hungry. I requested for Pudi Idli.

Pudi Idli was served with sambar and coconut chutney.

As the Filter Coffee was too good, I requested for one more.

Altogether, Pudi Idli (having butter on top – as said by the waiter) along with Filter Coffee – excellent. Enjoyed thoroughly.

And the total bill amount – Rs. 170 only including SGST, CGST.


Coconut Sevai – Rs 55, Pudi Idli – Rs. 50 and Filter Coffee (2) – Rs. 57.

Another day, the wish was to re-visit Ram Ashraya Udipi Restaurant to have Filter Coffee again and something for breakfast.

Late morning hours. No queue. Easily found the table.

I remember, last time during the visit, I saw Lime Juice inside the refrigerator.

I requested for one Lime Juice to serve till I decide what from the menu written on the chalkboard.

Ghee Pudi Dosa, Puliogar Rice, Sabudana Vada, Goli Bhaji, Dal Vada, Masala Toast.

Again, same issue – I have almost no knowledge about the menu displayed.

Requested the humble waiter to serve whatever he wishes.

Masala Toast was served.

What I like the most was the Masala and Onion mixed within the Toast.

Lime Juice was extraordinary in taste. I would love to have one more someday.

After having Masala Toast, I requested for Filter Coffee – my favourite at Ram Ashraya.

Total bill – Rs. 97 only including SGST, CGST.


Lime Juice – Rs. 19, Masala Toast – Rs. 45 and Filter Coffee – Rs. 28.50.

Pocket friendly in today’s time. Isn’t it?

Another best thing about Ram Ashraya is that one can watch the kitchen area where food is prepared fresh.

Please Note: Ram Ashraya only accepts Cash and Paytm.

Enquired the billing counter person about the opening timings as read it is 5 am.

Current timings: 6:30 am till 8:30 pm

But before Covid-19, timings were from 5 am till 9:30 pm.

On Monday, the restaurant is closed.

I will say, if one wish to taste authentic, almost like homemade Mangalorean/South Indian food especially at early morning hours, please visit Ram Ashraya Udipi Restaurant.

I have no knowledge about any other restaurants opening at that time in Mumbai. Correct, if I am wrong.

Anyway, if you are at Matunga Road Railway Station (Western Line), walk towards Matunga Z bridge. Cross it and you will reach Ram Ashraya Udipi Restaurant opposite Kabutar Khana.


If you are at Matunga Railway Station (Central Line), walk a little and turn left. Walk further towards Kabutar Khana (100 meters) to reach Ram Ashraya Udipi Restaurant on the right hand side.

Please Note: Matunga Central is the great India’s first railway station to be run entirely by women.

Shyambabu Shetty – The Grandfather of Amarjeet Shetty (current owner – 3rd generation) started Ram Ashraya Udipi Restaurant in the year 1939. They are from Kapu (Kaup) village from Udupi district in Karnataka.

Ram Ashraya Udipi Restaurant is 82-year-old and one of the gems of Matunga in Mumbai, Maharashtra.

I noticed there was silence inside the restaurant as everyone thoroughly enjoying their food. The best. The journey continues..

Thalipeeth – Traditional Maharashtrian Multigrain Flatbread

This photo was taken at Mi Marathi restaurant situated at Shop No. 5, Alpha Apartment, Parleshwar Road, Vile Parle (East), Mumbai, Maharashtra.

Thalipeeth is also known as Bhajani Thalipeeth or Dahi Dhapathe – knowledge enhanced by Tukaram – my dear Marathi friend.

The cost of Thalipeeth (2 pieces) served with white butter and curd at Mi Marathi restaurant is Rs. 80 only/-.

Mi Marathi (30 years old vegetarian Marathi restaurant) timings: 9 am to 11 am for breakfast / 11 am till 3 pm for lunch / 7 pm to 10 pm for dinner. (All days open).

2021: My Favourite Brief and Vest (for Men) Brand in India

Unlock 2021, and it is time to re-start the journey.

The very first requirement is inner comfort, and it starts with what I wear/carry during the journey.

Brief and Vest – men’s innerwear – The answer and in today’s time – search online.

VAN HEUSEN, JOCKEY, Calvin Klein, adidas, Rupa, Dollar, VIP, Amazon, Flipkart – The results.

All of them having their own online store, but the requirement was urgent, I preferred to visit the shop.

Neel Kamal is my favourite shop since ages situated opposite police station, Andheri East, Mumbai.

Rupa (today the largest knitwear brand in India) was my favourite Brief and Vest brand since my teenage.

But now-a-days, Macho is the brand I prefer the most, or I can say easily available at my preferred shop.

As per previous experience, Macho is comfortable/durable/not expensive/100% premium cotton.

This time I purchased 3 Macho Brief and 3 Macho Vest.

And how much I paid – Rs. 738 only/- ($10 approx.)

Macho Stylo Brief – Rs. 112 per Brief and Macho Metro Vest – Rs. 134 per Vest.

The colors for the Brief, I prefer – black, dark blue, dark brown but for the Vest, I prefer – White.

Black and White is one of my favourite colors. I can’t imagine wearing clothes without innerwear.

Anyway, the most essential requirement before the journey is done. I am ready for the journey. The journey continues..

The Cheapest/Best Maharashtrian Breakfast/Snacks I Ever Had in Mumbai Till Date

Usha Hotel, Chimbai Road, Bandra (West) was the search. Google Maps Directions on mobile helped to reach the destination.

I was driving via Linking Road, following Turner road till I saw Chimbai road written at the entrance of the left-hand side lane.

A few meters straight inside Chimbai road – Usha Hotel on the right-hand side. Little further, almost opposite – Our Lady of Velankanni Statue (right-hand side), I saw a crowd outside a shop (left-hand side) in a queue.

I parked the motorbike and joined the queue.

Parking is an issue as the lane is narrow. Better to park a little before Usha Hotel.

As there was no display board mentioning the shop name, I inquired with a person in the queue – What’s the name of the shop?

Gajanan Puri Bhaji – He said.

I saw mostly ladies busy deep frying puri and a man serving hot puri with aloo bhaji.

Within minutes, and I requested the person present inside the shop – How much for puri bhaji?

Rs. 10 – 7 puri or Rs. 20 – 14 puri with aloo bhaji.

I requested for Rs. 10 puri bhaji. Amount paid.

Are you Gajanan?

Yes, he said.

How old is your Puri Bhaji shop? – I question.

When there was no puri bhaji shop since then I am here. Earlier, my mother used to run the shop.

7 hot puri with aloo bhaji was served. Aloo Bhaji was a little spicy (carry a water bottle). The total taste – almost homemade.

I requested for one more Rs. 10 puri bhaji. And the talks with the very friendly – Gajanan about his shop.

The shop opening time is 7 am till 11 am only. We also sell Poha, but it is finished now. You have to come early. In 2002 an article was published in a newspaper about the shop. At that time, Vada Pav cost was merely Rs. 2.50.

Thank you – said I. Will visit again someday.

Next day, I thought of visiting Chimbai Road again to have breakfast/snacks but at some other puri bhaji shop.

There are 3 puri bhaji shops at Chimbai road. All on the left-hand side.

This time I visited Savita Chimbaikar’s Puri Bhaji shop opposite Usha Hotel.

Savita sells various popular Maharashtrian breakfast/snacks such as Puri Bhaji, Upma, Poha, Sabudana Vada, Aloo Paratha.

I requested for Aloo Paratha. Within minutes, it was served hot. And the taste – again, almost homemade and less spicy.

How much for Aloo Paratha?

Rs. 15/- only.

After finishing Aloo Paratha, I requested for Poha.

How much for Poha – I question.

Rs. 10 and Rs. 15 – Savita replied.

Rs. 10 Poha please.

Within minutes it was served.

Again, less spicy and almost homemade.

Savita requested to taste Sabudana Vada.

How much for Sabudana Vada?

4 for Rs. 15.

I never had Sabudana Vada before. I requested for one only.

It was served hot and the taste – too good. Very crispy. Favourite now-onwards.

What’s the price for Puri Bhaji? – I question while having Sabudana Vada.

12 Puri Bhaji for Rs. 15 only.

That is so cheap – said I.

Mostly puri bhaji shops are running from 7 am till 11 am. So what do you do after 11 am? – I question Savita.

We also run a vegetarian tiffin service.

How much does vegetarian tiffin cost?

Rs. 80 – She replied.

Total – Rs. 28 I paid.

Rs. 15 for Aloo Paratha, Rs. 10 for Poha and Rs. 3 for Sabudana Vada.

Yesterday breakfast – Rs. 20 for 14 puri bhaji and today – Rs. 28 only.

Unbelievable cheap and hot, almost homemade breakfast straight from the kitchen and, the most importantly – prepared by ladies.

Before leaving, I question Savita – This road’s name is Chimbai road, and you are Chimbaikar. Any relation/reason?

A person was present there. He enhanced knowledge.

Chimbai is the village name, and people living here are mostly Kolis – one of the oldest fishing communities of Mumbai, and their surname is Chimbaikar.

Thank you – said I. Knowledge enhanced.

Thank you, Savita. The breakfast/snacks were very nice. I will surely visit again someday – said I.

If you the readers visiting/in-around Bandra during morning hours and feeling hungry, for a quick hot, almost homemade Maharashtrian breakfast/snacks, please visit Chimbai village.

It is the most unbelievable Maharashtrian breakfast/snacks I had in Mumbai till date. The journey continues..