Everything for furry friends: Ratan Tata dedicates a portion of Bombay House 2.0 to stray dogs

NEW DELHI: When Bombay House reopened last week, after a nine-month long restoration process, perhaps what grabbed most eyeballs, was the ‘kennel’. It’s an open secret that the building has been home to several stray dogs for many years, an outcome of the group’s former chairman Ratan Tata’s love for them.

Earlier, these strays would often be seen sleeping in the reception area or the security guards’ cabin, just past the main entrance. But, in Bombay House 2.0, they have a room of their own.



The kennel is designed to tend to each need of the pack’s, be it the flap door at the base of the main door of the room for the dogs to move in and out at will, or the separate bathing area for their weekly, Saturday baths. It is also well-stocked with toys, chewies, feeding bowls, dog biscuits and a daily supply of boiled meat that comes from the kitchens at the Taj.

Doggie


In fact, when Tata first saw the dogs resting in their new kennel, he apparently asked if they went in voluntarily. “He was very touched that they were all there, and that they really liked it,” said Nandini Somaya Sampat of Somaya & K a l appa Consultants, the architecture firm that worked on the restoration project.

Speaking about the construction of the kennel, she said, “When we were working (on the restoration of Bombay House), whatever was here (before), had to be maintained and upgraded. There are some sacred spaces and old traditions that must be kept up. And the dogs, of course, are such an important part of the space.”

On Ratan Tata's 80th Birthday, Some Life Lessons From The Man Himself

Ratan Tata Turns 80: An Extraordinary Inning
All's Not Fair & Square
Fuel Your Dreams
Don't Miss The Big Picture
No Slowing Down, Ever!
Empathy First
Mind The Mind
Flying High
Of Friends & Foes
The Code Of Compassion
No Power Trip
Striking A Balance
Paving A New Course

Ratan Tata Turns 80: An Extraordinary Inning

Ratan Tata turns 80 on Thursday. From starting his career on the shop floor of Tata Steel in the 1960s, and handling the blast furnace, to heading the Tata Group as Chairman, it has been a long and eventful journey for him. Being a part of a large conglomerate like the Tatas and leading it came with its own set of challenges. And, naturally, Tata has gone through plenty of ups and downs - failed ventures, disputes, losses - in his professional life. But, like a true fighter, he has always managed to overcome all odds.

As the business icon turns a year older, here's looking back at some of his oft-used quotes that have been his life mantra.

All's Not Fair & Square

"Life is unfair and it’s nowhere written to be fair. But it’s not only you or me, it’s for everyone. My talent differs from yours and yours from another person’s, but we have equal chances to succeed in our respective fields. When there’s a will, there’s a way."

Fuel Your Dreams

"We always complain some external factors for our failure and misery. But the reality is none of them affect your dreams unless you give them the power to do so. Be focused on what you want to do and go ahead, success won’t be far from you."

Don't Miss The Big Picture

"A life without excitement, ups and downs is too much boring and dull. You need to be a storyteller to your grandchildren, why don’t prepare for that from now? We get this life only once, experience every aspect of it. No one ever have grown without falling once, fail as many times as you can, then only you can succeed. So quit complaining and start exploring."

No Slowing Down, Ever!

“Take the stones people throw at you, and use them to build a monument.”

Empathy First

“I admire people who are very successful. But if that success has been achieved through too much ruthlessness, then I may admire that person, but I can’t respect him.”

Mind The Mind

“No one can destroy iron, but its own rust can! Likewise, no ne can destroy a person, but its own mindset can!”

Flying High

“The day I am not able to fly will be a sad day for me.”

Of Friends & Foes

"The people you meet in this life, all won’t be good to you. Some will criticize, some will de-motivate and some will try to pull you down. All you have to do is ignore them and move on. You don’t need to explain them your journey nor let them control your dreams. This is your life, live as you want."

The Code Of Compassion

"Businesses need to go beyond the interest of their companies to the communities they serve.”

No Power Trip

"Power and wealth are not two of my main stakes."

Striking A Balance

"Ups and downs in life are very important to keep us going, because a straight line even in an ECG means we are not alive."

Paving A New Course

"The strong live and the weak die. There is some bloodshed, and out of it emerges a much leaner industry, which tends to survive."


The kennel can be accessed by walking past the length of the ground floor lounge area. A quick right from there and you’ll be at the door. The room’s a cheery one with its choice of yellow for one of the walls and a black and white dog graffiti wallpaper for the other. The two large windows that look out toward the street add to the sense of openness. The activity level in the room depends on the hour of the day that you’ve walked in. The dogs could either be sleeping atop the wooden bunk or the darker, quieter section underneath, or perhaps lounging on one of the seats spread around the room.

Doggie1


Meet the members
The kennel is shared by eight dogs at the moment. The oldest of the lot is Sheeba (around 11-12 years old), and the youngest is Munni, a tan and white-coloured, month-and-a-half old puppy.

Then there is Goa, Jackal, Chotu, Bushy(also known as Sweety), Julie and Simba. And just like any other house, this one has its personalities and dynamics. “Sheeba is kind of this older, motherly presence. Simba is the shy one, whereas Chotu, he’s the bratty one,” Abodh Aras, CEO of The Welfare of Stray Dogs NGO said. Aras and his team attend to the medical needs of the dogs, ensuring that they are sterilised, and vaccinated annually.

The leader-of-the-pack title goes to Goa. He is named so, as he journeyed from Goa to Bombay as a puppy. The story goes that he got into the car of a senior Tata executive as a puppy in Goa and only got off at Bombay House. There are whispers that he is Tata’s favourite and that the feeling is mutual. “He would wait for Mr Tata to arrive each morning at Bombay House and ride up the elevator with him. Goa had even earmarked a couch to sleep on in the office,” a long-time occupant of Bombay House said.

When Being A Lefty Helped Ratan Tata, Mark Zuckerberg And Others With Life Lessons

Why Being A Lefty Is Nifty
Ratan Tata
Dr Amar Bose
Steve Jobs
Mark Zukerberg
Bill Gates

Why Being A Lefty Is Nifty

A recent study in Biology Letters suggests that lefthanders have an advantage in high speed sports. It's time to pay homage to quick-reacting lefties in the boardroom.

Ratan Tata

When Ratan Tata took piano lessons, he had a problem. "I could not relate my left hand to do something different from my right hand," he said in a television interview. But when it comes to running his group of companies, even from behind the scenes, Tata's left arm has few equals. Till 2015, Tata's trusts would even give scholarships to the Indian Left-Hander Club. Perhaps it is one of the reasons some Tata vehicles in overseas markets have a left-hand drive.

Dr Amar Bose

If Ratan Tata learned piano, Amar Bose tooled around with a violin. And like Tata, his musical talents were not much to sing home about. However, the violin lessons helped him develop an ear for high quality sound. It set him on the path of launching audio products that played a seminal role in enhancing the experience of listeners. Tata spoke of his admiration for Bose in the interview referred above. Bose is also known to have been a lefthander. Great minds work alike.

(Image: www.rle.mit.edu)

Steve Jobs

Some guys have all the genes. Jobs had personality, drive and a powerful intuition. He was also blessed with ambidexterity. "I'm ambidexterous," he said in an interview to Newsweek in 1984. At the time, much of the Apple staff was left-handed. Jobs, a rebel and aesthete, seemed proud of this fact. "Most of them are also left-handed, whatever that means," he told Newsweek of his colleagues. "Almost all of the really great technical people in computers that I've known are left-handed. Isn't that odd?"

Mark Zukerberg

Some 20 years after Jobs made this comment, another great technical person in computers was getting ready to take on the world while at Harvard University. With the help of smart colleagues, he set up Facebook. And he too, reportedly, was left-handed. Zuckerberg has not said much on this important subject. But there is one photograph that proves beyond doubt that he is handy with his left hand. It shows him feeding a calf on a farm in Wisconsin.

Bill Gates

Codex Leicester has nothing to do with Jamie Vardy's goalmouth strategy. It is a 16th century notebook of scientific ideas and diagrams belonging to Leonardo da Vinci, the Italian inventor and artist. In 1994, Gates bought the 72-page journal from an auction for a record $30.8 million. The great Italian, whose intellect and skill had far reaching impact on science art and life as we know it now, was a lefthander. And so is Gates. "There's a little bit of higher variance of talent, high and low, for left-handers. But it's never been explained," Gates said.


Tending to their needs
The dogs are well looked after, with the security guards at the building playing doting parents to this pack. First among equals is a certain guard called Shankar Singh, who takes a leading role in looking after the dogs. A story in the building goes that once, a Japanese client, afraid of dogs, was visiting. He refused to enter as one of the dogs was sitting in the corridor. It was Singh who came to the rescue, as he engaged with the animal, and the client was quickly taken in. He’ll be real proud when that finishing touch — framed pictures of the seven grown dogs for the wall — gets added.


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