New Delhi: Chairman emeritus of Tata Sons, Ratan Tata revealed some lesser known details about himself on the popular Humans of Bombay page on Facebook.
The industrialist who is also known for philanthropic work, revealed that when he was working at an architecture firm in Los Angeles right after college, he fell in love with someone whom he wanted to marry.
Tata credits his move to architecture to his grandmother, stating that it was because of her that he had the courage to switch his major from mechanical engineering to architecture which got him the job in LA.
Tata went on to call the two years in LA a ‘great time’, as the weather was beautiful, he had his own car and a job he loved. However because his grandmother, who practically raised him, was unwell and he hadn’t visited her in seven years he decided to move back to India for a bit.
Tata was under the impression that the woman he loved would come with him to India and they would get married. But due to the India-China war in 1962, her parents refused and the relationship fell apart.
Tata has remained unmarried since.
(1/3) “I had a happy childhood, but as my brother and I got older, we faced a fair bit of ragging and personal…
Lessons from grandmother
In part 1 of the three-part interview on the Humans of Bombay page which has since gone viral, Tata spoke about the time when his brother and him were ragged because his parents got divorced and his mother later remarried.
Tata recalled that it was during that time that his grandmother took charge of his upbringing and taught him to retain his dignity at all costs, something which has stayed with him till date. He recalled, “It was there that the values were really hammered in. She’d tell us, ‘don’t say this’ or ‘keep quiet about that’ and that’s where, ‘dignity above everything else’ really embedded in our minds.”
Tata also talks about how he was always at odds with his father. Whether it was his desire to learn the violin which his father countered with the piano, his aspiration to study in the US which his father countered with college in the UK or his dream of becoming an architect which his father countered with becoming a mechanical engineer.
He credits his grandmother for his education at Cornell University, as well as the courage to switch his major from engineering to architecture. It was at that point that his grandmother taught him the most important lesson of all — that the courage to speak up can also be soft and dignified.
Disclosure: Tata Group’s chairman emeritus Ratan Tata is among the distinguished founder-investors of ThePrint. Please click here for details on investors.