Ratan Tata is that one name the entire world associates with leadership, vision and humility. He has been a role model for many generations now.

But life is never easy for anyone and everyone has their own share of struggles. In a conversation with Humans of Bombay, the businessman and philanthropist gave us insights into his childhood and early college life, largely shaped by the values ingrained by his grandmother.

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(1/3) “I had a happy childhood, but as my brother & I got older, we faced a fair bit of ragging & personal discomfort because of our parent’s divorce, which in those days wasn’t as common. But my grandmother brought us up in every way. Soon after when my mother remarried, the boys at school started saying all kinds of things about us–constantly & aggressively. But our grandmother taught us to retain dignity at all costs, a value that’s stayed with me until today. It involved walking away from these situations, which otherwise we would’ve fought back against. I remember, after WW2, she took my brother & I for summer holidays to London. It was there that the values were really hammered in. She’d tell us, ‘don’t say this’ or ‘keep quiet about that’ & that’s where ‘dignity above everything else’ really embedded in our minds. And she’s always been there for us. It’s difficult now to say who’s right or wrong. I wanted to learn to play the violin, my father insisted on the piano. I wanted to go to college in the US, he insisted on UK. I wanted to be an architect, he insisted on me becoming an engineer. If it weren’t for my grandmother, I wouldn’t have ended up at Cornell University in the US. It was because of her that even though I enrolled for mechanical engineering, I switched majors & graduated with a degree in architecture. My father was upset & there was a fair bit of rancour, but I was finally my own, independent person in college & it was my grandmother who taught me that courage to speak up can also be soft & dignified. After college, I landed a job at an architecture firm in LA, where I worked for 2 years. It was a great time–the weather was beautiful, I had my own car & loved my job. It was in LA that I fell in love & almost got married. But at the same time I’d made the decision to move back at least temporarily since I had been away from my grandmother who wasn’t keeping too well for almost 7 years. So I came back to visit her & thought that the person I wanted to marry would come to India with me, but because of the 1962 Indo-China war her parent’s weren’t okay with her making the move anymore & the relationship fell apart.”

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His parents got divorced when he was in school. Divorces weren't quite common that time and he and his brother had to deal with all sorts of bullying at school.

It was a difficult phase in his life, but his grandmother made sure that he retains his dignity amidst all the negativity around.

Source: Instagram

Grandparents do play a crucial role in our lives. When it comes to raising us, they bring in their exceptional life experience on the table. And when children do not get the needed emotional support from their parents, they look upon their grandparents.

Despite his parents being separated, Ratan Tata was lucky enough to have the support and guidance of his grandmother. She was the one who embedded the values of living with dignity in him and his brother.

I remember, after WW2, she took my brother & I for summer holidays to London. It was there that the values were really hammered in. She’d tell us, ‘don’t say this’ or ‘keep quiet about that’ & that’s where ‘dignity above everything else’ really embedded in our minds.
Source: parsi khabar

From the beginning, he had differences with his dad. While his dad wanted him to be an engineer from an UK university, he wanted to be an architect from a university in the US. While he wanted to learn violin, his dad wanted him to learn to play piano.

These differences created a rift between the father-son duo, but it was his grandmother's unconditional support that helped him make the important decisions of life. She taught him how to show resistance while still maintaining his dignity.

Source: ET

He finally enrolled in Cornell University, in US and ended up graduating in architecture, despite having taken up Mechanical Engineering initially.

I was finally my own, independent person in college & it was my grandmother who taught me that courage to speak up can also be soft & dignified.
Source: Quora

Later, he took up a job in LA, fell in love and decided to get married. At the same time, his grandmother wasn't keeping quite well and this is when he decided to move to India, at least temporarily.

He moved to India thinking that his partner would support his decision, but things didn't work out the way he had wanted and their relationship fell apart.

Source: Instagram

His story tells us so much about the love, support and guidance we receive from our grandparents in the early phases of our lives. This sense of being understood and loved can help us shape our lives and career in future.

You can read the entire post here.

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(1/3) “I had a happy childhood, but as my brother & I got older, we faced a fair bit of ragging & personal discomfort because of our parent’s divorce, which in those days wasn’t as common. But my grandmother brought us up in every way. Soon after when my mother remarried, the boys at school started saying all kinds of things about us–constantly & aggressively. But our grandmother taught us to retain dignity at all costs, a value that’s stayed with me until today. It involved walking away from these situations, which otherwise we would’ve fought back against. I remember, after WW2, she took my brother & I for summer holidays to London. It was there that the values were really hammered in. She’d tell us, ‘don’t say this’ or ‘keep quiet about that’ & that’s where ‘dignity above everything else’ really embedded in our minds. And she’s always been there for us. It’s difficult now to say who’s right or wrong. I wanted to learn to play the violin, my father insisted on the piano. I wanted to go to college in the US, he insisted on UK. I wanted to be an architect, he insisted on me becoming an engineer. If it weren’t for my grandmother, I wouldn’t have ended up at Cornell University in the US. It was because of her that even though I enrolled for mechanical engineering, I switched majors & graduated with a degree in architecture. My father was upset & there was a fair bit of rancour, but I was finally my own, independent person in college & it was my grandmother who taught me that courage to speak up can also be soft & dignified. After college, I landed a job at an architecture firm in LA, where I worked for 2 years. It was a great time–the weather was beautiful, I had my own car & loved my job. It was in LA that I fell in love & almost got married. But at the same time I’d made the decision to move back at least temporarily since I had been away from my grandmother who wasn’t keeping too well for almost 7 years. So I came back to visit her & thought that the person I wanted to marry would come to India with me, but because of the 1962 Indo-China war her parent’s weren’t okay with her making the move anymore & the relationship fell apart.”

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