Bang Opposite Karawe Gaon ( Village ), at a stone’s throw from the Don Bosco School and within 300 meters of D Mart sprung up a 14 storied residential housing complex – “Tricity Promenade”.
The location was good, the railway station was nearby, and the Grand Central Mall was within striking range.
Many apartments in the complex facing the Karawe Gaon had Sea View too. Slightly distant but not too bad. You could see the sea, watch the sun setting on the horizon spreading its golden hue in the simmering water of the sea, seagulls chasing the waves and feel like you are out to the sea.
People looking to buy apartments started purchasing here and the apartments of this 14 storied building started getting sold to various people from various walks of life. The apartment complex has 60 apartments and an amenities floor which promises a swimming pool, gymnasium, kids’ playroom, banquet hall, a gazebo, and a few more amenities.
While bookings would have started much earlier residents started moving in from sometime around January/February 2020.
New owners in their new apartments with obvious glow and pride on their countenance.
The completion work was in progress, but occupancy had begun. For example, the amenities floor was not ready, the backup inverter was not yet upgraded to full capacity, the lift was behaving erratic, the security men and housekeeping staff was temporary, the overhead water tank would tend to overflow and something of this and something of that.
The management of the complex was still with the builder and the “Housing Society” formation had not yet taken place.
Then the lockdown happened and by the end of March, everything came to a standstill. Few families had shifted but many could not. In the meantime, as the residents got confined to their homes and their residential complexes, they got to know each other, made friends, and eventually formed a Whatsapp Group.
The group started growing and residents started exchanging notes and views in the group. With the partial lifting of lockdown, more families shifted, and people started meeting outside the group too. Social interactions had started growing and maturing.
Gradually the group started feeling the necessity of taking up various pending matters for action with the builder.
To quote a few:
- Vibrations in the lift and erratic behavior of the lift in the event of power failure.
- The capacity of the inverter to back up in the event of a power failure.
- Completion of second-floor amenities.
- Car parking issues and allotment.
- Broken and missing floor tiles.
- Finishing of bathrooms at staircase landings.
- Fire Fighting equipment usage and demonstration.
- Managing stray dogs entering the premises and littering the place.
Gradually the group started focusing on issues to be taken up with the builder and champions emerged. Someone knew about inverters, someone knew insurance requirements, someone could analyze the modality and functioning of the CCTVs, and so on.
Through various iterations, back and forth emails to the builder it was finally agreed with the builder that a final list of issues and pending work should be shared with the builder.
The group had started meeting very frequently and as a sequel to various such frequent and in-frequent meetings, a final list of issues/requirements/pending work started getting crystallized.
A final list of 22 issues was posted in the group with the request that if anybody felt that there was any other issue that needed to be added one could do so.
A few people did add few more issues like internet fiber cable line, intercom for the guards at the main gate, thorough and deep cleaning of the drainage systems, etc. However, there was one issue that got posted with a bang and caught everyone’s instant attention.
It said “Dog Chain”. This was posted by Hedait Bhai and generated immense curiosity.
It transpired like this (which we all got to know only later) that when everybody in the group saw the post none knew what it meant but everybody thought that the others knew and thus everybody felt embarrassed to ask about it.
Some left it at it as is, some made their interpretation of what it was supposed to mean but the more curious amongst the group called a few others privately to learn more about it.
I was part of the group too and while I had been quite active in listing out issues this one confounded me.
I will now unravel what followed.
I first called Nihal and he was confused too. In the meantime, Nihal had got quite a few calls as well.
One person had called Nihal to say that he did not need a dog chain as he had no pet dogs and neither did he intend to own one. However, if a dog chain was given to him, he would be happy to give it to somebody who needed it. Aha, “A Good Samaritan” at least from the Dog’s point of view.
Anand and Sarfaraz who have a technical bent of mind felt that the society would be given few dog chains by the builder which could be kept at the entrance lobby and could be used to chain any stray dogs getting in to be eventually reported to the dog squad of the Municipal Corporation.
They had started preliminary calculations on the tensile strength of the chain, its length, number of links and had also gone out to identify a place in the parking lot where such dogs could be chained. They were last seen with highly technical and complicated drawings on the various designs of the chain.
Sachin the chief promoter not wanting to get caught with wrong interpretations consulted Saumyadeep and Mukesh and came up with various interpretations of Dog chain the most bizarre being replacing the entire main gait with chains strung from one end to the other.
However, they dismissed this as improbable as they were not able to figure out how residents would maneuver these chains to enter the building complex. The only thing which looked probable was to have residents crawling in from under the gate.
Bhaskaran Sir the matured and technical man in the group with a lot of power plant experience behind him felt that this was perhaps meant to indicate a chain and pulley system for stacking dog houses where pet dogs could reside. He found this a unique idea and had started contemplating buying a dog as well. This was not the time to bother about the sinusoidal wave form.
Mr. Bhagwat was very busy with a lot of woodwork and interior work going in his house and could not put much thought behind this requirement though the question kept coming back to him and disturbing him like the constant hammering away of the carpenter.
The graceful ladies Shraddha and Shazia thought a chain was not required as they did not believe in chaining dogs. They considered it against animal rights, and they raised a red flag and said, “No Dog Chain is required”.
I am sure the DA (Dogs’ Association) was very happy with this as that day I saw quite a few dogs barking away happily in front of our gate as if to announce look you humans we have friendlies amongst you. The security guard thought they were challenging us openly.
Samant being the quintessential finance man to the core was not worried about what this meant as he had confidence in the idea of Hedait Bhai. He only wanted to check the financial implications of this in the long run.
He had already started working on various spreadsheets. The spreadsheet was almost done except for one formula where he wanted to link the cost calculations to the weight of a dog.
Vikas Kadam and Vijay Babar were slightly confused too but Vikas thought Vijay knew and Vijay thought Vikas knew.
They happened to meet Nihal separately. While Vikas enquired about a cat chain Vijay wanted to know if he could use a leather belt instead of a chain.
Nihal was diplomatic and said that he would confirm with the builder.
One day while rushing to the office I met Sagar at the lift lobby and he said, “Sir get the dog chain done quickly”. I said “of course” and rushed off thinking that here was a man who was confident about what it meant. I admired his intelligence.
While Ranjit said he despised the thought of beating up a dog with a chain Bhavna decided to consult experts in the Middle East who told them that they would prefer to discuss camels rather than dogs. I am not sure if she will come back with the idea of a Camel Chain.
Das was busy with Mahanagar Gas Connections so he missed the Dog Chain matter and was shaken into conscious cognizance of the matter as various residents started whispering about it. He decided to let dogs lie low and concentrate on the gas connection. Good that he was not deterred by the dog chain else the gas flow into our kitchens would have got further delayed.
Alok my neighbor, a seasoned shipper, chimed my doorbell one day. When I opened the door, he had a strange look on his face very much akin to the Captain of a ship fearing imminent rough weather.
“I have seen many chains in a ship but not a dog chain,” said he.
Well, the inside of a ship is as Greek to me as the surface of the moon, so I diverted the topic by asking him whether dogs were allowed in his ship.
He said a yes and then a no and then said he would check the shipping Manual for exact rules and regulations on dogs. I have not heard from him since.
I think I heard him one day reading aloud “The Rhyme Of The Ancient Mariner”.
Nihal who by now had become the secretary of the Provisional Committee had to take numerous questions on the dog chain. One day I found him tucked in a corner on the terrace reading a book and making notes. I asked him what he was reading, and he displayed the book to me. The book was called “Chaining your dog” written by a Veterinarian. I am sure by now he would have read enough to double up as a Vet.
Philomina had been busy writing and decided not to bother about the dog chain thereby reposing, sub-consciously, faith in the committee.
Some of us thought of consulting Gadekar uncle but normally Gadekar uncle could be engaged only in early mornings during his morning walks on the terrace. Five AM for most was a tough hour to negotiate and engage Gadekar uncle in a dawn discussion on Dog Chains. The idea was considered inconvenient and dropped.
When the matter had gone round and round and got entangled enough suddenly Samumyadeep posted in the group in Capitals “WHAT IS THE DOG CHAIN WE ARE TALKING ABOUT”.
The lines descended on the screen of everyone’s mobiles and everyone waited with bated breath for an answer from someone else in the group.
20 mins down and now one had replied. Now it dawned upon everyone that each one was confused. The apple had fallen on Newton’s head.
Finally, Sarfraz broke the print pause and wrote “let us discuss with Hedait Bhai”. Everyone left his/her apartment in their individual capacity to knock at Hedait Bhai’s door. While everyone left individually it was a collective gang that eventually landed up at Hedait Bhai’s door.
Hedait Bhai opened the door and burst out laughing. He said he had been enjoying the fun for the last five days.
We urged him to explain which he did.
Hedait Bhai had struck upon an idea of preventing stray dogs from entering the premises so he had thought of chains attached to the lower end of the main gate. He took out a paper and drew and explained. This is what he had meant by “Dog Chain” little realizing then that this would confuse scientists, engineers, accounts, Doctors, businessmen, and everyone else alike.
The students were enlightened, eventually.
The dog chains are installed now, and this is how they look. I must say I have not seen stray dogs inside after that. The committee has now been designated to check the working of the chain through a live demo.
It has been decided to bring five dogs of various sizes and breeds and station them on the other side of the main gate and close the gates. These dogs would then be tempted to try and pass through the main gate by placing dog bones on the other side of the gate and the committee would observe if the dog chain blocked them from crossing over.
The demo is scheduled for the coming Sunday. We are planning to make it a big event and trying to see which celebrity can be called to grace the occasion.
All are welcome and can bring their pet dogs too.
Let us see who has the last laugh Hedait Bhai or the rest.
Well as they say “Every dog has his day”
On Public Demand this event would be streamed live on You Tube too. Link will soon follow.
P.S: Breaking News:
Tamanna the “Go To Lady” with the builder and our one point contact at the Builder’s Side has agreed to support the demo by providing dogs from their side. These dogs shall be delivered soon and kept under the custody of Nath.Tamanna is also organizing a dog trainer for the event.
The committee has now decided to rope in other housing societies as well and we shall soon be looking at a “Dog Premier League”
Bye for now as we need to scout for sponsors.