Book pays tribute to canine friend
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Last Updated: Friday, July 30, 2010, 15:05
New Delhi: Animal lovers have often expressed their attachment for their pets in myriad ways and those with a literary bent have gone on to include them in some form or other in biographies, autobiographies and other works of fiction and non-fiction.

One such deeply personal memoir by Habib Rehman, former ITC chief, capturing the joy of loving and anguish of saying goodbye to his canine companion, 'Gori' was released here late last evening.

Former Chief Minister of Punjab, Capt Amarinder Singh released the book 'A Home for Gori', an account of a pup that was smuggled into Rehman's home by his wife and who was treated with disdain by him initially, but soon warms her way into his affections.

For the next ten years, they share an inseparable bond which ends with the pet's death in 2005.

"I treated Gori with disdain when we met first.

Ironically, when she fell ill in her last days, I did all that I could to save her," recounts Habib, who began his career with Indian Army which he left to join the hospitality business in 1975 and joining ITC in 1979.

From sharing a pillow to talking on the phone when he was out of town, 'Gori,' says Habib had became a part of his life.

He was so moved by the incident that he made a home that overlooks Gori's grave in Panchsheel Park as a memorial to her. Habib has 14 pets of different breeds in that home now.

"The book also has my encounters with other dogs in Himalayan ranges during my Army days. These dogs not only protected our soldiers but in a sense, the Indian state as well," said Habib.

Capt Singh, a pet lover himself revisited his relation with his first pet, 'Doni' which he got when he was 14. After joining the Indian Army, he took 'Doni' to his post near Indo-China border.

He recalled how Doni, had mistakenly captured a sheep from a bordering Tibet village and how Beijing had promptly sent a message to New Delhi about it.

"A dog does not know the difference between Indian sheep and the Chinese sheep," he said in a lighter vein during the function of the book release.

"Dogs are wonderful friends and become part of your family. They give everything they have and ask for nothing from you. Habib has written a brilliant book which is gripping and intense. It gives insight into him and shows his sensitivity," he said.

Y C Deveshwar, Chairman, ITC Ltd, who was present during at the event said," Habib is an intensely private person. Some of his personality traits were revealed when I read the book. Its emotionally satisfying to read it."


First Published: Friday, July 30, 2010, 15:05

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