Dog Spas, Tattoo Shops…What Next!

King’s Circle has more than 5 salons…but no spa. You can get shampoos and haircuts and manicures and pedicures, but no ‘spa experience”. And since we are a “middle-class” locality, we don’t even have one of those “ladies” parlors in one of the “quiet” streets.

And yet…your dogs and cats…can get a spa experience…in Matunga! Seriously! The dog spa is called “Oh my Dog” and it must signal something when those of the wolf and cat families can get pampered in Matunga, while we humans need to travel across suburbs to get our muscles and sinews soaked and pummeled in the “right” atmosphere.

There was a time when no one really kept pets in Matunga. The Tamils and Gujjus both don’t traditionally encourage dogs and cats at home. Growing up as well, the only ones who had pets in their houses were my Maharashtrian friends outside Matunga. And like most Gujjus, I can just about handle them in friends’ houses…as long as they are at a good arm’s length.

But then, dog and cat lovers, my friends included, don’t really think with their heads when it comes to their pets. I can never forget an argument I got into with an animal lover friend of mine when we were both much, much younger. Testily, I asked Sangeeta. “If a man and a dog were injured by a car and waiting for help in the middle of the road, who would you help first?” She said, “Obviously the dog”. I argued with her no end but couldn’t win the fight, irrespective of the logic I used. Pet-lovers (like all lovers) tend to think only with their hearts. And clearly the person who has started this dog spa must be of the same ilk.

And so…in staid, pet-neutral Matunga…we have a dog spa…before a human spa.

And to add to that…a tattoo place as well!

I don’t get it!

The ATMs and ice-cream parlors now outnumber the idli-dosa joints. This I understand!  A Subway has just opened, but you still can’t get other branded fast-food like McDonald’s. This also, I understand! And except for one Levi’s showroom, there is no other big brand, shopping outlet as well. Which also I understand given that we are not a premium suburb!

But in conservative Matunga, where girls going to discos still cover their mini-skirts while leaving the area, we now have a place to get permanent tattoos done. Wow!

“Oh my Dog” and “Leo Tattoos” signal a paradigm shift. While we know that the suburb is undergoing a quiet change, the Tamils being replaced by Gujjus and Kutchhis, the 2 and 3 storey buildings giving way to high-rises, the Jains slowly beginning to outnumber other religions, there is clearly another shift happening that I can see around me, but am unable to explain, since I don’t do either pets or tattoos.

Whatever it is…can only be good. While it is heartening to hear the Koolar owner, in his retro-Irani restaurant, early in the morning, still mouthing bad-words at everyone around, from his waiters, to suppliers and customers, it is also nice to see stuff coming up in our area that is different and creates a buzz. Now if we can just have one high-end, fine-dining restaurant with outdoor seating (Varun are you reading this?), one compact lounge bar and pub for middle-aged Matungaiites and an organic food shop, along with a “human” spa…the Circle would be kind-of complete.

It’s interesting to see the Circle slowly becoming one big outdoor mall. All that is really missing is the central air-conditioning!


  • Armaity Surendra Patel wrote:

    You have a point that “animals” are given priority instead of ‘humans’. But firstly as you say, if that area is not a premium one , those who wish to open a Human-Spa may think twice if it would run succcessfully!
    Another point is that my Dad always said that ‘animals’, especially dogs are more faithful than men!!!! So they are pampered.
    Of course it is absurd that in a country like India, where children do not get even a decent meal, we are priding that we have ‘animal spas’ is a bit beyond our imagination.
    In European countries,we hear that even dogs and cats inherit palaces etc when their owner dies!!! What a world!!!!
    Bhavin, after reading your article, somebody will think of investing in a ‘human spa’!

  • MAtunga never fails to surprise. You have missed the most recent 1 tablespoon that serves authentic and most awesome Italian pizza in MAtunga.

  • You have to be a pet owner to understand the logic of pet lovers.. Try it. U will disown todays comments.
    In Goregaon we have spas, malls, and the likes in every nook and corner. Believe me you don’t want an outdoor mall. The traffic becomes maddening, noise etc.

  • jamna varadhachary wrote:

    You forgot the parsis They too keep dogs and I have seen an afgan hound here, being walked.

  • The City fathers have made Mumbai what it is, what with the bad roads etc. so at least let the dogs enjoy. Some one should benefit.
    Let us human beings go to the dogs.

  • Interesting Read!

  • DO you know this Kooler owner walks in afternoon? I have seen him walking at 2.30-3.00 pm at five garden in all seasons. Amazing guy!
    Change is law of universe but one still feel nice about those unchanged tree lined roads of Khalsa and Ruia and lane behind Bosco.
    I hope they declare this as heritage precinct.

  • We have 20 cows in our farm,not for milking my wife loves cows,we hv a permanent care taker couple to care for them 24×7.they are joy and make my wife happy,she is a animal lover and takes better care then she does of me,my friends joke they say in next birth they would like to be born as cows in our farm,their tabela has fans, mosquito repellants,music,and chattis to sleep n in winter blankets………,we have 2 dogs who we gurad,but no parlours,vetsa who visited us on cycles earlier come in cars now and charge a bomb.

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