Humans of Bombay known to disarm even the harshest of cynics with real-life gut-wrenching, heartwarming, intrepid stories of everyday individuals, have roped in their first big interview with none other than the Prime Minister of our nation, Narendra Modi. The interview provides an insight into Modi’s life as a young boy. Seated in a chair, he regaled us with stories from his life, recounting the days that he describes as “the beginning of everything that he is today.”
Modi begins his tale by painting a rather endearing picture of his mother who had a “healing touch,” where people would line up outside his house to seek a cure for their ailment. He said “She didn’t have the fortune of getting an education, but God was kind & she had a special way of curing ailments. Mothers would line up outside our home because she was known for her healing touch.”
PM Modi’s adulation for his mother is quite apparent in his reverential depiction of her demeanor. His fondness seeps through his illustration of her character. Modi says for his 99-year-old mother his consequential title never held any significance. All she cared about was that he worked with honesty and integrity and make those two qualities the cornerstone of his life. The only sage advice that the mother imparted to her son was that he never get ensnared in bribes. He recounted to the Humans of Bombay, ” ‘Dekh bhai, I don’t understand what you do, but promise me you will never take a bribe — don’t ever commit that sin.’ Those words really impacted me and I’ll tell you why. A woman who has lived in poverty her entire life and who has never had material comforts, during an abundant and celebratory time, asked me to not take a bribe.”
He recalled the day he was announced the Chief Minister of Gujarat, the position that he would hold for 13 years. While he considered it a breakthrough of his political career, his mother was merely happy to have him working near home. He ruminates the day he went to visit her in Ahmedabad before the oath-taking ceremony. He said “By then she had already found out that I had become the CM, but to be honest I don’t think she knew what the post was about. When I reached, the atmosphere was festive and celebrations had begun. But my mother just looked at me, hugged me and said, ‘The best thing is that you will be back in Gujarat now!’ — such as a mother’s nature, that no matter what’s going on around her, she wants to be close to her children.” He describes his humble abode, where his family of eight resided as a “40*12 feet house” where the day began at the crack of dawn. He would first open the tea stall and then head off to school. Modi said he found pleasure in helping his father out in the tea stall and didn’t find the work tedious. The work paved a way to meet people from across the nation and listen to their stories. Modi narrates his life as a young boy with big dreams who envisioned more for himself and believed in making the best of the cards that he was dealt with. His story expounds his belief that to chase an elusive dream replete with luxury is futile. He was thought to make the best of the circumstances and work towards realizing your ambitions. He said “So when you ask me what my struggles were, I’ll tell you that I had none. I came from nothing, knew no luxury & hadn’t seen a ‘better’ life, so in my small world…I was happy.” At a very young age, Modi was well-versed with the basic tenets of living a good charitable life despite your circumstantial shortcomings. He attended his first RSS meeting when he was 8 and was imbued with a charitable spirit at a tender age of 9 when he along with his friend helped “victims of flood in Gujarat.” Although his family was deprived of material comfort while growing up, the PM says, that never deterred him from looking presentable in life. In absence of iron, he would wrap a cloth around hot coal and iron his clothes.
So did the young Modi know he was destined for great things in life? According to the PM as a young boy of 8, he had no inkling that he would one day govern this nation. He said “. Never. It was too far to even think about.” He instead dreamed about “Bambai” as a child and would spend hours in the library sifting through literature to quench his curiosity, he told the Humans of Bombay.
Over the years we have become well-acquainted With Narendra Modi, the leader of our nation. The Humans of Bombay enabled us to gain a rare insight into his personal life stripped of the eminent tile. The man who holds his mother in high esteem, who had to overcome the adversities of life and rise above it all.