‘Humans of Bombay’, a team of storytellers that focus on life and times of individuals and their rise to prominence, has shared the story of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on their Instagram page.
Going down the nostalgic path, Modi shared everything right from his father’s tea stall to the fond memories he shared with his mother during his early days.
“My family of 8 lived in a 40×12 feet house–it was small, but enough for us. Our days began at 5 AM when my mother would provide traditional forms of curing & healing to newborns & small children. All night, my brother & I would keep the ‘chula’ going for her to use. 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.
Modi further spoke about his father’s tea stall and how he used to help his father and manage his education simultaneously.
“Then, I would open my father’s tea stall at the railway station, clean up & go to school. As soon as school ended, I would rush back to help him, but what I really looked forward to was meeting people from all over India. I would serve them tea & listen to their stories–that’s how I learned to speak Hindi. I would hear some traders speak about ‘Bambai’ & wonder, ‘Will I ever get to see the city of dreams?’
He said that he was 8-years-old when he attended his first RSS meeting.
“I was always curious–I’d go to the library & read everything I could get my hands on. I was 8 when I attended my first RSS meeting & 9 when I was a part of an effort to better the lives of others–I set up a food stall with my friends to help the victims of floods in parts of Gujarat. I wanted to do more but knew we had little means.
The PM further spoke about the hardship the family had to go through, however, he added: “when you ask me what my struggles were, I’ll tell you that I had none”.
“Still, even at that age, I believed that God has made us all alike. It didn’t matter what circumstances I was born into, I could be something more. 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. If the way was ever difficult, I made my own way. I had a great need to look sharp & groomed. So even though we couldn’t afford an iron, I would heat coal, use an old ‘lota’, wrap a cloth around it & press my clothes–the effect was the same, then why complain? This was the beginning of everything that I am today & I didn’t even know it at the time. So if you ask the 8-year-old Narendra Modi, running around serving chai & cleaning his father’s tea stall, whether he even dared to dream about becoming the Prime Minister of India, his answer would be no. Never. It was too far to even think about.”