PM Modi Dreamed of ‘Bambai’ as a Child, He Tells Humans of Bombay

Did a man from such humble beginnings ever dream he would one day be the Prime Minister? Modi answers.

Published
India
2 min read
Did a man from such humble beginnings ever dream he would one day be the Prime Minister? Modi answers.
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The Humans of Bombay Instagram page's latest feature is a man who is more a ‘Human of India’ – Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

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(1/5) “My family of 8 lived in a 40x12 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. 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 learnt to speak Hindi. I would hear some traders speak about ‘Bambai’ & wonder, ‘Will I ever get to see the city of dreams?’ 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. 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.” #TheModiStory

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Captured narrating his story while sitting on a chair against a picturesque background, the prime minister recounts his days as a young boy, or as he calls it "the beginning of everything that he is today."

Modi narrates how his typical day began when he was a child, with his mother's morning beginning as early as 5 am as people lined up to treat themselves through her “healing touch.”

Modi said he lived in a 40x12 foot house with his family of eight, and he'd rush back from school to help out his father at his tea stall in the railway station.

“... 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 learnt to speak Hindi. I would hear some traders speak about ‘Bambai’ & wonder, ‘Will I ever get to see the city of dreams?’”

The prime minister also recalls how he, along with his friends, set up a stall to help out during the Gujarat floods, when he was nine years old.

“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.”

Touching upon the necessity to appear well-groomed, Modi said he wrapped a cloth around a hot coal and use it as the iron as his family could not afford an iron box.

Did a man from such humble beginnings ever dream he would one day be the Prime Minister?

“...no. Never. It was too far to even think about.”

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