Ahmedabad: Prime Minister Narendra Modi penned an emotional note to mark his mother Heeraba’s 100th birthday on Saturday, in which he said that “maa isnt a mere word but it captures a range of emotions”.
“Today, 18th June is the day my Mother Heeraba enters her 100th year. On this special day, I have penned a few thoughts expressing joy and gratitude,” the Prime Minister said on Twitter, where he also posted several photos of him and his mother.
In the note, Modi said: “If my father had been alive, he too would have celebrated his 100th birthday last week. 2022 is a special year as my mother’s centenary year is starting, and my father would have completed his.
“Just last week, my nephew shared a few videos of mother from Gandhinagar. A few youngsters from the society had come home, my father’s photograph was kept on a chair, there was a kirtan, and mother was immersed in singing bhajans while playing the manjeera. She is still the same, age may have taken a toll physically, but she is as mentally alert as ever.
“Earlier, there was no custom of celebrating birthdays in our family. However, children from the younger generations planted 100 trees to remember my father on his birthday.”
The Prime Minister attributed “everything good in my life, and all that is good in my character” to his parents.
Recalling hardships his mother faced during her childhood, Modi said: “My Mother is as simple as she is extraordinary. Just like all mothers… She does not even remember my grandmother’s face or the comfort of her lap. She spent her entire childhood without her mother.”
He also recalled the “tiny house” in Vadnagar with mud walls and clay tiles for a roof where he stayed with his parents and siblings and mentioned the innumerable everyday adversities that his mother encountered and successfully overcame.
The Prime Minister said that cleanliness was something that his mother had always been extremely particular about. He shared several instances which gave a glimpse of his mother being very particular about maintaining cleanliness.
Modi said that his mother had a deep respect for those involved in cleaning and sanitation. Whenever someone would come to clean the drain adjacent to their house in Vadnagar, his mother wouldn’t let them go without giving them tea.
He further said that his mother made him realize that it was possible to be learned without being formally educated.
He shared an incident when he wanted to publicly honor all his teachers, including his biggest teacher, his mother. However, his mother declined saying: “I am an ordinary person. I may have given birth to you, but you have been taught and brought up by the Almighty.”
Modi further added that though his mother did not come to the event, but made sure that he called someone from Jethabhai Joshi Ji’s family, his local teacher, who taught him alphabets.
“Her thought process and farsighted thinking have always surprised me,” he said.
Reflecting on his mother’s extremely simple lifestyle, Modi wrote that even today, there are no assets in his mother’s name. “I have never seen her wear any gold ornaments, and she has no interest either. Like earlier, she continues to lead an extremely simple lifestyle in her small room.”
Modi said that his mother has always inspired him to have a strong resolve and focus on ‘garib kalyan’. He shared an instance from 2001 when he had been declared as the Chief Minister of Gujarat. After reaching Gujarat, PM Modi went straight to meet his mother. She was extremely ecstatic and told him: “I don’t understand your work in the government, but I just want you to never take a bribe.”
His mother keeps assuring him that he should not worry about her and remain focused on the larger responsibilities. Whenever he speaks to her on the phone, his mother says” “Never do anything wrong or anything bad with anyone and keep working for the poor.”
Modi said that his parents’ honesty and self-respect have been their biggest qualities. Despite struggling with poverty and its accompanying challenges, the Prime Minister said that his parents never left the path of honesty or compromised on their self-respect. “Constant hardwork was their foremost mantra to overcome any challenge.”
“In my mother’s life story, I see the penance, sacrifice, and contribution of India’s matrushakti. Whenever I look at Mother and crores of women like her, I find there is nothing that is unachievable for Indian women.”
Modi encapsulated his mother’s inspiring life story in a few words: “Far beyond every tale of deprivation, is the glorious story of a mother. Far above every struggle, is the strong resolve of a mother.”