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Prime Minister Narendra Modi washed his mother's feet on the special occasion

On mother's 100th birthday, PM gets nostalgic about childhood buddy Abbas

Modi's mother hails from Vadnagar in Mehsana, Gujarat, married young and leads a simple life

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Seeking his mother’s blessings, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday met his mother Heeraben Modi at her Gandhinagar residence in Gujarat on her birthday.

Heeraben Modi, who turned 100, is staying with Modi’s brother Pankaj Modi.

On the occasion, an emotional Modi posted on Twitter, “Maa…this isn’t 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.”

Humble beginnings

Very little is known about the PM’s mother. According to reports, she hails from Vadnagar in Mehsana, Gujarat. He husband Damodardas Mulchand Modi is said to have been a teaseller.

Her five sons are Soma, Pankaj, Amrit, Prahlad and Narendra. She has a daughter, too, called Vasantiben Hasmukhlal Modi. The family mostly chooses to be out of the limelight, except when the PM visits them.

In the blog linked to his tweet, the PM said, “Today, I feel extremely happy and fortunate to share that my mother Smt. Heeraba is entering her hundredth year. This is going to be her birth centenary year. 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.”

In the blog post, Modi recalled just two instances when his mother accompanied him publicly. One was a public function in Ahmedabad when she applied tilak on his forehead as he had returned from Srinagar, having hoisted the national flag at Lal Chowk completing the Ekta Yatra. The second was when Modi first took oath as Gujarat’s Chief Minister, in 2001.

“I may have given birth to you but you have been taught and brought up by the Almighty,” Modi recalled her as saying.

Describing his mother as “a symbol of resilience”, Modi recalled the hardships she faced during her childhood after losing her mother at a very young age.

She does not even remember her mother’s face or the comfort of her lap as she spent her entire childhood without her, he added.

The prime Minister recalled that his family stayed in a small mud house in Vadnagar with clay tiles for a roof. He also mentioned the innumerable everyday adversities that his mother encountered and successfully overcame.

“During the rains, our roof would leak and the house would flood. Mother would place buckets and utensils below the leaks to collect the rainwater. Even in this adverse situation, mother would be a symbol of resilience,” he said.

He said his mother not only did all the household chores by herself but also worked to supplement the meagre household income. She used to wash utensils at a few houses and take out the time to spin the charkha to help meet the household expenses, he added.

Modi said his mother also had deep respect for those engaged in cleaning and sanitation work. Cleanliness was something that his mother was always extremely particular about, he said.

Whenever someone would come to clean the drain adjacent to their house in Vadnagar, he said, his mother would not let them go without having tea. Modi said his mother found happiness in other people’s joys and was extremely large-hearted. He recalled that his father brought home his close friend’s son, Abbas, after his untimely death.

“He stayed with us and completed his studies.”

Mother was as affectionate and caring towards Abbas just like she did for all of us siblings. Every year on Eid, she used to prepare his favourite dishes. On festivals, it was commonplace for neighbourhood kids to come to our house and enjoy mother’s special preparations (sic),” he said.

“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 said.

Temple event

Later today, the Modi family has also planned a bhandaro (community meal) at the Jagannath temple in Ahmedabad.

Hatkeshwar Mahadev Temple in Vadnagar has organised various religious programmes for the long life and health of the Prime Minister’s mother.

The programmes will include a Bhajan Sandhya, Shiv Aradhna and Sundarkand Path.
Modi had last visited his mother in March.

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