By: Lalit Garg
The demise of compassionate soul Heeraben Modi, who created a world hero like Prime Minister Narendra Modi, is an irreparable loss, a trauma not only for her son but for the entire nation. The stop of the centenary journey of Indian values and ideals is definitely a matter of mourning for every person of the country, but this is not the time to mourn, but to imbibe their ideals and life-values. It is said that God could not live with everyone so he created mother. Hiraben was such a wonderful mother, an angel. To say that she was human, but was no less than God. She was like a temple, a place of worship and was a place of pilgrimage. She was not only the life giver of Narendra Modi but also the culture maker, but also the ideal mother of this nation. With her demise, the era of affection, culture, sacrifice, dedication, simplicity and ideals has come to a standstill.
What Prime Minister Modi said while paying tribute to his mother is an example of inspiration? He said, “A glorious century rests at the feet of God… In Maa, I have always felt that trinity, which includes the journey of an ascetic, the symbol of a selfless Karmayogi and a life committed to values. When I met him on her 100th birthday, she had said one thing, which I always remember, that work wisely and live life with purity.’ Whenever Modi went to meet his mother, this meeting and dialogue between mother and son became a big event for the country and the world had been becoming an inspiration to the world. Maa Heeraben, not only shaped Modi’s body but also shaped his mind, personality and self-confidence and in doing so she consumed herself, forgot herself.
‘Maa Heeraben’ – In this short word lies the vastness/comprehensibility of love. There is the culmination of love inside her or we can say that she is the culmination of complete love. For the Modi family, mother Heeraben was life, strength, energy, love, compassion, and was synonymous with affection. She was not only the birth giver but also the life maker. She was the basis of the development of not only Narendra Modi but the entire family. He has woven the fabric of this family with her own hands. Constant progressive and cultural changes were made in the shape-type, lifestyle, thinking and mind of this family. It was the mother, the mother, who changed both the fortune and the picture of this family.
Mother Heeraben’s hundred years of struggling life is a symbol of Indian ideals. Modi has imbibed the spirit of ‘Matridevobhav’ and the values of Heeraben in his life. That’s why there is no other human relation for Modi more important than his mother. She was full of all qualities, like the ocean in seriousness and the Himalayas in patience. Her blessings became a boon. This is the reason why amidst all the busyness and responsibilities, Modi used to go to his mother, sit near her, listen to her, see her, listen to her words. Taking her blessings, visiting her and leaving with a new energy.
Hiraben Modi was born in the year 1923. Her age was 100 years. Hiraben Modi was married to Damodar Das Mulchand Modi. Hiraben Modi has five sons and one daughter. The names of sons of Hiraben Modi are Soma Modi, Amrit Modi, Narendra Modi, Prahlad Modi and Pankaj Modi. And her daughter’s name is Vasanti Ben Hasmukhlal Modi. Damodar Das Mulchand Modi is no more in this world. Damodar Das Modi used to set up a street stall in Vadnagar earlier. At the same time, for some time after this, he also worked to sell tea at the railway station. Modi had told in one of his blogs that the house in Vadnagar where we used to live was very small. There was no window in that house, no bathroom, and no toilet. Overall, that one-and-a-half room structure made of mud walls and tile roof was our home, in which our parents, all of us brothers and sisters used to live. It is natural that where there is scarcity, there is also tension. But the speciality of mother Heeraben was that even in the midst of scarcity, she never allowed tension to dominate the house.
Hiraben’s whole life has been a mix of inspirations. She was punctual, she had a habit of getting up at 4 in the morning, and she used to finish a lot of work early in the morning. Be it grinding wheat, grinding millets, picking rice or pulses, she used to do all the work herself. She used to hum some of her favorite bhajans or prabhatis while working. A famous hymn of Narsi Mehta ji is “Jalkamal chhandi jaane bala, swami amaro jagshe” she liked it very much. There is also a lullaby, “Shivaji nu halardu“, Heeraben used to hum it a lot. To get two to four paise more for running the house, Heeraben used to wash the utensils of others. She used to take out time to spin the charkha as well because that too earned some money. The work of extracting cotton from cotton rind, the work of making yarn from cotton, Heeraben herself used to do all these things. She was also very fond of decorating the house, making the house beautiful. She used to work whole day to make the house look beautiful and clean. She used to cover the ground inside the house with cow dung. Her life was self-supporting. It was simple and restrained.
Maa’ Heeraben is that supernatural word, which makes Narendra Modi’s heart full of love and emotions and he felt so inspired and energized by hearing the word ‘Maa’. For him ‘Maa’ is that powerful mantra, whose mere utterance destroys every pain. According to Modi, the love and glory of ‘Mother’ cannot be described in words, it can only be felt; who gave ideal values to me and my family. In my view, the rituals given by her are their origin; which is the basic identity of every mother. Her values and memory are the basis of Modi’s future life.
Hiraben’s childhood was spent in many struggles and deprivations. She did not get the love of her mother. The effects of the global pandemic a century ago then lasted for many years. The same epidemic had taken away Heeraben’s mother. Hiraben must have been only a few days old then. She didn’t remember her mother’s face, her lap, anything, she couldn’t insist on her mother, couldn’t hide her head in her lap. Heeraben did not even get the knowledge of letters; she did not even see the door of the school. She saw only poverty and lack everywhere in the house. Still, in these absences, she moulded his six children in upbringing and rituals.
Hiraben was the superpower who created this family created by the Creator. She used to weave dreams and this family used to live and enjoy those dreams. She used to teach how to live, whether they were near or not, her love and caress, the values given by her lived together with every member of the family. She shaped the future of her children. That’s why she was also in the form of the first Guru. Maa Heeraben as the first teacher has a very important role in shaping the future of every member of this family. Sometimes in their lullabies, sometimes in scolding, sometimes with love and sometimes with caress, she kept on sowing the seeds of bright future of her children. The whole nation has been inspired by her simple life-ideals and will continue to be so for ages. Heeraben has given strength along with culture; her emotional strength will continue to work as a protective shield not only for Modi but for the entire nation. (The author is a journalist, columnist & can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)