Read this article which was originally published in The Hindu, and was shared by Aniket Deshmukh on Quora. And after reading this article, you will come to know How is Narendra Modi in person and how has he changed many lives through small gestures.
Here is the full article:
“It was the year 1990 when I along with my friend were travelling from Lucknow to Delhi. In the same bogie, two MPs were also present. But they were not one of those who were drawing our attention at that time. There were 12 other people who were drawing everyone’s attention. They were travelling without reservations. Their behavior was so ill-mannered that was terrifying us. Though they had no reservations but they were forcing us to leave our seat. They were sitting on our luggage and they were passing abusive comments. They were so terrifying that everybody was frightened and decided to leave from there along with the Travelling ticket examiner.
The next morning we reached Delhi. But my friend decided to discontinue her journey as she was scared by those 12 goons and she was not comfortable to continue further. So she stayed back in Delhi. But I decided to carry on since another batchmate was joining me(She is UTPALPARNA HAZARIKA, now executive director, Railway Board.) We booked our tickets to Gujarat’s capital but our ticket had been wait-listed. And there was no enough time to arrange. The train was heavily booked and there were no signs of possibility that our tickets will be confirmed. So, we decided to seek help from TTE of the first class bogie. He was so polite that somehow he arranged seats for us. Meanwhile, I looked at the two co- travellers. They were wearing khadi attires so I assumed that they must be politicians. But they were looking decent people unlike those goons. They were looking regular travelers and TTE also assured us-“Not to worry”.
One of them was looking around mid –forties with a normal, affectionate face. And the other one was maybe in his late thirties. They were so generous that they squeezed themselves to provide us a space to sit.
They introduced themselves as two BJP Leaders. They also told their names but I quickly forgotten their names as at that time the names were inconsequential. We also introduced ourselves to them. And soon we started to chat. And soon our conversation turned to different topics. But the major topic of our conversation was about history and polity. My friend who is post graduated in history from Delhi University took part in the conversation.
In our conversation, the senior one of the two was showing so much of interest talking with us but the other one was only listening to us. He hardly spoke a word in our discussion but he was able to convey his presence by his body language. He was not saying anything but he was mentally involved in our conversation.
Then In between the conversation I mentioned about the sudden death of Syama Prasad Mookerjee. That time it was still a mystery to many. The second person suddenly interrupted and asked, “HOW DO YOU KNOW ABOUT HIM?” Then I had to tell him that when my father was a post-graduate student in Calcutta university, as its vice chancellor had arranged a scholarship for a young man from Assam. My father often reminisced about that and regretted about his sudden death. Mookerjee was only 51 at that time.
The younger man was surprised by my knowledge about Mookerjee and he said in a low voice almost to himself “It’s good that they know so many things”.Suddenly in between the senior man proposed:
“Why don’t you join our party”. But we did not take his proposal seriously and we laughed it off. We told them that we do not belong to Gujarat. Suddenly the younger one interrupted in between and said “So what, we don’t have any problem on that. We welcome talent in our state.”
Now it was a time to take food as the food arrived. There were four vegetarian thalis for us. We all ate in silence. When the pantry car manager came to take our bills. The younger man was so humble to pay the bill for all of us. We thanked him for paying the bill. At that time I observed a spark on his face; he was hardly saying anything and mostly listening. Meanwhile, TTE came and informed us that he was unable to arrange berths for us. But the two men suddenly stood up and they offered their seat to us and said: “It’s okay we’ll manage.” Quickly they spread a cloth on the floor and went to sleep.
It was hard to believe that in two days I met some politicians who were totally different in nature. Yesterday I met those politicians with whom we were feeling insecure. And today we were travelling with two different politicians who were polite in nature and we were feeling secured with them.
The next day when our train neared Ahmedabad, they both asked about our arrangements to stay in the city.The senior one told us that in case if we have any problems, the door of his house will always be opened for us. He was genuinely showing concern for us and I could feel by his gesture that he will be happy to help us. The younger one also told us that” I’m like a nomad to help you. I do not have a proper home to invite you. But I can assure you one thing that I will provide you a safe shelter for you.”
We thanked them both for their invitation and assured them that we will arrange accommodation. And in case, if we will not be able to arrange, we will feel free to take their help.
The train reached the station and came to a stop, suddenly I pulled out my diary to note down their names and asked their names again as I had forgotten their names. I wanted to note their names because I didn’t want to forget the names of those fellow politicians who were big-hearted and were so generous to us. They forced me to revise my opinion about politicians in general. I Scribbled their name quickly as the train was about to stop: Shanker Singh Vaghela and Narendra Modi.
I wrote this episode on Assamese newspaper and it was a tribute to them. And when I had written that I didn’t have the idea that one day they will become so prominent that I would be able to hear about them later. Mr. Vaghela became chief minister of Gujarat I was glad to know that. And later in 2001 when Mr. Modi became chief minister of Gujarat, I felt proud.And now he is Prime minister of India. Every time when I saw him on Television, I feel proud that I had met him earlier and remembers his courtesy, caring that he had shown to a stranger. And every time I bow down to him for his kindness.”
(The author is General Manager of the Centre for Railway Information System, Indian Railways, New Delhi.