Saakshi Bhaav released in the year 2014 at a glittering event in Mumbai. At that moment Modi was Chief Minister, Gujrat and there was an excitement in the auditorium with his sheer presence. Sitting in the auditorium, listening to his passionate speech on stage, I had not in my wildest imagination dreamed that I would one day, translate his book into English but come 2018 and a writer friend called to ask what I was translating these days. He suggested I consider working on Narendra Modi’s writing and I reluctantly agreed to think about it. I began reading Saakshi Bhaav and slowly and gradually, I was overwhelmed by his intense outpouring.
The diary passages are not restricted to himself, in fact he reacts to everything around him – humanity, life, time, gadgets, technology, shibir, nature, universe and more. There is anxiety, there is meditation, there is optimism, there is sorrow, there are disappointments. There are challenges, turbulence and there is victory and gratitude. He admits he is not a professional writer, does not understand structures, formats, prose or poetry but he understands emotions and has a strong, unbroken, unflinching faith that the mother Goddess will lead him through the darkest tunnel and therefore expresses himself unafraid and uninhibited. These are pages he had written decades ago and could have withdrawn from making his expressions public but he isn’t worried about judgments, instead he writes, ‘I will express today, what I feel today and tomorrow what I feel tomorrow. I was not seeking endorsements then and I am not seeking validation now’.
Letters to Mother is not about the present Prime Minister, it is not about the once Chief Minister. It is about a common man who needs to communicate with the common man.