A modern day ‘Krishna’ living in Bhopal’s Kailash Nagar area is awaiting a reply to a fax message he sent to his friend Sudama living in 7 Race Course Road in New Delhi.
Umesh Goswami, a 56-year-old head constable (ministerial), says Prime Minister Narendra Modi had a strong bonding with him while staying in Bhopal for around 8-10 months in 1990s.
“In late 1990s, Modi ji lived in Bhopal. Modi often came to meet a senior MP police official at his office, where the new police headquarters stands now. Then, I was posted under the same official. He fondly called me Krishna while addressing self as Sudama,” says Goswami, now posted at the office of ADG (Administration) Anuradha Shankar at the MP state police headquarters.
“None of us knew him as Narendra Modi, but we only called him Modi. He often rested under a tree and read Sanskrit, Urdu and Gujarati books, particularly books pertaining to Chanakya Niti,” he says.
Hailing from Gopalganj area of Sagar district, Goswami recounts that Modi used to often tell him that if ever his “achche din” arrives, he would “definitely remember me”.
“He (Modi) addressed me as Giri or Krishna and had relished Dal-Bafle and Dal-Bati-Churma with my family at my quarter,” says the constable.
“People will not believe if I tell that a kurta-pyjama clad Modi ji wore a turban and rode a motorcycle during his stay in Bhopal. Sometimes, he even took bath at a public tap near a Hanuman temple at the same place, where the PHQ is located,” says Goswami, whose one son is posted with the CRPF in Jammu and another with Home Guards in Bhopal.
“It was in May 2014 when Modi became the prime minister, that we came to know that he is the same Modi, who mingled with us as a friend and even sat on the floor to enjoy meal with us,” says Goswami with tears in his eyes.
Modi, who served as secretary (organisation) of BJP’s Madhya Pradesh unit in late 1990s, is slated to visit Bhabhra - Chandrashekhar Azad’s birthplace in Alirajpur district - on Tuesday.
“I never tried to contact him for any help as the prime minister,” says Goswami. “After being goaded by the family I sent a fax message to the Prime Minister’s Office eight months ago, expressing a wish to meet Modi.”
“But till date, I’ve not received any response from the man, who two decades ago told me that he was my Sudama. I don’t want any help or position from Modi ji, I just want to meet him to relive the cherished memories,” Goswami concludes.