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On 1st December 2014, braving the freezing cold me and my childhood best-friend Binita Singha went to sleep at 2 am in the morning at our 'Precioumelove Stall No.6'. Awaiting excitedly to meet the Prime Minister Narendra Modi. We woke up to an electrified and frenzied atmosphere: there were drums beating everywhere, warriors sounding war cries, men and women everywhere adorned in beautiful Naga tribal attires dancing and singing songs. Security was buzzing crazy; checking everything and everyone, the ground was packed hours even before the PM Narendra Modi reached. The Nagas flocked in thousands braving the cold, hopeful to catch a glimpse of the fierce New Prime Minister. We quickly finished work and changed into our traditional attire. So Amid the chaos and frenzied preparations the PM's entourage enters and I could see him inside his car waving to the bursting and excited crowd. There were shouts, cheers, songs, war cries and whistles going off from every direction, it was crazy! I wasn't even allowed near the walls of the amphitheatre to hear his speech, so dejected I hurriedly returned back to the stall.
Finally, after his speech Narendra Modi proceeded towards the Bamboo pavilion and graced the ribbon cutting ceremony. My hands were cold like ice, nervous and excited. I held onto Binita, secretly praying that he takes the left turn towards our stall. But my heart sunk as he and his entourage turned right and slowly moved towards the exit. Binita started teasing me not to start crying, that's when I decided I would go to him personally and bring him to our stall. Without losing time I slipped out of my heels into my comfortable shoes and ran towards his entourage holding a poster of 'PML'. Narendra Modi was Surrounded by a sea of bureaucrats and powerful people, but I quietly nudged my way as close as possible. I have never been a big fan of bureaucrats or politicians so I saw no reason why I should feel shy. So I cleared my throat and shouted as confidently and loud as possible, “Modi sir, Modi sir". I saw him startle and turn his head towards the voice of the girl that called out to him. I saw every 'important' state head turn towards me and make way for me. I slowly and nervously walked towards him and gushed at how big a fan I'am of his, he extended his hands and I mine and he looked at me with curious eyes. I started blabbering nervously how much my suppliers loved and believed in him, they wanted me to send him their regards. I was so nervous I forgot to add how big a fan my dad is too. I asked him if I could get his autograph and he happily took the pen and started signing the Preciousmelove poster, that was when I realized every camera was aimed at us and the Governor, Chief Minister and other officials were all waiting for me. That was when fear kicked in and I remembered I didn't wear a belt with my traditional wrap-around, not being used to wearing it I started praying my 'Mekhla' doesn't slip. For a moment I wanted to disappear.
As I nervously chatted with the Prime Minister Narendra Modi I told him it would have been wonderful if he could have visited our stall and he lifted his head and excitedly asked me “where is your stall?”. I blushed and pointed back and he left everyone and started walking back with me to our stall. I couldn't believe the country's beloved Prime Minister Narendra Modi was actually following an ordinary Naga girl to her stall. Everyone had thought the PM had left so when they saw him walking back I could see jaws dropping and people running around in confusion. As we walked together I proudly showed him the work of the other entrepreneurs. When we reached our stall I beamed at Binita excitedly with a huge grin: I brought Narendra Modi back to our stall!. I showed him our designs and photographs and told him excitedly how we also started with nothing like him and why he was such an inspiration. We chatted, laughed and he shook my hands one last time before he left telling me to continue working harder. That was when i was a little calm and noticed how warm his hands felt and the sincere curiosity in his eyes. He smiled, turned and slowly walked away greeting everyone as he left, everyone was so happy and star-struck. I couldn't believe what had just happened, it all felt so surreal, just a few days back I was watching him talk on the television screen, and I read about him in the papers everyday and there he was leaving after visiting our Stall.
As Narendra Modi left Oya Asenla Walling was the first one who came up to me, we started laughing, jumping and hugging each other. It was such a happy moment and had it not been for Oya who always believed and supported us we wouldn't have had this chance of a lifetime. I apologized if I embarrassed her or her department for breaking protocol and being so shameless, but the whole department was so supportive and kind. I was so happy, it was a dream come true having the Prime Minister of India personally visit our stall and appreciate our work. We are honest people and we work really hard, this was for the many opportunities that we might be able to create for so many again. I felt a wave of emotion as Narendra Modi left thinking about how hard it has been building 'Preciousmelove'. The hardwork and sacrifices we have to make, the amazing people who have all come together to help, support and build our PML dream. It is everyone's combined efforts and dreams that makes PML truly magical and we just got one of the most hard working Prime Minister Narendra Modi visiting our stall. Everything else after that was a daze, people coming and going thanking and congratulating me, taking pictures with the ‘Modi Girl’. We had really bad sales that day but it didn't matter because the Prime Minister Narendra Modi had just spent 5 minutes admiring PML's hard work.
I still can’t believe I met the incredible Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he had no airs, he had left his entourage of 'very' important people for a nobody like me. Followed me, listening intently and shared a joke and two. How wonderful it felt to have such a powerful man all ears, how more humbling it was to be made felt like an equal. Maybe that's why the masses love him, maybe that's why whatever he says touches everyone's heart. Times are now changing, he believes in hard-work, in not granting any monetary bailout package to the state Govt like his predecessor, he did us common people a favour. The money would have only filled the pockets of the rich, but in not doing so he has instilled hope in honest people like us that good times are here for people who work hard.
Zuboni Humtsoe (Preciousmelove- Proprietor)