"Though my mother tongue is not Hindi but Gujarati, I got an opportunity to learn it while selling tea. People who sell milk in Mumbai are basically from Uttar Pradesh. They used to visit our village to purchase buffaloes from local farmers and transport them through goods train," Modi said.
"I used to sell tea to these businessmen who were basically from Uttar Pradesh. They didn't know Gujarati and I did not know Hindi, but while selling tea to them, I learnt Hindi language," he said while addressing the 10th Vishwa Hindi Sammelan here.
Highlighting Hindi's importance, Modi said, "Sometimes I think what would have happened to me if I had not known Hindi. I know the strength of knowing any language".
In a lighter vein, he said, "In Gujarat people never fight in Gujarati language. Whenever two people fight in Gujarat, they turn use Hindi. They cannot do it in Gujarati because that feeling of fighting cannot be conveyed in Gujarati.
"Besides, they also think that if they fight in Hindi, then the opponent will feel that he is a mighty man," Modi said, amidst peals of laughter.