PM Modi mans the wild with Bear Grylls: What he said about nature, his childhood, his message to youth
Prime Minister Narendra Modi donned a new hat on Monday -- that of an intrepid explorer as he set off on an adventure with Bear Grylls, the host of Discovery's Man Vs Wild. The duo was taking a trip through the Jim Corbett National Park in Uttarakhand in an effort to promote environmental conservation.
PM Modi showed the nature-loving side of his personality as he walked with Grylls, travelled in a raft and even helped the latter make a spear.
PM Modi on Monday became the second world leader after then US President Barack Obama to feature of the hit show where the host takes viewers on a wild journey into nature reserves.
In Discovery channel's, "Man Vs Wild with Bear Grylls and Prime Minister Modi", he braved the rain and cold in the jungles of Jim Corbett National Park in Uttarakhand, and as the host put it, the PM was a "great sport".
The episode was quite a hit, with the hashtag #ManVsWild trending on number 1 in India and number 2 worldwide.
In India, #ModionDiscovery was trending at number 2.
PM Modi talked with Grylls on a range of topics, ranging from his personal life to his political life to his love for nature.
Here are top quotes from the Man Vs Wild episode with PM Modi:
On his childhood
PM Modi joked that he was not a good student as a child. He also talked about his humble beginnings.
"I didn't have a sophisticated childhood. When I went to school I kept myself perfect, I didn't have an iron at home so used keep burnt coal on cooper bowl to iron my shirt."
On his years in the Himalayas
PM Modi shared how he left home at the age of 17 and stayed in the Himalayas. He said, "I wanted to make a decision about my life. But before that, I wanted to understand the world. I wanted to see the spiritual world. For that, I went to the Himalayas. I love nature. I met people in the Himalayas, stayed with them. It was a wonderful experience and I spent a long time there."
When asked by Bear Grylls if he was ready to travel through the tiger-heavy region of Jim Corbett park, PM Modi said, "I don't think we should consider this experience dangerous. If we live in harmony with nature, nothing can go wrong."
On taking a vacation
When Grylls asked whether he ever dreamt of becoming a prime minister, Modi said his focus has always been the development of the nation.
"The focus has been always been on one thing and that is development. And I am satisfied with that job. Today, if I consider this time as a vacation, then I must say I am taking a vacation for the first time in 18 years," Modi said.
On how he felt on becoming PM
On being the country's prime minister, Grylls asked whether he ever pinched himself.
"It never occurs to me who I am. I am above all this. When I was a chief minister and even now as the prime minister, I only think of my work, my responsibilities. My position never goes to my head," PM Modi.
On if he feels fear
Modi said he never had a good answer about "nervousness" as it was not a part of his temperament.
"My problem is that I have never experienced such fears. I am unable to explain it to people what nervousness is and how to deal with it because my in-built temperament is very positive. I see positivity in everything. And because of that reason, I am never disappointed."
On his message for the youth
"If I have to tell anything to the young generation then I will say we should not think of our life in pieces. If we think of our life as a whole then there will be ups and downs. If you are going down don't think about it because the way up starts from there," PM Modi said.
On adopting a baby crocodile
Prompted by Grylls, Modi also talked about the time he brought home a baby crocodile from the pond where he had gone to bathe.
My mother said to me this is wrong. You cannot do this. You should not do this, put it back. I went and put it back," the prime minister said.
On Swachch Bharat
PM Modi said, "The people of India can make India clean. Personal hygiene is in the culture of the Indian people. We need to develop the habit of social hygiene. Mahatma Gandhi has done a lot of work on it and recently we are getting good success in this. I believe India will succeed in this very soon."
On his experience on Man Vs Wild
"I really enjoyed today. All my memories from my time in the Himalayas came back to me. It reminded me of the days I spent on the banks of Narmada river. And, whether it is a river or pond or a waterfall, in my younger days, when I was learning to meditate, all these things held an important place. Today again I was reminded and felt that happiness, which I felt in the past. It was a heartwarming experience."