Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in the middle of a crisis, was an example of calm and cheerfulness, said the host of 'Man vs Wild' and adventure junkie Bear Grylls ahead of the premiere of his special episode with the Prime Minister.
In an exclusive interview to ANI (WATCH THE VIDEO above), Grylls said the Prime Minister, as a world leader, is calm in a crisis, as they embarked on their journey through Jim Corbett National Park in Uttarakhand. What stood out the most about Modi throughout the journey, Grylls said, was the global leader's humility, as even through incessant rains, there was a "big smile" on his face.
"What shone bright for me was his humility. He was a very humble guy and even though there was pouring rain and his secret services (SPG) were trying to get out umbrellas, he said 'no I'm fine' and then we reached a river. I made this raft out of reeds and a tarpaulin. I said I think we can get across the river using this, but the secret services (SPG) were like 'we cannot put the Prime Minister in a little homemade raft'. But he (Modi) said he was fine and we'd do this together. He asked me to get in too, but the things started sinking. So it ended up with me swimming and pushing him, he was soaking wet but there was a big smile on his face even through the rain. You learn about people in those moments," said a visibly-elated Grylls.
"I think often you see politicians behind a podium looking smart in a suit. But the wild is a great leveller, it doesn't care who you are. It rewards commitment and courage, you got to work together. We got hit by some really big storms and torrential rain whilst we were there. Our team, who was filming, was really on the edge, but the Prime Minister was just very calm and I saw that throughout our journey. Whatever we were doing, he was very calm. That was cool to see. You never really know what someone is like until there's a crisis. It was good to be reminded that as a world leader, Prime Minister Modi is calm in a crisis," he said.
Grylls also said, "PM Modi is a man who cares deeply about the environment. That is why he came on this journey with me. He has actually spent time in the jungle as a younger man and I was surprised how comfortable he was out there and how calm he was. I really hope that ultimately our actions follow.
In India, Man Vs Wild with Bear Grylls and Prime Minister Modi will premiere simultaneously on 12 Discovery channels in five languages - English, Bengali, Hindi, Tamil and Telugu.
(With inputs from ANI)