Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar on Wednesday morning sat down for a non-political chat with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. From asking him if he likes mangoes, why he sleeps for only 3.5 hours to whether he misses his mother as he stays away from her to serve the nation, Akshay had a heart-to-heart conversation with PM Modi.
The entire conversation was streamed by ANI. Akshay interacted with PM Modi at Lok Kalyan Marg.
A day before releasing the conversation, the 51-year-old actor shared a few snippets and tweeted, “While the whole country is talking elections and politics, here’s a breather. Privileged to have done this candid and COMPLETELY NON POLITICAL freewheeling conversation with our PM @narendramodi.”
Modi replied to his tweet and wrote, “Dear @akshaykumar, it was good talking to you about everything, except politics and elections :) I’m sure people would like watching our conversation.”
Read all the updates about Akshay Kumar-PM Narendra Modi interview.
Watch the complete Akshay Kumar-PM Narendra Modi interview
PM Modi on what he learnt from selling tea
"When I used to sell tea, I met a lot of people and got to learn about human nature. Luggage trains used to pass through my village. In the train, there would be people who transport cows and buffaloes. They had to spend three-four days in the station. I used to deliver tea to them and listen to the songs they brought along with them. So that's how I got fluent in speaking Hindi," says Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
PM Modi on his relaxation techniques
"There are a few habits which I had, but now it is difficult to do it. I like drinking tea at 5 am and then once in the evening. I also like to sit in the open and not in a closed room. I never celebrated Diwali. I used to go away for 3-4 days, and I would not be connected to the world at all for those days. Those days gave me a lot of strength. So, when I will retire, I want to do this again," says Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
I don't get time to watch films, says PM Modi
"I used to watch films back in the village. I watched Paa with Amitabh Bachchan and A Wednesday with Anupam Kher when they visited me during my tenure as CM of Gujarat. But now I don't get time to watch films," says Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
PM Modi on his first international speech
"When I reached America, I met Sushma Swaraj and she asked me about the speech. I told her that I don't have a written speech and she told me that this is not how it is done. So I told her what I wanted to speak and I was given a written speech. But I am not comfortable with written speeches," says Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
PM Modi likes team games
"I liked playing team games instead of individual games as they develop you in a different way, on a personal level. I have played 'gilli danda' as well. I used to wash the clothes of my entire family. So I used to be at the pond and used to go for swimming and this is probably how I toned my body," says Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
PM Modi on sending money to his mother
"My mother still sends me money. She never expects from me. She doesn't need it as well. This doesn't mean I don't have affection for my mother, but I have made this nation as my family and I want to work for its betterment," says Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
I admire you not as a PM but as a human being: Akshay tells PM Modi
"You are a lovely person who has seen a lot in life. You have achieved a lot and have also lost a lot. I admire you not as a Prime Minister but as a human being," says Akshay Kumar.
PM Modi on his unique way of wearing the watch
"This is because I don't want to insult anyone by checking the time in front of them," says Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
PM Modi on his fashion statement which includes the crisply ironed kurtas, shoes and well-trimmed beard
"This is a false image of my clothing. My life was just in a jhola I carried. I used to wash my clothes until I became CM. Then I realised that full-sleeved kurtas took me longer to wash and took more space in my bag so that is why I started wearing half sleeved kurtas," Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
I believe in Ayurveda, says PM Modi
"I have led such a difficult life that I don't know how these expensive medicine work. I believe in Ayurveda. I only drink warm water and try fasting when I catch a cold. I put a drop or two of sarso ka tel in the nose. It burns a little, but it cures my flu quickly.," says Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
When Barack Obama was concerned about PM Modi's sleep cycle
"Even Obama, who is now a close friend of mine, asks me, 'Why do you sleep so less? This is your addiction to work but you should not sleep so less.' This has now become my body cycle. I sleep for 3-3.5 hours and I sleep well," says Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
PM Modi on the most valuable thing he brought from Gujarat
"When I became the Prime Minister, I had a benefit which none other Prime Minister had. It is that I had been a Chief Minister for a long time. I was the longest serving Chief Minister of Gujarat and this had given me the immense experience to work for the betterment of the nation," says Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
PM Modi on the wish he would make if he had Alladin ka chirag
"Educationalists should stop telling the future generation about the 'Alladin ka chirag' and should teach them to work hard," says Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
PM Modi laughs out loud
Akshay Kumar asks Narendra Modi if he is truly a Gujarati as Gujaratis are very particular about their money. This made Modi laugh out loud.
When Narendra Modi gave away his CM's salary
"My staff took care of my bank account after I became CM. When I became the PM, I asked them to give away the money which came as a salary of the CM. A senior officer explained to me that I should not give away all the money. So I gave Rs 21 lakh for the education of the daughters of the peon and the driver of the secretariat," says Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
I have friends in the opposition, says PM Modi
"I have friends in the opposition also. I have lunch with them once in a year as well. We are connected like a family which you do not see on the outside. This may harm me in the elections but Mamata didi does select kurta for me and sends it to me once in a year. Bangladeshi PM also sends me Bengali sweets," says Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
This image of a strict administrator is wrong, says PM Modi
"This image of a strict administrator is wrong. I don't pressurise people to work. Earlier the PM will leave the office by 6 pm and will also be away during the day. But I come early in the morning and leave late at night. So when they see I work so hard, they also feel like working. This is the kind of work culture I have developed. During work, I don't pay attention to anything else but work. Discipline can't be forced. I can only set an example," says Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
PM Modi on missing his mother
"If I would have left home after becoming the PM, then probably I would have missed my mother. But I left home at quite an early age. After leaving the house when I was young, I got such training that I don't feel too attached. Even today when I call my mother, she would say why am I wasting my time on her. Even I am so busy that I don't get time for her," says Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
PM Modi's anger management mantra
"If something which I don't like has happened, I would sit alone and write everything on a paper. I would write what I did and why I did that. Then I would tear that paper and throw it away. I wouldn't even read it again. Then I would write it again. This is how the anger inside me would burn out," says Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
I do get angry but I never take it out on others: PM Modi
"To be upset or angry is a part of human life. I was the CM for so many years. I never got an opportunity to be angry with anyone. I do not put people down to get my work done and always lend a helping hand. I do get angry but I never take it out on others. If I get angry, the agenda of the meeting goes away," Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
PM Modi opens about his chilhood
"During childhood, I would go to the library and read about big people. I would watch people in uniform getting respect. Then I read about a Sainik school in Gujarat. In my locality, there was a school principal. I went to meet him. I have never been intimidated by meeting big people. He loved me a lot. He explained to me about life. Then I went towards the Himalayas and I witnessed a lot of life between the age of 18-20. I had lot of questions when I was young. I used to find answers to the questions myself and this is how I reached where I am," Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Narendra Modi on becoming prime minister
"I never thought I would become the prime minister. If I would have got a good job, then also my mom would have been happy. She would have distributed sweets," says Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Akshay-Modi interview begins
Akshay Kumar begins the interview by saying he wants to know more about Narendra Modi the person than Prime Minister Narendra Modi.