New Delhi: British adventurer and host of the popular adventure show “Into the Wild”, Bear Grylls first came to India when he was just 18. Since then he has made various visits to India. In an interview Gryll, expresses his love for India, his best expedition in the country, besides sharing his travel essentials and how he keeps himself motivated to fight all odds.
What do you like the most about India? How is your connection with the country?
Grylls: I first came to India aged 18 and trekked and travelled all through the mountains in Northern India. Much has changed over the years, but one thing that hasn’t changed is the wonderful warmth and kindness of the Indian people. I was so happy to see that warmth and strong spirit still so strong throughout the country when we have filmed here over the last two years. India has always been a country I love so much, not only for the remarkable wildernesses but above all always for the people.
The most difficult expedition you took in India and the one you would like to take?
Grylls: Probably climbing in some of the remote parts of Sikkim. India has so many wild and such spectacular corners of the country and there is always something special about hill people. There is often a connection and respect for the mountains that brings people together. I have always loved that.
How does your family cope up with what you do?
Grylls: Considering my close ties with adventure, my family has also embraced it. We love escaping to our small island hideaway in North Wales – this really is where I feel most at home. We have no mains electricity or water and run everything totally off-grid, but we love it. Our three boys, Shara and I are happier there than anywhere else on earth .
If you have to pick a thing before going on an expedition, what would it be?
Grylls: A good knife is number one. With it, you can then make shelter, fire, a natural roof and mattress. You can also create traps, hunt food and then with fire, you can boil water and burn animal dung to keep mosquitos away.
You recently shot with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and are going to work with actor Akshay Kumar in your show “Into the Wild”. Tell us about it.
Grylls: It has been a huge privilege to adventure with all of these Indian icons, and what they all shared was a natural humility and warmth, as well as a love of the wild places of this world. The wild and adventure always brings people together and our goal was unified across all these episodes: to show how amazing India is and to show why we have to do all we can to protect our planet.
What are you next working on?
Grylls: We will be coming back soon to India to film some more adventures with Indian superstars – I can’t wait. And I also am hoping to return to attend a rally and support the incredible Indian Scouts who are inspiring so many millions of young people to be able to learn about the wild and adventure.