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‘He Didn’t Make Us Feel Like We Were Talking to the Prime Minister’: PR Sreejesh on Interaction with Modi

PR Sreejesh was all praise for the interaction he and the Indian men’s hockey team had with Prime Minister Narendra Modi at his residence on Monday. The Indian men’s hockey team were hosted by the PM after their bronze medal win at the Tokyo Olympics, which ended the country’s 41-year wait for a hockey medal at the Games. Sreejesh said that Modi spoke very frankly and openly and got them in their comfort zone.

“We felt very nice that we met the Prime Minister and we got a chance to speak to him up and close. But he didn’t make us feel like we were talking to the Prime Minister, he spoke very openly, in a very friendly manner and he took us in our comfort zone,” Sreejesh said to Asianet.

The PM was gifted a hockey stick signed by both the Indian men’s and women’s hockey team on Monday and Sreejesh said that the PM told them how special it was for the country to get a hockey medal again.

“He came to us and congratulated our coach and then he told us that the entire India was celebrating our bronze. He said we got a lot other medals at the Olympics but when the hockey team wins one, it’s a special occasion for the entire India. It was a great honour to have Sir say that,” he shared.

Sreejesh said it was also a huge honour to have the biggest sporting award of the country named after the hockey wizard Major Dhyan Chand. “He also renamed the Khel Ratna to Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna and as a hockey player, it was a great honour that the biggest sports award had Dhyan Chand ji’s name.”

Sreejesh shared a light anecdote from his conversation with the PM, where he inquired about his knowledge of Punjabi given that he had so many teammates from the state.

“Sir also asked me ‘Sree, you must have learnt Punjabi by now.’ I said, ‘Yes sir. For many years now I am teammates with so many Punjabis so I haven’t learnt it a bit. Now, it’s my chance to teach them Malyalam and so, I will do that’,” he concluded.

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