If you are are a technology buff and/or a follower of TED Talks, it’s very likely you know about Pranav Mistry. It’s also likely you are fascinated by his known work like SixthSense, Mouseless, SPARSH, Quickies, Blinkbot. You may also be aware that he is the head of Think Tank Team and Director of Research of Samsung.
If you do not know much about Pranav Mistry, you can read the Wikipedia page on him.
On September 4, 2013, Samsung’s new smartwatch, Galaxy Gear was presented to the world in Berlin. Instead of discussing the new product, or celebrating Pranav Mistry’s accomplishments, a section of India’s urban, educated, English-speaking class made disparaging comments in the social media on Pranav Mistry’s accent.
Most people can only dream of achieving in a lifetime what he has already achieved by the age of 32. Yet, some of us choose to focus on his accent!
What did Pranav Mistry himself say on the subject? According to this report, he tweeted:
“They say I have a strong Gujarati and Indian accent. Yes, because i am a strong and proud Gujarati, and very proud Indian :)” – @pranavmistry
Speaking of accents, I have always wondered how easily we Indians acquire American accents. I know many persons who:
1. Grew up in India, but have been living in the US of A for the last few years, or
2. Grew up in India, lived in the US of A for a few years and have returned to India, or
3. Live in India, and visit the US of A occasionally, or
4. Live in India, and have visited the US of A once, or
5. Live in India, and have relatives/friends living in the US of A, or
6. Live in India, and work (in India) with a US-based multinational company, or
7. Watch TV programmes (sorry, programs!) from the US of A, or
8. Visit the US Consulate frequently/occasionally, or
9. Have visited the US Consulate once, or
10. Drive past the US Consulate frequently
Quite a few such persons have distinct American accents, sometimes more American than the accents of third-generation Americans! In contrast, I know quite a few persons of Indian origin who have been living in the US of A for many decades now, but whose accent has changed only very slightly.
A slight accent is understandable, but, in many cases, it is apparent that the person has put in a lot of effort to acquire the accent! I’ve always wondered why we find it so easy to acquire an American/British/Australian accent in a short time, but somehow none of us acquire a new accent even many years after shifting to another Indian state or even to non-English-speaking countries. Can anybody offer an explanation?