Pravin Patel grew up in India in a farming village near Navsari city, which is 250km north of Mumbai. In 1967 he came to New Zealand to marry his wife, a New Zealand citizen. He completed a degree in Business and Commerce and swiftly embarked on a career in accounting and financial administration. In 1973 a lawyer approached him and asked him to explain the contents of a will to his client. Having struggled with language difficulties himself when he arrived in New Zealand, Pravin accepted this opportunity to assist. He obviously did a great job and the lawyer suggested that he should apply to become a registered translator of Hindi and Gujarati with The Translation Service at DIA. Lucky for us, he did just that. Pravin enjoys his work as a translator and interpreter as it has allowed him to remain close to his mother tongue. We have enjoyed working with him for over 40 years now and are pleased that he agreed to our request to do this interview so we can all find out a little more about him…
Q. What is your idea of perfect happiness?
A. Knowing exactly what I have to do and seeing that it is carried out in a timely manner without running out of resources and energy.
Q. What is your greatest fear?
A. Air travel and earthquakes in Wellington.
Q. Which person do you most admire?
A. Our cricket hero, Brendon McCullum for an excellent achievement recently, and radio talk back host Bruce Russell who provides entertainment, drawing from his wealth of knowledge and current affairs.
Q. What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
A. Firstly, taking matters somewhat casually with “She will be right” attitude and secondly some regret that I can’t swim at all.
Q. What is the trait you most deplore in others?
A. When people believe in fault finding and blaming others regardless of the reality.
Q. What is your greatest extravagance?
A. Impulse buying, mainly on watches, clocks and clothing.
Q. On what occasions do you lie?
A. While visiting Auckland, I have to reluctantly agree that their weather is better than Wellington though it is not. Sometimes I agree with a restaurant manager that the food is good when in fact it’s far from it.
Q. What makes you happiest?
A. Receiving a reply or response from a friend, family or colleague to my email or telephone call. It becomes a two-way street, a most gratifying situation.
Q. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
A. Not to overreact or panic, and remain calm and cool in demanding situations.
Q. What do you consider your greatest achievement?
A. As an employee, securing a position of Trust at my workplace, and then establishing my own accounting practice and becoming self-employed.
Q. If you died and came back as a person or thing, what would it be?
A. Any creature that can fly, move on land, and stay or live in water.
Q. What is your most treasured possession?
A. A family movie of my childhood with my late parents, which my grand-parents filmed in India in 1955.
Q. Who are your heroes in real life?
A. My DADA (grandfather) Madhav Naran, who sacrificed most of his life-time to establish and run a secondary high school to provide education in India in 1919. The school currently has 493 students and is still going strong.
Q. What is it that you most dislike?
A. Falsehood and abuse of power.
Q. What is your motto?
A. Creation and preservation of values. And: Never judge a book by its cover because the proof of the pudding is in the eating.
We feature a staff member or one of our freelance translators every month. The featured profile includes a picture, a small biography and the person’s answers to a light version of the Proust Questionnaire.
Do you wish to be featured in one of our newsletters? If so, write to Lisa for more details.