TwitterElon Musk’s Indian friend dreams of ‘living and dying on Mars’
A young Indian engineer, who had noted a flaw in the Tesla’s windshield wipers, saw Elon Musk in person responding to his message. Since then, the two men communicate via Twitter.
Few can boast of the attention by Elon Musksuch as the young Indian engineer Pranay Pathole who established a privileged relationship on Twitter with the richest man in the world, and also dreams of “living and dying on Mars”.
This unlikely friendship has blossomed over the years into a real correspondence, rich with several hundred tweets and private messages. But this week, the young man finally met his idol, in flesh and blood, in the United States where he is preparing to continue his studies.
He reports a flaw in the Tesla
It all started in 2018 when Pranay Pathole, then only 19 years old, reported to Elon Musk via Twitter a flaw in the functions of the automatic windshield wipers of the car. You’re here. Against all expectations, the billionaire spoke directly to him, he told AFP.
“It will be corrected in the next version,” replied Elon Musk. In fact, Tesla fixed the problem in its next software update. “I was blown away by it,” recalls Pranay Pathole, a 23-year-old computer engineer, “I took several screenshots, I didn’t want the day to end.” His mother Pallavi and his father Prashant were so proud of it that they celebrated the event the same evening at the restaurant.
“Elon has become a friend of the family”
Daily at the beginning, their exchanges touched on the “destruction of myths” concerning the personal history of Elon Musk and also of “the necessity” of the space conquest, says the young man wearing a black T-shirt, like his idol.
His interactions with Elon Musk have become “much more casual” over time, he is no longer quick to share them with friends and family. “Elon has become a friend of the family,” jokes his father, and “if he follows Elon Musk, if he wants to settle on Mars, that doesn’t bother us.”
“He is super authentic”
Pranay Pathole is one of the few the billionaire constantly interacts with on Twitter, on average once every two days, according to public posts by Elon Musk viewed since late last year. Their private discussions range from corporate information that makes headlines in the press to more personal matters. “He is super authentic. Kind, very down to earth. He is humble”, assures the groupie, “it feels in the way he takes his time to answer me”.
When asked about the motivations of the boss of SpaceX and Tesla, whose fortune is estimated at 266 billion dollars, to maintain their epistolary relationship, the young person admits “to have no idea”. “He must actually be downright intrigued by my questions” which, however at first, were “inane”, he replies.
Trampling “the red dust of Mars”
“Elon’s public personality is the same in private, he’s the same man,” he says. The time difference between the United States and India has not prevented their exchanges from lasting. “I don’t think he sleeps much. He’s on Twitter most of the time,” the young man is a little surprised.
Recruited straight out of engineering school by Tata Consultancy Services, India’s largest IT company, Pranay Pathole arrived in the United States last week where he will study at the University of Texas at Dallas.
Then, he hopes to work in an American company, preferably at Musk. “I want to be recruited by Tesla for my skills. I don’t want any favours”, he specifies, hoping only that the boss, in person, will give him the job interview. He says he aspires with him to a discussion on the colonization of Mars and the risk of extinction of humanity.