Thursday, August 1, 2013

A 15-Second Happy Birthday Song

Guess who got featured in today's HT City!

It couldn't have come at a better time. This blog turns 3 years old in two days. (If blog years were dog years, that would mean it's as old as me!) To think of all the times I've almost wanted to pack up and shut it down, because it was only meant to be a 12-month project or because my camera got stolen, or because because because...

I'm so glad I didn't.

This whole process of interviewing for a series on Delhi-based blogs made me realise that despite the travel posts and all my other rambling, this has really been a blog about my life in Delhi and the people in it. It's been such a reflective, connective experience and I have every one of you to thank for making me feel finally at home in this city. And though the location is set to change soon because I'm going off to the Netherlands to do my Master's, I still plan to keep blogging. So here's to growing up and growing older. Happy birthday, Independent Random Variables!

Now, while you excuse me to dissolve into a pool of tears (of joy), feel free to read the full transcript below.

Tell us something about yourself. 
The basics: I am a 21 year-old girl who moved back to Delhi four years ago to do a bachelor's in Economics from Stephen's. My dad's a diplomat, and though I have grown up in different cities around the world, Delhi feels most like home. Plus, I have always loved taking pictures, writing and cooking and so creating this blog was like a natural collaboration of all three things.

How did you come up with the idea of creating this blog. 
I actually started it to keep in touch with my family and friends who were in different countries. I used to email them about what I was up to -- parts of Delhi I'd explore, tales from working on an organic farm my first year here, and anecdotes from college -- and I felt I should document it somewhere. So I started a blog, originally just as a year-long project. At the end of the year, I found I was too in love with the city (and of course, completely enjoying the attention) to stop. 
What is unique about this blog and how does it talk about Delhi? 
Essentially, it's a photo blog that gives an insider's outsider view on Delhi. When I first moved back here (from Geneva), I felt Delhi was loud and obnoxious, no one seemed to follow the rules, and everything was complete chaos. I hated it! So I started the blog as a sort of personal challenge to pick out some things every day that I did like about the city and my life here, and to remind myself to give thanks for the small moments of joy I found in this city. And you know what? I fell in love with Delhi! There are so many little surprises around every nook and corner. All those old tombs still standing in the most built-up parts of the city, all the famous chaat stalls or the specialist markets in Old Delhi that are rarely documented in travel books, and just the layers and layers of life that make up Delhi. It's amazing.

Tell us something about the title, what was the thought behind this title? 
Independent Random Variables is a statistics term. (I'm a student of economics, so it had to figure in there somewhere.) But more than that, I feel it's also just the perfect way to express how each of us is an independently functioning variable, individually defined by the random experiences that happen to us and that we decide to take on.

Tell us something about few of the Delhi-centric posts. 
My favourite posts are the ones about the facets of Delhi life that really give it a distinct flavour for me. Like discovering the farm plots along the Yamuna at the edge of the Tibetan Refuge Colony, or the Malyali biryani at INA. Like making friends with kids from a neighbouring village, or in my colony, or with cats, dogs and rabbits at an animal shelter. And of course, documenting North Campus' laid back pace of life, between endless cups of chai and walks around the campus with my friends from college.
There are also the festivals and fairs in Delhi that I've loved visiting -- the jazz fest, Durga Pujo, Comicon and the Surajkund Mela -- they're so colourful and different from each other! So there's a lot of different hues of Delhi on the blog.

Also, there are personal posts on the blog. Tell us something about that. 
Well, you can't have art without context and feeling. So the photos usually tie in to captions or stories that expand on themes I've been thinking about in the context of my own life. And because it's my blog and following the same format all the time would be as boring to me as it would be to my readers, there's a huge variety of kinds of posts: photo essays, poetic interludes, travelogues, with the odd sprinkling of a music review, video or short story. All said, I'm a lot more personal on the blog now than before. It's kind of my place of peace.

Anything you would like to add? 
I'm shifting to Europe to do my Master's soon, so it won't be a 'Delhi' blog anymore, as such. But it's really been a great learning process, documenting the seven cities that make up Delhi and learning to love them. If you haven't seen my blog yet, you should visit! [Edit: And if you have, share it with someone you'd think would like it!] I'd love your feedback. :)


  1. Happy 3rd Birthday, IRV! And a big congratulations to you, Nanya. Wish you godspeed on your new journey! :)

  2. I love you, you inspiring little fairy creature! Happy Birthday IRV! :D

  3. Congratulations and well-deserved - and happy birthday!

  4. Congratulations Nanya!!! Beautifully written and truly inspiring! :) Cheers to IRV!

  5. congratulations on the 3rd birthday of IRV . will follow till 30th and more . lots of love, aunty K.