Social media star: Meet Karl Rock, the Kiwi YouTuber who was praised by the Delhi Chief Minister

Updated on Sep 20, 2020 07:42 AM IST

Our weekly award goes to the 35-year-old whose noble act has won hearts and praises online. Read to know why!

Karl with his Haryanvi wife, Manisha Malik, and her nephew
Karl with his Haryanvi wife, Manisha Malik, and her nephew
Hindustan Times | ByShruti Nair

Four years ago on one of his annual trips to India, New Zealand YouTuber Karl Rock, 35, decided to pick up a Go Pro worth $400 and start filming his journey to every state in India. His intention was simple: to make visitors to India feel less intimidated. (We have no reason to believe he is like any other non-Indian social media star who is turning to India for the sheer number of followers and likes it provides.)

One of his videos, in which he walks around a neighbourhood in Haryana speaking with the locals in Hindi, went viral, clocking nearly 5.2 million views. Now, his channel has over 1 million subscribers.

That’s cool, but what brings him here?

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal tweeted on July 10 about the Kiwi YouTuber who donated plasma after he recovered from the coronavirus infection.

“Long ago, when I had heard that the Tablighi Jamaatis had donated plasma, I made up my mind that if I ever got infected, I’d donate too. So when I recovered, I went to the clinic and was blown away with the facilities and the hygiene. It was a fairly simple and safe procedure.”

Karl, after donating plasma
Karl, after donating plasma

Karl is elated that Kejriwal called him a “Delhiite”. “Donating plasma was my way to assimilate and give back to Incredible India.”

Tryst with India

Karl moved to India permanently in 2016. “When I lost my job in the IT sector in Auckland, I decided it was now or never. It took time to convince my folks, but I was successful.”

“Donating plasma was my way of giving back to Incredible India”

His now wife, then girlfriend, who he met in 2016 was part of the reason. The couple got married in 2018 and Karl posts cute videos of his desi avatar. “My wife is from Haryana so the Haryanvi culture in the house is powerful and they have happily made me part of that,” he shares.

The social dilemma

He picked up the camera after he moved to India and has faced a lot of hate online, he says. “It comes from people who do not understand what I’m doing or who think I’m trying to bring India down. All I want to do is educate foreigners about India and show them the bright side. With time, I have learnt to ignore the negativity and focus on the positive instead.”

After the Hindi video, Indians also began sharing his videos. “People might be conservative here, but India welcomed me with open arms and now home is here,” he says.

Follow @MissNairr on Twitter

Who should be the next HT Brunch Social Media Star Of The Week? Nominate using the hashtag #BrunchSocialMediaStarOTW or email

From HT Brunch, September 21, 2020

Follow us on

Connect with us on

Story Saved
Saved Articles
My Reads
My Offers
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Monday, November 28, 2022
Start 15 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now
Register Free and get Exciting Deals