Sandip Roy's Dispatches from Kolkata

Series produced by KALW

Caption: Sandip at the Grand Hotel in Nainital.
Sandip at the Grand Hotel in Nainital. 

Award winning writer, radio host, NPR contributor and novelist Sandip Roy brings his wit and insight to these personal audio diaries from his new life in his old home, India.

After ten years of hosting New America Now, Sandip Roy brings you a little bit of the story of the new India every week – a letter home from his other home.

"A lot has been written about the changing India," says Roy, "but reporting about a changing India is one thing. Living in it and dealing with a country where newspapers are still being launched instead of folding, internet rumors spark mass exoduses, and cricketers advertise skin-whitening creams called Fair and Handsome, that is another thing altogether."


252 Pieces

Order by: Newest First | Oldest First
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This mother’s Day I was thinking about a very particular mother. Not mine but a woman named Leila Seth. Leila Seth was the first woman to top th...

  • Added: May 17, 2017
  • Length: 06:00
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There’s a new political force center stage in India these days. The cow. The cow has always been holy to millions of Hindus but it’s still a plac...

  • Added: Apr 11, 2017
  • Length: 06:00
Caption: Endurance Amarawa, Ibgiya Malu Chukwuma and Precious Amalcima, Credit: Virendra Singh Gosain/Hindustani Times
There have been other mob attacks in India before thre Nigerians were beaten in a mall in Delhi on March 27. Each time the government promises stri...

  • Added: Apr 03, 2017
  • Length: 06:00
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Used as Indian Americans are to being heralded as the model minority, their feathers might be ruffled by the stories of harassment coming out of th...

Bought by KBCS 91.3 FM Community Radio


  • Added: Mar 22, 2017
  • Length: 06:00
  • Purchases: 1
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It must sting Hindu Americans that Aslan, an Iranian-American often called upon to speak out against stereotyping Islam, seems to be now playing a ...

  • Added: Mar 14, 2017
  • Length: 05:59
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Perhaps an unwelcoming America is not such a bad thing for the rest of the world. It’s as if the American Dream itself is being outsourced back to ...

Bought by KBCS 91.3 FM Community Radio and PRX Remix


  • Added: Mar 06, 2017
  • Length: 06:00
  • Purchases: 2
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There’s good, English, bad English and in a case by itself judicial English - perfect for pontification.

  • Added: Feb 21, 2017
  • Length: 06:00
Caption: Kolkata Lit Fest promotional poster, Credit: Photo by Sandip Roy
When I was a little boy I once lost my parents in a busy market in Kolkata. I cannot begin to imagine what it means to be lost for 25 YEARS. Like S...

Bought by KBCS 91.3 FM Community Radio


  • Added: Feb 14, 2017
  • Length: 06:00
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: Bharati Mukherjee, Credit: Photo by Sandip Roy
Bharati Mukherjee is gone but she left the light on for many of us.

Bought by WAMC


  • Added: Feb 06, 2017
  • Length: 06:00
  • Purchases: 1
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Iranian-American writer Firoozeh Dumas' commentaries about her hyphenated life have aired on NPR. But that was a different America. While Firoozeh ...

Bought by KBCS 91.3 FM Community Radio and WAMC


  • Added: Feb 01, 2017
  • Length: 06:00
  • Purchases: 2
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Manipur’s court records talk about a game back in the 1st century AD and what’s different about polo in Manipur is that this not just a game for po...

  • Added: Jan 17, 2017
  • Length: 06:00
Caption: Sandip at the Grand Hotel in Nainital.
Manipur’s court records talk about a game back in the 1st century AD and what’s different about polo in Manipur is that this not just a game for po...

  • Added: Jan 08, 2018
  • Length: 06:00
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It was admittedly a moment of sheer American holiday nostalgia. Cooking a turkey in India. I thought it could be a fun adventure. I just didn’t rea...

  • Added: Jan 09, 2017
  • Length: 06:00
Caption: Carrie Fisher as Leia and Harrison Ford as Han Solo in "The Force Awakens", Credit: Lucasfilm
There was much more to Carrie Fisher than Princess Leia. But some things, good, bad or simply pop define us as people, and become placeholders for...

Bought by KBCS 91.3 FM Community Radio


  • Added: Jan 03, 2017
  • Length: 06:00
  • Purchases: 1
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I hope when equal rights comes, there will still be room for that ambiguity. That we don’t always need to walk in a straight line.

Bought by KBCS 91.3 FM Community Radio


  • Added: Dec 12, 2016
  • Length: 06:00
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: Indian Flag, Credit: Flicker user Yarat
When you are proud of your country, pride about its national symbols follows naturally. The Indian Court in its wisdom has flipped that equation pr...

  • Added: Dec 06, 2016
  • Length: 06:00
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A currency note is a promise. The Indian government is holding that promise in abeyance, even breaking that trust, by promising a better future.

Bought by KBCS 91.3 FM Community Radio


  • Added: Nov 28, 2016
  • Length: 06:00
  • Purchases: 1
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Sandip visits another "returnee," Nguyen Qui Duc in Vietnam.

  • Added: Nov 15, 2016
  • Length: 06:00
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We enjoy many rights and privileges as citizens of a free and democratic society, and we we're asked to do is vote. Easy, right?

  • Added: Nov 08, 2016
  • Length: 06:00
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Durga Puja and Diwali bookend our festival season in Kolkata. But there’s an ancillary festival that’s almost as important. It needs as much plann...

  • Added: Oct 25, 2016
  • Length: 06:00