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."


256 Pieces

Order by: Newest First | Oldest First
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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
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I don’t know how many shoes this old radio program sells. But it can never feel the same as hearing those voices, most of them long dead, bring a c...

  • Added: Oct 04, 2016
  • Length: 05:59
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On October 2 India will mark the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. But his status as an icon of humanitarianism may be at risk.

Bought by PRX Remix


  • Added: Sep 27, 2016
  • Length: 05:59
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: A statue of Mahatma Gandhi
On October 2 India will mark the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. South Africans say India gave us Mohandas Gandhi. We returned him as the Maha...

  • Added: Apr 03, 2017
  • Length: 05:59
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Most of us around the world wake up to alarm clocks or the clock radio turning on. For decades thousands and thousands of Indians around the world...

  • Added: Sep 20, 2016
  • Length: 06:00
Caption: A sample menu, Credit: Sandip Roy
In a world where consumer choice is deified, multi-cuisine’s stock keeps going up, no matter its quality.

Bought by KBCS 91.3 FM Community Radio


  • Added: Sep 13, 2016
  • Length: 05:59
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: Sunita Kumar with her painting of Mother Teresa, Credit: Photo by Sandip Roy
Many would say she’s just being officially canonized, she was always a saint. But over the past week as international media descended on this city ...

Bought by WAMC and KBCS 91.3 FM Community Radio


  • Added: Sep 06, 2016
  • Length: 05:58
  • Purchases: 2
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Last week Kolkata was busy celebrating a birthday with flowers, candles, cards and songs. It was Mother Teresa’s 106th birthday/ By the time the n...

  • Added: Aug 30, 2016
  • Length: 06:00
Caption: Baluji Shrivastav, Credit: Sandip Roy
In India in the 1960s there were few options for a blind child. Blind people often begged in trains and railway platforms singing hymns. But Baluji...

Bought by KBCS 91.3 FM Community Radio


  • Added: Aug 23, 2016
  • Length: 05:59
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: Dipa Karmakar in Rio
On Sunday night, much of India was watching television with bated breath. All for one young woman at the Rio Olympics. Her name is Dipa Karmakar an...

Bought by WAMC, KBCS 91.3 FM Community Radio, and New Hampshire Public Radio


  • Added: Aug 15, 2016
  • Length: 06:00
  • Purchases: 3
Caption: Khizr Khan at the DNC Convention
Khizr Khan did something few have been able to do in this bitter and vulgar presidential election.

Bought by KBCS 91.3 FM Community Radio


  • Added: Aug 01, 2016
  • Length: 05:59
  • Purchases: 1
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Every immigrant has a coming to the America memory. Nayomi Munaweera came to America when she was 12. It was the mid eighties. And Duran Duran.....

Bought by WAMC and KBCS 91.3 FM Community Radio


  • Added: Jul 12, 2016
  • Length: 06:00
  • Purchases: 2
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The Je Suis slogan, once a stirring call for a moment of coming together in protest and solidarity, is well-meaning but has a long lost its meaning.

  • Added: Jul 06, 2016
  • Length: 05:59
Caption: San Francisco skyline
Sometimes when I return to San Francisco from Calcutta it feels like I have two homes, the best of both worlds. But sometimes at night, jet-lagged ...

  • Added: Jun 28, 2016
  • Length: 05:57
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I am discovering not sports but the power of sports as a social glue, to bring a city together.

  • Added: Jun 21, 2016
  • Length: 06:00
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That most basic of human gestures of intimacy, a kiss, can still be deadly.

Bought by KBCS 91.3 FM Community Radio


  • Added: Jun 14, 2016
  • Length: 05:59
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: Manohar Aich, Credit: Bishan Samaddar
While the world was marking the passing of Muhammad Ali, another giant in the world of sports in India died in Kolkata to far less notice.

  • Added: Jun 07, 2016
  • Length: 06:00