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."


265 Pieces

Order by: Newest First | Oldest First
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
Piece image
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
Piece image
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
Piece image
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
Piece image
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
Piece image
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
Piece image
Sandip visits another "returnee," Nguyen Qui Duc in Vietnam.

  • Added: Nov 15, 2016
  • Length: 06:00
Piece image
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
Piece image
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
Piece image
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
Piece image
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
Piece image
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
Piece image
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