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: 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
Piece image
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
Piece image
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
Piece image
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
Piece image
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
Caption: Jeeja Ghosh
Somewhere between the Civil Aviation Authority, the airport authority, the airport security and the airline there is a communication gap. And Jeej...

  • Added: May 24, 2016
  • Length: 05:59
Caption: Sunjeev Sahota
The book “The year of the Runaways” was shortlisted for a Man Booker. But Sunjeev Sahota is an unlikely storyteller, he’d never read a novel until ...

  • Added: May 16, 2016
  • Length: 06:00
Piece image
Indians have no reason to feel left out anymore.  The Donald has noticed them and the Donald has mocked them.

Bought by KBCS 91.3 FM Community Radio


  • Added: May 02, 2016
  • Length: 06:00
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: Taher Shah
India and Pakistan have much in common but, lately an angel in purple has united the prickly neighbors in gobsmacked amazement.

  • Added: Apr 18, 2016
  • Length: 06:00
Caption: Mr. Kohinoor meets the Royals
The British left India a few years ago. Well almost 70 to be precise. But for some Indians, it’s just like yesterday, and with WillKat otherwise kn...

  • Added: Apr 12, 2016
  • Length: 06:00
Caption: Rubble after the collapse in Vivekananda , Credit: Sandip Roy
A recent disaster in Kolkata brings out the lookie-loos - and much more.

  • Added: Apr 04, 2016
  • Length: 06:00
Caption: Nidhi Chaphekar, Credit: Ketevan Kardava
Kardava was doing what is her job as a journalist. The media is doing what they think is their job. The only person who has no choice in this is th...

  • Added: Mar 28, 2016
  • Length: 06:00
Caption: Monica Liu
Most people who come to her restaurant and wash down golden fried prawn with cold beer have no inkling about her back story.

  • Added: Mar 21, 2016
  • Length: 06:00
Caption: Deoli Internees in Kolkata, Credit: Sandip Roy
In 1962 a group of Indians were shipped off to internment camps during a war with China.

  • Added: Mar 15, 2016
  • Length: 06:00
Caption: a photo from the box
Over 25 years ago curators Alan Teller and Jerri Zbiral went to an estate sale in Illinois. Jerri says they stumbled upon a shoebox that would cha...

  • Added: Mar 08, 2016
  • Length: 06:00
Piece image
This year saw the Academy Awards ceremony awash in racial controversy.

  • Added: Feb 29, 2016
  • Length: 06:00