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."


405 Pieces

Order by: Newest First | Oldest First
Caption: The Apeejay Kolkata Literary Festival, Credit: Sandip Roy
Literary festivals have returned to the ground in full form for the first time since the pandemic. Sandip Roy sends an audio postcard from a litfes...

  • Added: Jan 30, 2023
  • Length: 06:00
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The French author Dominique LaPierre died recently and that made Sandip Roy think of the author's legacy on his hometown of Kolkata.

  • Added: Jan 24, 2023
  • Length: 06:00
Caption: The Ganga Voyager, a boat on a river cruise down the Ganga in India, Credit: Sandip Roy
The longest river cruise in the world is underway on it’s maiden voyage in India.

  • Added: Jan 17, 2023
  • Length: 06:00
Caption: A Google search for chicken tikka masala, Credit: Sandip Roy
Unlike many of the people we lost in 2022 - Queen Elizabeth II, Lata Mangeshkar, Pele - Ahmed Ali Aslam might not have been a household name. But...

  • Added: Jan 09, 2023
  • Length: 06:00
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It’s that time of the year again when dictionaries around the world try to sum up the year in a word or two.

  • Added: Jan 03, 2023
  • Length: 06:00
Caption: A Kolkata Christmas scene, Credit: Sandip Roy
In Bethlehem there was no room at the inn for baby Jesus. But in India there’s always room at the Christmas party.

  • Added: Dec 22, 2022
  • Length: 06:00
Caption: A rainbow cape at 2022 Kolkata Pride March., Credit: Sandip Roy
From the World Cup to Pride Parades, Kolkata is a city that loves to turn everything into a festival.

  • Added: Dec 20, 2022
  • Length: 06:00
Caption: Uttam Saha, founder of the Argentina Football Fan Club in Kolkata, Credit: Sandip Roy
Even though FIFA is a huge multi-national corporation, one fan in India is reminding everyone about the joys of fandom.

  • Added: Dec 13, 2022
  • Length: 06:00
Caption: The Christmas tree in San Francisco's Union Square, Credit: Sandip Roy
Returning for the first time since COVID, Sandip Roy finds a different San Francisco, one seemingly for lease.

  • Added: Dec 05, 2022
  • Length: 06:00
Caption: A Messi birthday cake in Kolkata, Credit: Uttam Saha
India does not have a spot in World Cup football. But Kolkata, as usual, has two teams in the game.

  • Added: Nov 29, 2022
  • Length: 06:00
Caption: Merchandise of two famous characters from well known spinoffs, Credit: Sandip Roy
Why are there so many prequel spinoffs in the theaters and on streaming services right now? Sure, capitalizing on a franchise is one reason, but p...

Bought by PRX Remix


  • Added: Nov 15, 2022
  • Length: 06:00
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: Gilded Buddha statue at Tawang Monastery in Arunachal Pradesh in India., Credit: Sandip Roy
While Buddhism as a religion was founded in India, only 0.7% of Indians describe themselves as Buddhist.

Bought by PRX Remix


  • Added: Nov 07, 2022
  • Length: 06:00
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: A billboard for Amul butter in India celebrating Rishi Sunak as the new British prime minister., Credit: @Amul_Coop on Twitter.
Some in India are over the moon that Rishi Sunak has become the new Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

  • Added: Nov 01, 2022
  • Length: 06:00
Caption: Statue to fallen soldier Jaswant Singh Rawat up in the Himalaya, Credit: Sandip Roy
October marks the 60th anniversary of the Indo-China war fought in the upper reaches of the Himalaya in 1962. It's not a war that ended in glory fo...

  • Added: Oct 24, 2022
  • Length: 06:00
Caption: An array of Diwali sweets., Credit: Sandip Roy
Diwali is not just the Indian festival of lights. It's also a festival of sweets!

Bought by PRX Remix


  • Added: Oct 18, 2022
  • Length: 06:00
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: The Goddess Durga tackles the evil of plastic pollution in Kolkata, Credit: Anirban
The drums of Durga Puja, the biggest festival of the Kolkata calendar finally stopped beating last week. But some are asking about such a big celeb...

Bought by KLCC


  • Added: Oct 11, 2022
  • Length: 06:00
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: Durga Puja as installation art, Credit: Sandip Roy
Durga Puja is Kolkata's biggest festival. But this year its art is more in focus because it's just got the Unesco Intangible Cultural Heritage tag.

  • Added: Sep 29, 2022
  • Length: 06:00
Caption: African cheetahs are coming to India where cheetahs have been extinct since 1952., Credit: By Ronny Sen/National Geographic
Cheetahs were declared extinct in India in 1952.  Now they are being brought back from Africa.

Bought by PRX Remix


  • Added: Sep 27, 2022
  • Length: 06:00
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: A coin of the realm, Credit: Sandip Roy
Watching The funeral of Queen Elizabeth II has been a surreal lesson in post colonial history.

  • Added: Sep 21, 2022
  • Length: 06:00
Caption: Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip at the Trooping of Colour in 2017, Credit: Niladri Chatterjee
Kolkata was once the capital of British India. And it has a sentimental connection with royalty like the late Queen Elizabeth II. But the history o...

Bought by PRX Remix


  • Added: Sep 13, 2022
  • Length: 06:00
  • Purchases: 1