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."


342 Pieces

Order by: Newest First | Oldest First
Caption: Screen shot of Lil Ns X's Instagram account
All over the world we denigrate the importance of the “pursuit of happiness.” It can be seen as selfish and we lead circumscribed lives in order t...

  • Added: Oct 12, 2021
  • Length: 06:00
Caption: Anjali Gopalan, the emu-whisperer at All Creatures Great and Small, Credit: Instagram @allcreaturesgreatandsmallindia.
On World Animal Day I think about Anjali Gopalan and her marvelous sanctuary All Creatures Great and Small.

  • Added: Oct 05, 2021
  • Length: 06:00
Caption: A view from the Jhandi mountains, Credit: Sandip Roy
Sandip yearns for the life of traveler.

  • Added: Sep 27, 2021
  • Length: 06:00
Caption: Saleem Kidwai, Credit: Sharif Rangnekar
Sandip Roy looks at the influence of Salem Kidwai who, in his understated way, helped the gay movement in India.

  • Added: Sep 21, 2021
  • Length: 06:00
Caption: the McDonald's P.L.T.
Impossible, McPlant or zingers and crispers, whatever you call them they’re all big business. Sandip Roy takes a bite of plant-based meat products.

Bought by PRX Remix


  • Added: Sep 13, 2021
  • Length: 06:00
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: The view from Robert Clark's studio in Brooklyn, Credit: Robert Clark
After 20 years in Afghanistan Sandip is left with the tragic ghosts of memory.

  • Added: Sep 07, 2021
  • Length: 06:00
Caption: Anti-Cholera inoculation in Calcutta in 1894. Picture from the  Wellcome Collection. , Credit: Courtesy Chinmay Tumbe
There are many conversations to have concerning the COVID-19 pandemic, but pandemics were common not too long ago. Maybe we should pay attention in...

  • Added: Aug 31, 2021
  • Length: 06:00
Caption: "Nightmare" by Shamsia Hassani, Credit: Shamsia Hassani
With all the talk about the women and girls of Afghanistan, Sandip wonders if it was ever really about them at all.

  • Added: Aug 23, 2021
  • Length: 06:00
Caption: Poster for "From Kabul to Kolkata" photography exhibition
Even though the touching stories in books and delicious kebabs in tiny restaurants are part of our enjoyment of “diversity,” they are also a remind...

  • Added: Aug 17, 2021
  • Length: 06:00
Caption: Curry, three ways, Credit: Sandip Roy
While “curry” may be a lazy umbrella term for the thousands of Indian dishes that go by that name, Sandip considers the difficulty in cancelling it.

  • Added: Aug 09, 2021
  • Length: 06:00
Caption: A screen shot of the opening video about the refugee Olympic team, Credit: International Olympic Committee
Whether they win any medals or not, the refugee hold up a mirror to a world coming apart all around us. And coming as they do from all over the wor...

  • Added: Aug 03, 2021
  • Length: 06:00
Caption: A screen captures from the World Flags Project for the 2020 Olympics
The opening ceremonies of the 2020 Olympics was filled with Manga touches, but Manga is not all about silly cuteness.

Bought by RadioFreePalmer


  • Added: Jul 26, 2021
  • Length: 06:00
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: Danish Saddiqui's photo accompanying Sandip Roy's article
The loss of Danish Saddiqui is a wakeup call for Indian media, even more so if you don’t know his name.

  • Added: Jul 19, 2021
  • Length: 06:00
Caption: A Bengali newspaper in Kolkata is excited about Sameer Banerjee's Wimbledon victory., Credit: Sandip Roy
A little reflected glory is probably innocuous enough, but DNA is not sufficient evidence of belonging to a particular culture.

  • Added: Jul 13, 2021
  • Length: 06:00
Caption: A sampling of books by Enid Blyton, Credit: Sandip Roy
Though Americans don’t know her like they do Dr. Seuss, Enid Blyton wrote some 700 books for kids and teens. But now she, like Seuss, is coming und...

  • Added: Jul 06, 2021
  • Length: 06:00
Caption: A monsoon approaches Kolkata, Credit: Sandip Roy
Suffering from pandemic blur Sandip takes solace in the familiar sounds of the seasons… and frogs.

  • Added: Jun 28, 2021
  • Length: 06:00
Caption: Nik Sharma author of the Flavor Equation
Nik Sharma's latest book is the Flavor Equation which breaks flavor down to its component parts - from mouthfeel to aroma, even sound.

  • Added: Jun 21, 2021
  • Length: 06:00
Caption: Mount Everest, Credit: Stephen Alter
Every May 29th is Mt. Everest Day.

  • Added: Jun 15, 2021
  • Length: 06:00
Piece image
As India tries to pick up the pieces of the pandemic, what happens In India wont stay in India since India was the pharmacy to the world.

  • Added: Jun 10, 2021
  • Length: 06:00
Piece image
A new documentary explores Allen Ginsberg’s time in India.

  • Added: Jun 01, 2021
  • Length: 06:00