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."


372 Pieces

Order by: Newest First | Oldest First
Caption: Sandip in the Paris Metro
This Spring, the Paris Book Fair was finally back in person! But even amidst this Parisian fairytale, reality reared its ugly head.

  • Added: May 24, 2022
  • Length: 06:00
Caption: Urvashi Vaid (right) and her long-time partner Kate Clinton (left)
The South-Asian Queer activist Urvashi Vaid passed away on May 14th, but her influence remains.

  • Added: May 17, 2022
  • Length: 06:00
Piece image
In Search of Bengali Harlem is a transformative journey, not just for Alaudin Ullah, but for our understanding of the complex histories of South As...

Bought by PRX Remix


  • Added: May 10, 2022
  • Length: 06:00
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: Sonar Kella aka The Golden Fortress, Credit: Sandip Roy
Many towns and cities are indelibly tied up with certain books and films. But few changed the fortunes of a town like a 1974 Bengali film named Son...

Bought by PRX Remix


  • Added: May 03, 2022
  • Length: 06:00
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: Kolkata Lit. Fest. audience, Credit: Sandip Roy
For the last two years the Kolkata Literary Meet has been a Zoom affair, but this year the audience is back and reminds Sandip just how important t...

Bought by PRX Remix


  • Added: Apr 19, 2022
  • Length: 06:00
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: A tribute to Lata Mangeshkar from Amul Dairy
The “In Memoriam” segment of the 2022 Grammy awards failed to remember one very important icon, Lata Mangeshkar. While many fans of Indian music an...

Bought by PRX Remix


  • Added: Apr 11, 2022
  • Length: 06:00
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: Runu Mullick, the poetry seller, Credit: Sandip Roy
At the Kolkata Book Fair Sandip wonders if anyone comes to the book fair anymore for actual books, and then 4 handwritten poems proved that they do.

Bought by PRX Remix


  • Added: Apr 04, 2022
  • Length: 06:00
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: An ad by Amul
Everyone is talking about the great Slapgate incident at the Oscars ceremony, but all of that trivializes what it ultimately was.

Bought by PRX Remix


  • Added: Mar 29, 2022
  • Length: 06:00
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: Avocados (not Sandip's)
The garden does teach you to be patient, for there are ultimately no low hanging fruits to be had.

Bought by PRX Remix


  • Added: Mar 22, 2022
  • Length: 06:00
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: Mahesh Vinayakram
Sandip Roy shares the journey of Mahesh Vinayakram, from the verse of Carnatic music to the world stage of Cirque du Soleil.

Bought by PRX Remix


  • Added: Mar 15, 2022
  • Length: 06:00
  • Purchases: 1
Piece image
While the Russian army fills the news hour, Sandip remembers his childhood exposure to the folk tales of Ukraine.

Bought by RadioFreePalmer


  • Added: Mar 07, 2022
  • Length: 06:00
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: Palm grub sushi, Credit: Sandip Roy
Just last year the U.N. reported that malnutrition rose to about 768 million people. Sandip Roy wonders if the time for insects as food is upon us.

  • Added: Feb 28, 2022
  • Length: 06:00
Caption: First Edition Crypto currency Collectibles from Bappi Lahiri , Credit: Image from Bappi Lahiri's Instagram
It’s been a sad 2022 for music in India. Even while India was mourning the loss of its greatest singer, Lata Mangeshkar, the empress of song, it lo...

Bought by PRX Remix


  • Added: Feb 22, 2022
  • Length: 06:00
  • Purchases: 1
Piece image
For Indians Lata Mangeskhar was like Edith Piaf to French or Barbara Streisand to Americans.

  • Added: Feb 15, 2022
  • Length: 06:00
Caption: A Saraswati festival in Kolkata bids farewell to her human incarnation Lata Mangeshkar, Credit: Bishan Samaddar
Lata Mangeshkar was the story of independent India. Most Indians had never known an India without her.

  • Added: Feb 08, 2022
  • Length: 06:00
Caption: A performance of BonBibbi, Credit: Sandip Roy
It’s Lunar New Year and it’s the year of the tiger! Sandip considers this magnificent creature through the sense of his Indian heritage.

  • Added: Jan 31, 2022
  • Length: 06:00
Piece image
Sandip reflects on how literature festivals have mutated during the COVID pandemic.

  • Added: Jan 24, 2022
  • Length: 06:00
Caption: Sandip Roy and Bishop Tutu in 2008 in San Francisco
If there ever was a life to celebrate rather than a death to mourn it was Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s.

  • Added: Jan 18, 2022
  • Length: 06:00
Piece image
When the Sex and City reboot “Just Like That” chose to go multi-culti Indian, they decided to make it a Diwali episode and have Sarah Jessica Parke...

  • Added: Jan 11, 2022
  • Length: 06:00
Caption: Bollywood composer Bappi Lahiri on the campaign trail with Narendra Modi in the 2014 Indian general election.
While at first film and cinema seemed the ideal way to promote peace between all of the different Indian religious factions, now the relationship s...

  • Added: Dec 27, 2021
  • Length: 06:00