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."


278 Pieces

Order by: Newest First | Oldest First
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When does phobia cross over into hate speech? Does a social media site need a bloodthirsty exhortation to deliver a 6-inch deep cut before it can act?

  • Added: Jul 07, 2020
  • Length: 06:00
Caption: Chinatown in Kolkata, Credit: Sandip Roy
Why is it when there is tension between two countries, the fear always seems to end up at the dining table.

  • Added: Jun 30, 2020
  • Length: 06:00
Caption: Johnson & Johnson Fairness skin creams
In the midst of Black Lives Matter movement in the U.S. Johnson & Johnson has announced it will stop selling skin whitening creams.

Bought by WAMC


  • Added: Jun 22, 2020
  • Length: 06:00
  • Purchases: 1
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In the news recently, statues have been defaced and pulled down from their perches ala Saddam Hussein.

  • Added: Jun 15, 2020
  • Length: 06:00
Caption: A crocodile in the Sundarbans, Credit: Sandip Roy
The Sundarbans in Bengal, India have become a speeded up version of global climate change.

  • Added: Jun 09, 2020
  • Length: 06:00
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We don’t have to win the war against Covid as much as we need to learn to make peace with its existence in our world for now.

  • Added: Jun 02, 2020
  • Length: 06:00
Caption: Sandip's mango tree, Credit: Sandip Roy
When life gives you cyclones, make mango rice.

  • Added: May 26, 2020
  • Length: 06:00
Caption: A local vegetable vendor, Credit: Sandip Roy
The COVID-19 lockdown has forced many street vendors inside, but now the sounds of the street are returning.

  • Added: May 19, 2020
  • Length: 04:30
Caption: A screen capture from Sandip Roy's Twitter feed, Credit: Sandip Roy
The COVID pandemic has had a terrible effect on all of us, and opened our eyes to some of those who were invisible before.

  • Added: May 11, 2020
  • Length: 06:00
Caption: Irrfan Khan at a literary festival, Credit: Sandip Roy
Actor Irrfan Khan wasn’t the biggest star in Bollywood, but he was unique. Irrfan Khan died last week from endocrine cancer. He was 53.

  • Added: May 04, 2020
  • Length: 06:00
Caption: Chewie makes Dalonga coffee, Credit: Sandip Roy
I had assumed the lockdown was a time when the frenetic world would finally slow down, But on my social media timeline no one has gotten the messag...

  • Added: Apr 20, 2020
  • Length: 06:00
Caption: Wooden toys at a past Charak Mela festival, Credit: Sandip Roy
In the year 1427, there will be no celebration. But Sandip remembers the Bengali New Year festivities from years past, the Charak Mela.

  • Added: Apr 14, 2020
  • Length: 06:00
Caption: Sandip Roy's empty street in Kolkata, Credit: Sandip Roy
For these few weeks as humans suffer, the earth is healing itself.

  • Added: Apr 09, 2020
  • Length: 06:00
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Sandip remembers his early childhood attraction to a group of mustacioed morons. Astrix and Obelix.

  • Added: Mar 31, 2020
  • Length: 06:00
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Sandip reflects on the connections between us, and the responsibility of us all to remain apart.

  • Added: Mar 23, 2020
  • Length: 06:00
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Could the global outbreak of COVID-19 keep us apart, in more ways than just physical.

Bought by KFCF FM, KUFM - Montana Public Radio, and WAMC


  • Added: Mar 17, 2020
  • Length: 06:00
  • Purchases: 3
Piece image
The Indian festival ‘Holi’ is usually a riot of abandonment and color…but then Corona came to town.

Bought by KFAI and KUFM - Montana Public Radio


  • Added: Mar 09, 2020
  • Length: 06:00
  • Purchases: 2
Caption: Cauliflower samosas for Sandip's lunch, Credit: Sandip Roy
I am a samosa and I was meant to play a small but key role in India US diplomacy. This is my sad sad story.

  • Added: Mar 02, 2020
  • Length: 06:00
Caption: Trump as Baahubali
Sandip Roy looks at all the ways Trump’s recent visit to India has been a benefit to all concerned.

  • Added: Feb 24, 2020
  • Length: 06:00
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Sandip Roy spoke with James Crabtree about his new book "The Billionaire Raj."

  • Added: Feb 17, 2020
  • Length: 06:00