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."


320 Pieces

Order by: Newest First | Oldest First
Piece image
This May is the centenary of Satyajit Ray’s birth, a good excuse to revisit his films. We start with the Apu Trilogy.

  • Added: May 10, 2021
  • Length: 06:00
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India’s most famous filmmaker would have turned 100 this Sunday.

  • Added: May 04, 2021
  • Length: 06:00
Caption: A "reminder" from India's Chamber of Commerce, Credit: Sandip Roy
As India’s second wave of COVID-19 batters India, Twitter is becoming the go to for communication.

  • Added: Apr 26, 2021
  • Length: 06:00
Piece image
India is the new hot market for streaming providers like Netflix and Amazon Prime. But with success comes controversy.

  • Added: Apr 20, 2021
  • Length: 06:00
Caption: Screen shot from India Today
Apparently Indians pay attention to nothing unless it’s turned into a festival. Sandip Roy wonders if that may help stop COVID-19.

  • Added: Apr 13, 2021
  • Length: 06:00
Caption: Trucks blasting political songs in Kolkata, Credit: Sandip Roy
American’s are no stranger to election songs, but in India election songs are a different ballgame. Though there are plenty of songs, Bollywood and...

  • Added: Apr 05, 2021
  • Length: 06:00
Caption: Little Chewie and Nozy wish you a colourful happy and safe Holi, Credit: Sandip Roy
Holi is a festival of playfulness and color, lots of color.

  • Added: Mar 30, 2021
  • Length: 06:00
Caption: The yoga pose Gajasana, hand-drawn illustration in Sritattvanidhi, 19th century Mysore Palace manuscript, Credit: Unknown palace artist in Sritattvanidhi, 19th century (before 1868) - Own scan of Sjoman, Norman E. (1999). The Yoga Tradition of the Mysore Palace. Abhinav Publications
The Alabama house of representatives recently voted to let school officials decide if they want yoga to be allowed in public schools. But there’s ...

  • Added: Mar 22, 2021
  • Length: 06:00
Piece image
It was after reading the suicide note of Dalit student Rohith Vemula, that Yashica Dutt a journalist living in New York, decided that she was going...

  • Added: Mar 15, 2021
  • Length: 06:00
Caption: Joe Pugliese/Harpo Productions
The casual racism of starchy royals was never particularly secret, but in all the debates about whether the Royals are racist or whether Harry and ...

Bought by PRX Remix


  • Added: Mar 08, 2021
  • Length: 06:00
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: A photo of Lawrence Ferlinghetti at City Lights Bookstore in San Francisco, Credit: Sandip Roy
Over a decade ago Sandip Roy was called to service…. By Lawrence Ferlinghetti.

  • Added: Mar 02, 2021
  • Length: 06:00
Caption: A crowded Kolkata subway, Credit: Sandip Roy
India’s COVID-19 numbers of late have shown great promise, what’s going on?

  • Added: Feb 23, 2021
  • Length: 06:00
Caption: Worshipers with a figure of Saraswati, Credit: Sandip Roy
A childhood goddess that was once asked for help with math takes on a new significance in adulthood.

Bought by PRX Remix


  • Added: Feb 15, 2021
  • Length: 06:00
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: A Still from the video "RiRi" by Diljit Dosanjh, Credit: Sandip Roy
More and more celebrities are tweeting about the farmer protest in India, and while this is about the backbone of India but it’s not the farmers wh...

  • Added: Feb 08, 2021
  • Length: 06:00
Caption: Faruqui and Khamra's twitter headings
Something funny happened on the way to the comedy club in India but no-one is laughing.

Bought by PRX Remix


  • Added: Feb 01, 2021
  • Length: 06:00
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: India's Priya and Pakistan's Burka Avenger battle Baba Kaboom in the Priya's Mask comic book.
Priya’s Shakti is a comic and animated film about India’s first female superhero Priya and her flying tiger Sahas. Priya has taken on issues like r...

Bought by WAMC Northeast Public Radio


  • Added: Jan 25, 2021
  • Length: 06:00
  • Purchases: 1
Piece image
We cannot blame social media for our worst demons. But it is undeniable that social media has made it that much easier to create that alternate uni...

  • Added: Jan 19, 2021
  • Length: 06:00
Piece image
What happened in the United States might feel shocking. But we gloat at our own peril.

  • Added: Jan 11, 2021
  • Length: 06:00
Caption: A Bengali sign that asks visitors to wear masks during the Durga Puja festival in Kolkata, Credit: Sandip Roy
In a big shift from tradition the Oxford English Dictionary said 2020 is a “year which cannot be neatly accommodated in one word,” so maybe this ye...

  • Added: Dec 28, 2020
  • Length: 06:00
Caption: A book celebrating 50 years of Feluda, Credit: Sandip Roy
The new paper strip test for COVID-19 in India is called “Feluda.” Why such a name? Sandip Roy sleuths out the answer.

  • Added: Dec 15, 2020
  • Length: 06:00