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."


465 Pieces

Order by: Newest First | Oldest First
Caption: A classic Tupperware Party ad
One of America’s iconic plastic storage devices is still coveted in India. Sandip Roy warmly remembers Tupperware!

Bought by PRX Remix


  • Added: Jun 23, 2023
  • Length: 06:00
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: The South Asian contingent at the San Francisco Pride Parade in 2016 and also the last time I was there during Pride. , Credit: Sandip Roy
At a time when June is celebrated as Pride month both in Kolkata and San Francisco, Sandip reflects on a what it took to reconcile both parts of on...

  • Added: Jun 21, 2023
  • Length: 06:00
Caption: Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni with Sandip at the Kolkata Literary Meet in 2023., Credit: Sandip Roy
Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni is a beloved author now but when she started writing about her South Asian community in America in the 90s not everyone ...

Bought by PRX Remix


  • Added: Jun 13, 2023
  • Length: 06:00
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: Approaching train at sunset in India. , Credit: Sandip Roy
In the wake of the terrible train accident in eastern India Sandip remembers a gentler kind of train travel in India.

  • Added: Jun 06, 2023
  • Length: 06:00
Caption: The cover of Tina Turner’s album “Simply the Best”, Credit: Parlophone Records
Sandip Roy remembers Tina Turner as the only rockstar whose poster he put up in his bedroom as a boy in Kolkata.

  • Added: May 31, 2023
  • Length: 06:00
Caption: Worshipping the river has become a new choreographed sound and light ritual for tourists. , Credit: Sandip Roy
River towns in India are often temple towns and come with their own rituals.

  • Added: May 22, 2023
  • Length: 06:00
Caption: An old Harry Belafonte album cover in Kolkata., Credit: Photo by Bishan Samaddar
Harry Belafonte's death provoked an outpouring of mourning in India though many learned about his civil rights activism only through his obituaries.

Bought by KUFM - Montana Public Radio


  • Added: May 16, 2023
  • Length: 06:00
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: Sandip Roy has made a Coronation Chicken salad but has no plans to make a Coronation Quiche, Credit: Sandip Roy
The coronation of King Charles came with its own special dish - a coronation quiche. But Sandip Roy says that does not have quite the glamour of hi...

  • Added: May 09, 2023
  • Length: 06:00
Caption: A poster supporting California proposition SB403, outlawing caste-based discrimination. , Credit: Sandip Roy
April was Dalit History Month in India. But even though caste-ism is officially outlawed in India, some of the old biases remain.

  • Added: May 02, 2023
  • Length: 06:00
Piece image
Kolkata’s streets continue to clog with cars. The fate of an already established, cleaner transit option, teeters in the balance.

  • Added: Apr 18, 2023
  • Length: 06:00
Caption: A parade of old streetcars in Kolkata led by a wooden watering car from 1924., Credit: Sandip Roy
Kolkata was the first city in India to have streetcars and the only city to still have them. And they carry within them a rich history of the city ...

  • Added: Apr 11, 2023
  • Length: 06:00
Caption: Some of the typefaces designed by Rajeev Prakash for Indian scripts., Credit: Sandip Roy
Responsible for typefaces of all slants and bolds, Rajeev Prakash is India’s Fontwala!

Bought by PRX Remix


  • Added: Apr 04, 2023
  • Length: 06:00
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: 2 avatars of Eggs Benedict from restaurants in India, both missing the English muffin., Credit: Sandip Roy
Where did my English muffin go from my Eggs Benedict?

Bought by PRX Remix


  • Added: Mar 28, 2023
  • Length: 06:00
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: A billboard in Kolkata celebrates the Oscar win for The Elephant Whisperers. , Credit: Sandip Roy
The short documentary Oscar win for The Elephant Whisperers is being widely celebrated in India because it's a first for India. But what will it me...

  • Added: Mar 21, 2023
  • Length: 06:00
Caption: Indian newspapers celebrate the Oscar win for the hit song Naatu Naatu. , Credit: Sandip Roy
Sandip Roy is getting nostalgic after Naatu Naatu wins an Oscar for best song in a film, and a real Indian production at that!

  • Added: Mar 14, 2023
  • Length: 06:00
Caption: Stalls set up to sell Holi colors in Kolkata. , Credit: Sandip Roy
It’s time to play Holi in India and Sandip Roy grabs a fistful of joy!

  • Added: Mar 07, 2023
  • Length: 06:00
Caption: The Limeric Lovers Publishers stall at the Kolkata Book Fair, Credit: Sandip Roy
If you think limericks just means Edward Lear, think again. The Limeric Lovers Publishers of Kolkata are devoted fans of limericks in Bengali, a lo...

  • Added: Feb 28, 2023
  • Length: 06:00
Caption: Andrew Sean Greer talks to Sandip Roy at the Kolkata Literary Meet., Credit: Sandip Roy
San Francisco's Andrew Sean Greer was in Kolkata recently to talk about Less is Lost, his sequel to his Pulitzer-winning novel Less. Sandip Roy sen...

  • Added: Feb 21, 2023
  • Length: 06:00
Caption: An artist's rendition of a woman moira or sweetmaker., Credit: Sandip Roy
Kolkata is famous for its love of books. And its love for sweets. And Sandip Roy just went to Jugal's Literature Festival - the  first ever literat...

  • Added: Feb 14, 2023
  • Length: 06:00
Caption: Cutouts of Pathaan characters at a movie theatre in Kolkata., Credit: Bishan Samaddar
Pathaan, the biggest Bollywood hit of recent times is being hailed as the return of its star Shah Rukh Khan. But a lot more is being read into its ...

  • Added: Feb 07, 2023
  • Length: 06:00