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: 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
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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
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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
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Never underestimate the power of a poem.

  • Added: Dec 08, 2020
  • Length: 06:00
Caption: Sandip at the Grand Hotel in Nainital.
India struggles with its image in the larger world, but so should America reconsider hers.

  • Added: Nov 30, 2020
  • Length: 06:00
Caption: Live turkeys in Kolkata, Credit: Sandip Roy
Thanksgiving has always been my favorite American holiday, and this has been a year where we learned to be thankful for all the things we once took...

Bought by RadioStPete Florida


  • Added: Nov 23, 2020
  • Length: 06:00
  • Purchases: 1
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A fond remembrance of Indian actor Soumitra Chatterjee, who died Sunday Nov. 15th after battling the COVID-19 virus.

  • Added: Nov 16, 2020
  • Length: 06:00
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Everybody wants a piece of the first female vice president of the United States; Or at least a few degrees of separation from her.

Bought by WAMC Northeast Public Radio and PRX Remix


  • Added: Nov 10, 2020
  • Length: 06:00
  • Purchases: 2
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Indians now look at the 2020 American elections and understand that there’s chaos that’s colorful and then there’s chaos thats toxic.

  • Added: Nov 02, 2020
  • Length: 06:00
Caption: Durga Puja in a pandemic
More than anything else the pandemic has forced us to reckon with what really lies at the heart and soul of Durga Puja.

  • Added: Oct 26, 2020
  • Length: 06:00
Caption: Kids of Bhandarkhali and their Durga, Credit: Meghdutam Foundation
Durga Puja, the festival of the ten armed Goddess Durga, has always been a time of excess in Kolkata. But this is the story of the “Little Durga.”

Bought by PRX Remix


  • Added: Oct 19, 2020
  • Length: 06:00
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: A splash screen for Rupert Everett's talk at the Jaipur Lit. Fest., Credit: Sandip Roy and Jaipur Lit. Fest.
Writer and actor Rupert Everett spoke recently with Sandip Roy for the Jaipur Lit. Festival about pandemics and sainthood.

  • Added: Oct 13, 2020
  • Length: 06:00
Caption: Headlines from the Telegraph, Credit: Sandip Roy
The caste system is a long and controversial cultural norm in India, but now the Dalits may be getting a boost from America’s civil rights movements.

Bought by KBCS 91.3 FM Community Radio


  • Added: Oct 06, 2020
  • Length: 06:00
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: A masked statue of Gandhi in San Francisco's Ferry Plaza, Credit: Eric Wayne
Oct. 2nd is the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi, and in an angry toxic world, we would do well to remember a man who fasted, intermittently, to force us...

  • Added: Sep 28, 2020
  • Length: 06:00
Caption: Chewie wears his mask. Be like Chewie., Credit: Sandip Roy
…the most incorrigible vice being that of an ignorance that fancies it knows everything and therefore claims for itself the right to kill. — From ...

  • Added: Sep 21, 2020
  • Length: 06:00
Caption: The Goddess Durga and her family, Credit: Sandip Roy
There is a pandemic demon that needs slaying, and we would do well to heed the lessons of Durga.

  • Added: Sep 14, 2020
  • Length: 06:00
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As San Francisco’s heat wave hits 100º Sandip Roy recalls how to battle heat waves in his native Kolkata.

  • Added: Sep 07, 2020
  • Length: 06:00
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It was just two years ago that India Supreme Court decriminalized homosexuality, but the real hope for change might not lie in politics.

  • Added: Aug 31, 2020
  • Length: 06:00