Sandip Roy's Dispatches from Kolkata | KALW

Sandip Roy's Dispatches from Kolkata

Wednesdays at 7:35am and 4:45pm

Sandip Roy, former host of Your Call and New America Now, is back on KALW, bringing 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' is another thing."

Sandip Roy’s Dispatch from Kolkata can be heard Wednesdays at 7:35am and 4:45pm during KALW’s presentation of Morning Edition and All Things Considered.

Sandip Roy

India’s COVID-19 numbers of late have shown great promise, what’s going on?

Sandip Roy

A childhood goddess that was once asked for help with math takes on a new significance in adulthood.  

Sandip Roy

  More and more celebrities are tweeting about the farmer protest in India,

Sandip Roy

Something funny happened on the way to the comedy club,  but no-one is laughing.

Priya Shakti/modified from original

Priya’s Shakti is a comic and animated film about India’s first female superhero Priya and her flying tiger Sahas.

Sandip Roy

Social media has become our tool for validation. And we go to further and further extremes to get that validation rush.

Sandip Roy

What happened in the United States might feel shocking. But we gloat at our own peril. 

  The pandemic has exhausted all of us, but just as we’re letting our guard down it will come to town, just like Santa Claus.

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 year we need a word cloud.

This episode is based on a column written for Mint Lounge.

Sandip Roy # 364: Feluda

Dec 16, 2020
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.  

Photo capture by Sandip Roy

Never underestimate the power of a poem.  

India struggles with its image in the larger world, but so should America reconsider hers.

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 for granted.  

Even though the pandemic put a damper on Diwali, last Sunday tens of thousands of people still poured out onto the streets. 

Everybody wants a piece of the first female vice president of the United States; Or at least a few degrees of separation from her.

Indians now look at the 2020 American elections and understand that there’s chaos that’s colorful and then there’s chaos thats toxic.

Sandip Roy

More than anything else the pandemic has forced us to reckon with what really lies at the heart and soul of Durga Puja. And it’s not necessarily big budgets grand feasts and corporate sponsorships.

Photo courtesy Meghdutam Foundation/modified from original

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.”


For more information visit Meghdutam Foundation (  

Sandip Roy and Jaipur Lit. Fest./modified from original

Writer and actor Rupert Everett spoke recently with Sandip Roy for the Jaipur Lit. Fest. about comparing pandemics and sainthood.

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.  

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 to think about a better humanity.  

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.

Photo by Sandip Roy

There is a pandemic demon that needs slaying...

Photo courtesy of Global Weather Climate Center/modified from original

As San Francisco’s heat wave hits 100º Sandip Roy recalls how to battle heat waves in his native Kolkata.  

Photo courtesy of Sandip Roy

It was just two years ago that India Supreme Court decriminalized homosexuality, but the real hope for change might not lie in politics.

photo courtesy of pariahdogthemovie/modified from original

The dogs that wander the streets in Kolkata are not strays, but part of an extended family, cared for and fed by many of the cities lesser known individuals.


Pariah Dog the movie is now available on Apple TV, iTunes and Amazon Prime  

Photo from Mindy Kaling's YouTube channel

The furor over a Kamala seems much ado over very few syllables, but how one handles the mispronunciation can be telling.  

Photo by Sandip Roy

Sandip Roy wonders if the new normal is really normal.

"Coronavirus Rhapsody" by Raúl Iravién on YouTube here:
photo courtesy of Fahad Zariwala FSA Entertainment/modified from original


At Bakra Mania, a goat dealership in Mumbai Fahad Zariwala runs the youtube channel FSA Entertainment which showcases many goat gems 

screen shot from from original

With the news of Olivia de Havilland’s death this week coinciding with the Indian celebration of Rakhi Purnima, Sandip reflects on how the holiday might have helped the de Havilland sisters.