Sandip Roy

Sandip Roy: The Sellout

Jun 21, 2017

Almost every week when I open the newspaper in Kolkata I see something about Donald Trump on the first page. It might be trivial like covfefe, but more often that not it feels unreal.

Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP/modified from original

The Scripps National Spelling Bee has a new winner. 12 year old Ananya Vinay. Another Indian American. That’s not news anymore.
But Ananya Vinay’s victory made news outside the spelling beehive for a different reason.

Photo courtesy of Kevin Berne/Berkeley Repertory Theatre

Monsoon Wedding by Mira Nair was an unlikely hit in 2001.

Sandip Roy: Mother Leila

May 17, 2017
Sandip Roy

This mother’s Day I was thinking about a very particular mother.  Not mine but a woman named Leila Seth.

Courtesy of Sandip Roy/modified from original

Air India’s reputation is of a sort of futzy dowager, very uncool.  Even its mascot a Maharajah in a red coat and turban with a pointy mustache seems very quaint, harking back to an old colonial India.

Courtesy of Sandip Roy

There’s a new political force center stage in India these days. The cow.

Courtesy Virendra Singh Gosain/Hindustani Times, modified from original

There have been other mob attacks in India before three Nigerians were beaten in a mall in Delhi on March 27. Each time the government promises stringent action.

Courtesy of Flickr user "Living Off Grid"/cropped from original

Used as Indian Americans are to being heralded as the model minority, their feathers might be ruffled by the stories of harassment coming out of the US

I was in the holy city of Varanasi and I saw what CNN showed the world on the new show Believer with Reza Aslan. I saw the Ganga, the holy river of the Hindus polluted.

Photo courtesy Kranti Shalia - AP

Perhaps an unwelcoming America is not such a bad thing for the rest of the world.

Photo courtesy Sandip Roy/modified from original

When I landed in the US I had one advantage over many other immigrants from different parts of the world.  I spoke English.  Other Indians are less lucky.

Photo courtesy Sandip Roy/cropped from original

When I was a little boy I once lost my parents in a busy market in Kolkata. I was probably lost for all of 15 minutes.

Photo courtesy of Sandip Roy/cropped from original

Bharati’s rejection of the hyphen (Asian-American) was not a rejection of her roots. 

Photo Courtesy of Sandip Roy

Iranian-American writer Firoozeh Dumas who lives in Germany has written books like Funny in Farsi and It Ain’t So Awful, Falafel. Her commentaries about her hyphenated life have aired on NPR.

Courtesy of Somi Roy/cropped from original

Manipur’s court records talk about a game back in the 1st century AD and what’s different about polo in Manipur is that this not just a game for posh country clubs. Even ordinary villagers played it.

Courtesy of Sandip Roy

It was admittedly a moment of sheer American holiday nostalgia. Cooking a turkey in India. I thought it could be a fun adventure. I just didn’t realize that finding a turkey was the least of it.

Courtesy of Lucasfilm/cropped from original

There was much more to Carrie Fisher than Princess Leia. 

Courtesy of Sandip Roy

Contrary to popular belief, Diwali or the Festival of Lights is not New Year everywhere in India.

Photo by Sandip Roy

Christmas is serious business in Kolkata, India.

Photo by Sandip Roy

In India there is celebration, there’s pride, but also defiance. "We want azaadi" shout the marchers. "We want freedom."

Photo courtesy of Flickr user Yarat/cropped from original

When you are proud of your country, pride about its national symbols follows naturally.

Courtesy of Sandip Roy

A currency note is a promise. The government is holding that promise in abeyance, even breaking that trust, by promising a better future. 

Photo courtesy of Bishan Samaddar

Sandip visits another "returnee," Nguyen Qui Duc in Vietnam.

Photo courtesy of Sandip Roy

We enjoy many rights and privileges as citizens of a free and democratic society, and we we're asked to do is vote. Easy, right?

by Flickr user Gage Skidmore, used under CC BY / cropped from original

Donald Trump thinks the way to the Indian Diaspora's heart is through Modi and the bogeyman of the Islamic terrorist. 

"diwali" by Flickr user pshab, used under CC BY/cropped from original

Durga Puja and Diwali bookend our festival season in Kolkata.  But there’s an ancillary festival that’s almost as important.

Sandip Roy: Homecoming

Oct 19, 2016
Photo by Sandip Roy/modified from original size

Sometimes when I return to San Francisco from Calcutta it feels like I have two homes, the best of both worlds. 

Courtesy of Sandip Roy

In a world where consumer choice is deified, multi-cuisine’s stock keeps going up, no matter its quality.  

Courtesy of Sandip Roy

I don’t know how many shoes this old radio program sells. But it can never feel the same as hearing those voices,

On October 2 India will mark the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. South Africans say India gave us Mohandas Gandhi. We returned him as the Mahatma of Great Soul. South African academics Ashvin Desai and Ghoolam Vahed have a different take in their book 

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