Sandip Roy

It's safe to do yoga in American schools, so says the 4th District Court of Appeals.

Its great that an Indian tradition has found an American home, but does that mean yoga needs to go Om-less?


  The Internet just became freer in India thanks to a young woman who decided to do something about it instead of just complaining.

Section 66A of the IT Act was declared unconstitutional.

After growing up in India, America was a culture shock. After 20 years in America living in India was its own culture shock. Everything is different... or is it?

Sandip Roy compares his two homes.  

Sandip Roy: 9-Man

Mar 18, 2015

If you think Asian-Amerian man, chances are you don’t think of sweaty guys pushing, shoving and shouting on a court. But that’s exactly what 9-Man is and has been since the 1930s. 

A new documentary by film maker Ursula Liang explores the game that became volleyball.  

A new film touches on some touchy subjects, sex and disability. But the end result is as light hearted as it is complex. Shonali Bose's new film is "Margarita With a Straw."

There's a penthouse suite in downtown Berkeley, California that  would make you think you are in a tech incubator hub. White boards on the wall with scribbles on them. Panoramic views of the Berkeley hills.  Two syllable names like Chirp and Kizoom – more catchy than meaningful.

And then there is the 1947 Archive.

The Partition of India uprooted 10 -15 million people , the largest mass displacement of the 20th century.  250,000 – two million died. Yet no museum commemorates it. Until this archive from downtown Berkeley.  

A funny blog on the site Publishing Perspectives came up with a checklist for the must have ingredients of a bad South Asian diasporan novel. Arranged Marriage. Multiple generations. A wise grandmother. Fabrics. 

Sandip Roy discovers that it's not so easy to stay away from those tired old tropes.  

Sandip Roy: Alabama

Feb 18, 2015

57 year old Sureshbhai Patel had recently arrived in the US from India to help take care of his new grandson. He went out for a walk in the suburban town in Alabama where his son lived. He ended up in hospital, partially paralysed. He was not mugged or robbed. Policemen did that to him. Patel spoke no English. 

Once there was a great hue and cry about racial profiling by law enforcement in America and it resulted in a landmark called Driving while Black. Then after 9/11 we heard about Flying while Muslim.

"Did you see a tiger?" The first question asked of anyone who comes back from Jim Corbett National Park was asked of Sandip Roy recently. Here is his answer.  

Sandip Roy tries to call his mother, but it proves to be more challenging than one would expect.  

Sandip Roy is currently on tour promoting his debut novel, "Don't Let Him Know" published by Bloomsbury.

Hear him read in the bay area this week:

Wed. Feb. 4 at 7:30pm. Kepler's - 1010 El Camino Real, Menlo Park, CA

Once if you wanted to be an Indian city of any standing, you were measured by flyovers, specialty hospitals or multiplexes. These days you are measured by literary festivals.  

  Sandip Roy is at the Jaipur Literary festival in Kolkata, India's old capital, speaking with Rana Dasgupta about Delhi, India's new capital...

Remembering Debika Ghosh

Jan 14, 2015
Sandip Roy

The end of year issues all over magazine stands in India all carry photo spreads of the icons we lost. Famous people from the world of politics and music and film.

None of the year-enders listed my great aunt Debika Ghosh. She was notorious in her day as she  once told me. Any scandalous affair all over Calcutta was blamed on her bad influence.

The restless boy is finally still. Kathak master Pandit Chitresh Das passed away on Jan. 4, 2015 in Northern California

When the 2004 Christmas tsunami swept through the Indian Ocean, it left devastation in its wake. Buildings, hotels, shipyards all laid to waste. Thousands dead or missing, and along with them ancient languages and cultures.  

• Nightie (plural nighties)

A woman’s nightgown or nightdress; a dress-like garment worn to bed.

Example of usage: I was too embarrassed to answer the door in my nightie.

Obviously, the entry was not written by an Indian....  

There are ten official plagues in Exodus: Gods and Kings. But there’s an eleventh unofficial one plaguing the Ridley Scott film.  The Nile might have turned red in the Bible but the cast in the film has turned white. And that’s no visual effect.

  In a village in northern Bengal there are no silver bells or cockle shells. But there are pretty maids all in a row. Some 50,000 of them including 17-year-old Monica Burman. She grows bottle gourds, spinach, hyacinth beans. But this is no ordinary kitchen garden. It’s drawn the attention of an Oscar winning filmmaker Megan Mylan.

She won an Oscar for a short documentary called Smile Pinki the same year Slumdog Millionare swept the awards.  Her new short film "After My Garden Grows" brings her back to India.

Sandip Roy met Mylan and Monica at a hotel in Bengal.

In America, Sandip discovered coma-inducing lunches of all you can eat chicken tikka masala, saag paneer and naan for just 9.99. 

Well, what goes around comes around. The great American-Indian buffet has come - to India - with a vengeance.  

This post first appeared on Nov. 14, 2012

Nov. 19 is World Toilet Day, And India leads the world in open defecation. Over 630 MILLION Indians lack toilets. 65 pecent of villagers defectate in the open. For over 40 years one man has been leading a sort of toilet crusade in India. Sandip Roy spoke with Dr. Bindeswar Pathak, the toilet missionary.

Sandip Roy: Dear Rahul

Nov 12, 2014

The US Congress is now in Republican control. Pundits wonder what that implies for contentious issues like immigration reform, the war in the Middle East, and Supreme Court judges. But some in India are wondering whether it’s going to hold up the confirmation of the new American ambassador to India. 

Rahul Richard Verma would be the first Indian American to be Ambassador to India. Sandip Roy channels the thoughts of ohh... about a  billion Indians.

Sandip Roy: Upaj

Nov 5, 2014

One dances dances in tap shoes.

The other on bare feet with bells tied to his ankles.

One danced on Sesame Street. The other comes from the streets of Calcutta

When they started performing together one was 26, the other 62.

One is New York’s Jason Samuels Smith.  The other is Bay Area’s Pandit Chitresh Das.


Sandip Roy looks at the story behind "Upaj."

  Sandip Roy tries to call his mother, but it proves to be more challenging than one would expect.

It's Diwali this week and that means India is lit up like a Christmas tree.  Diwali is often described as an Indian Christmas and New Year rolled into one. Just supersized and made whole lot louder.

And I'm not kidding, when millions of people burst firecrackers together it means  your options are limited – join in, go deaf or invest in a good pair of ear plugs.

First Post


Even as the armies of India and Pakistan talk tough and lob shells at each other across the border, the Nobel Peace Prize committee decided to do their version of marriage counseling.

A joint Nobel Peace Prize for Malala Yousafzai and Kailash Satyarthi – a Pakistani and an Indian. Now if that doesn’t embarrass the two belligerent armies into a ceasefire, what can?

Some 60 widows in white saris from the town of Vrindavan made thier way to Kolkata for the festival of the Goddess Durga.
Something many of them have not seen in decades. Sandip Roy went with them.

India's Mangalyaan orbiter has reached Mars, but the mission means as much for the women of India as it does for science.

Kolkata Scottish Heritage Trust

Scotland  will not be independent just yet. Great  Britain will be held together by Scotch tape. But thousands of miles  from Edinburgh in the heart of Kolkata there remains a piece of land that is indisputably Scottish.

It’s a relic of the British Raj. But it is the SCOTTISH cemetery.  

Sandip Roy

Every time we hear about Jews and Arabs it’s usually a story about conflict – about suicide bombs and land occupation and historical hostility. But the first time Sandip Roy went to a synagogue in Kolkata he found something odd. Muslim caretakers of Jewish synagogues. Generations of them.

Ashok Sinha

A Jewish museum just opened in Kolkata. Not a brick and mortar museum. There are only some 20 plus Jews left in Kolkata. 

But Jael Silliman, with the help of a Nehru Fulbright scholarship she’s the brains behind, the first digital archive of Calcutta’s vibrant Jewish history.