Sandip Roy

The Great Bachchan

May 29, 2013

For most of the world, The Great Gatsby is a film by Baz Luhrmann starring Leonardo di Caprio. For  India, it’s the film that marks the Hollywood debut of Bollywood’s biggest superstar, the seventy-year old Amitabh Bachchan.

The Pressure Is On

May 22, 2013

After the Boston bombings we confront the newest marker of the dangerous other – Beware the pressure cooker.

Indian Cinema Turns 100!

May 15, 2013

On May 3 1913 D G Phalke stunned Indians with Raja Harishchandra, a melodramatic mythological film he called a performance with 57,000 photographs. He hardly imagined he was giving birth to the biggest film industry in the world.


Sandip Roy

Today we revisit a previous dispatch so Sandip can recover from the flu. 

In America, Sandip discovered coma-inducing lunches of all you can eat chicken tikka masala and saag paneer and naan for just 9.99. Well, what goes around comes around. The great Indian buffet has come to India - with a vengeance.

Hindustani Times

Sandip returns to the pitch! 

India Times

India it seems is no country  for its children. The national crime records bureau shows child rape cases went up 336 percent between 2001 and 2011. And that, the report by the Asian Center for Human Rights says is just the tip of the iceberg.


Imminent hive collapse

Apr 17, 2013
Sandip Roy

The website Quartz reported that the Scripps National Spelling Bee might have just undercut its best competitors – Indian Americans.

American Center, Kolkata

Fatima Shaikh has yet to find a family like hers - African American Catholics with a Muslim name - all thanks to a man she had never met, her grandfather Shaikh Muhammad Musa. A Bengali peddler from India who married an African American woman from New Orleans in 1896. He left behind three children but few clues about himself.

India’s Supreme Court is yet to rule on the repeal of its anti homosexuality law. But just because marriage equality isn’t on the table yet does not mean a country like India doesn’t have its own way of thinking about all these issues.



The December gang rape in Delhi spurred such huge protests in India, a surprised government had to act quickly.

In India, having a close family leads to suspicion.

Sandip Roy

The simple no frills boxes read Nahoum & Sons, Pvt Ltd. Dainty Confectionery. This family bakery in Kolkata is over a hundred years old and looks it - Nahoum's is nostalgia baked into a cake.

Working from home

Mar 6, 2013

Working from home can sometimes depend on where your working at home from.

Manil Suri


Writers are usually nervous about labels. Like Asian. Immigrant. Or gay. . But novelist Manil Suri actually likes to bring up that gay stuff during interviews. Manil Suri has  written two acclaimed novels. But his latest The City of Devi is in a sense his coming out novel.

Indian Express /


Eliminating wrestling from the Olympics to save the modern pentathlon is terribly unjust. And in this part of the world, it stings a little harder.



Sandip Roy

Ploughing through aisles and aisles of books selling guides to cracking management exams and microwave cookery, Sandip Roy wonders if he's been fooled by all these lines into believing in a city that is still enamored of actually reading...


Sandip Roy speaks with Academy Award winning documentary filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy at the Jaipur Literature Festival

The Greatest Literary Show on Earth!

Jan 30, 2013

What happens when a few hundred thousand people from around the world throng into an old palace in Rajasthan on a wintry January morning?  Welcome to the Jaipur Literature Festival.

What's Osama bin Laden doing on American Idol!? Sandip Roy considers the appearance of Gurpreet Singh Sarin on Fox's "American Idol." Does this young Sikh-American hold the key to changing the attitudes and misconceptions of Americans?

Painted and Dented

Jan 16, 2013
IBN Live / IBN Live

In the wake of the anger in India over the gang rape and death of the 23 year old woman in Delhi, India’s politicians have been all over the map. One said just because India won its freedom at midnight it didn’t mean women could roam the streets at midnight. But the reaction that really went viral came from Abhijit Mukherjee, a newly-elected member of parliament. In an interview with a Bengali television channel, he dismissed the women at protests and vigils as highly dented and painted.


Charlotte Cooper / Socialist

Is the brutal gang rape of a 23 year-old woman in New Delhi last December the tipping point for women's rights in India? What about in Steubenville, Ohio?

Christmas in Kolkata

Dec 26, 2012
Sandip Roy

Christmas is serious business in Kolkata, India. From the turkey dinners to the mass consumption, in some ways it's not all that different from America.

Shubho Borodin everyone!

There have been other musical greats in India. But Ravi Shankar was different. 

Naveen Kishore / Seagull Books

Death Tourism

Dec 5, 2012
Bishan Samaddar


The business of mourning never stops especially in a country where death itself has become a tourist attraction.

A new Indian feature film was inspired by a group of prisoners who formed a well-known classical dance company. Commentator Sandip Roy has the true story of a famous Indian dancer and the convicts she befriended.

Alokananda Roy walked into Calcutta's Presidency Jail on International Women's Day, 2007. The Indian classical dancer had been invited to watch female inmates perform, but it was the men who caught her eye.

"They shook me," she says. "Their body language — it was as though they had no future, nothing to look forward to."

Good Night Mr. Kissinger

Nov 21, 2012
Sandip Roy

What would you do if you were a Bangladeshi waiter in New York and suddenly found yourself serving the bogeyman of your national nightmare – Henry Kissinger?

It’s been over 40 years since Bangladesh became independent but as Anis makes clear it still loves to hate Henry Kissinger.  In 1971 he was the national security advisor and as Pakistani troops tried to brutally crush the independence movement in what became Bangladesh, Henry Kissinger sided with Pakistan because that was his corridor to Beijing. And Bangladeshis remember that.

All you can eat India

Nov 14, 2012

In America, I discovered coma-inducing lunches of all you can eat chicken tikka masala and saag paneer and naan for just 9.99. Well, what goes around comes around. The great Indian buffet has come - to India - with a vengeance.  

Absentee voter

Nov 7, 2012

Why do American elections matter to the world when barely 50 percent of Americans show up at the polling booth? Sandip Roy votes absentee... from India.