Sandip Roy

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.

Happy Puja!

Oct 24, 2012
Sandip Roy

Durga Puja is the highest of high holidays for Bengalis when the mother Goddess comes home for five days every year. Bengalis abroad get very nostalgic at the mention of Durga Puja. The Bay Area hosts about half a dozen alone. But back in the Puja's home territory there's much grousing that the grand puja has become too tacky, too commercialized and too nouveaux riche. 

The 70th birthday celebration of Bollywood's biggest star says as much about the people of India as it does about Amitabh Bachchan.

A fatwa on your speech!

Oct 10, 2012

Salman Rushdie's memoir Joseph Anton has brought the fatwa back into the news. India has the dubious distinction of being the first country to ban the book's import. Sandip Roy looks at how that decision still reverberates in the country.

Saundhi Mitti

Oct 3, 2012

Monsoon has always been the most important season in India - whether it's from the point of view of the economy or the Bollywood rain dance. But coming back to India after years in America, Sandip Roy finds the memories of monsoons past don't always live up to the realities of monsoons present.

Dengue Songs

Sep 19, 2012

The scariest disease racking Kolkata these days is one no one is sure how to pronounce.The government first blamed the media. Then it blamed private hospitals for trying to drum up business. Now it’s swung into action. We have three wheeler auto rickshaws trundling around the city singing dengue ditties – about stagnant water and garbage and mosquitoes. It’s all about dengue awareness.

Fair and Lovely?

Sep 12, 2012

I learned about "tighty whities" in America thanks to Calvin Klein.
It was only after I came back to India that I encountered the dark side of the tighty whitey. I always knew Indians had an obsession with fairness. But I have to admit I was a little taken aback to find that in the new India you could lighten not just your face, or your arms but also your very very private parts.......

More people are living solo around the world these days. You can call it a splintering of society. Or you can say it’s because we have better Internet connections. Sweden has the most number of singletions. But the countries where single person households are growing the fastest are Brazil, China and India.

Morning Edition commentator Sandip Roy is back home in India after spending years in the U.S. He finds some Indians are standing up to a very old problem they call "eve teasing."

I lost touch with that peculiar Indian euphemism "eve teasing" in the years I was away from India.

It sounds coy, like a Bollywood hero romancing the pretty girl as she walks down the street, and it can mean that. But it can also mean what happened to a teenager a few weeks ago in the northeastern city of Guwahati.

When I went to see The Avengers the very day it was released, I texted a friend in San Francisco. It seems kind of unfair, I said, that because of the 12-hour time difference, I get to see The Avengers before you do.

Turns out I was a week off. The Avengers actually released in 39 countries around the world, including India, a week before it opens in America.

A fad that has been sweeping through middle-class India might look familiar to some Americans — it's a craze for fancy gym equipment. But when commentator Sandip Roy visited India's first Mr. Universe (who is known as the "Pocket Hercules") he found that the body builder has little patience for the new trend.

India has been home to vegetarians for centuries. Many Hindus and most Buddhists do not eat meat, but commentator Sandip Roy says in today's India, meat is what's for dinner.

When my friend Lakshmi, a lifelong vegetarian, went to America as a student more than 20 years ago she knew she was in for a hard time. Vegetarian dorm food meant a lot of cheese pizza, french fries, pasta and if she was lucky, grilled vegetables.

After 10 years in San Francisco's vegetarian mecca, when she returned to live in India a few years ago, she had an unexpected identity crisis.

India is celebrating the birth of a baby to two of its biggest Bollywood stars. Commentator Sandip Roy explains why the birth is making headlines.

Last week, India got the tweet it was holding its breath for: It's a girl.

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, the Bollywood actress often called the most beautiful woman in the world, gave birth to a daughter. The proud dad, Abhishek Bachchan, a Bollywood hero in his own right, sent out the first tweet. Followed moments later by his dad, Bollywood's biggest superstar, Amitabh Bachchan.

If you grew up in the US, you’re probably well-acquainted with fairytales in which real animals behave like people; whether it’s pigs, wolves, rabbits or turtles. But in India, children grow up hearing about half-monkey gods and 10-headed demon kings.

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