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.

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

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 

"Southern Living" by Flickr user balaji shankar venka, used under CC BY/resized from originaltachari

Most of us around the world wake up to alarm clocks or the clock radio turning on.

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 Aroup Chaterjee

As I sat down to lunch in Kolkata on Sunday, far away in Vatican City, the woman who made Kolkata famous around the world was becoming a saint.

Photo by Sandip Roy

Last week Kolkata was busy celebrating a birthday with flowers, candles, cards and songs.

Courtesy of Sandip Roy and Baluji Shrivastav

In India in the 1960s there were few options for a blind child. Blind people often begged in trains and railway platforms singing hymns. But Baluji Shrivastav was in the right place at the right time.

On Sunday night, much of India was watching television with bated breath. All for one young woman at the Rio Olympics. Her name is Dipa Karmakar and a billion people’s hopes were resting on her shoulders.

Taher Shah
tahershah.com

India and Pakistan have much in common but, rarely agree on anything – cricket, Kashmir or mangos.

Khizr Khan did something few have been able to do in this bitter and vulgar election.

Whether or not Trump makes it to the White House he's already proving very useful to those who were until dismissed as the fringe.

Over 25 years ago curators Alan Teller and Jerri Zbiral went to an estate sale in Illinois.  Jerri says they stumbled upon a shoebox that would change their lives.

Every immigrant has a coming to the America memory. Nayomi Munaweera came to America when she was 12. It was the mid eighties. And Duran Duran.

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