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.

• 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.

oxfordsikhs.com

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?

Pages