kolkata

Sandip Roy

July 16, 2014: 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.

This post originally appeared July 23, 2014. Mr. Roy will return with a new post next week.
 

Bring the Noise!!

Feb 12, 2014
thehindubusinessline.com

The first thing I notice when I come to Kolkata from San Francisco is not the heat. Or the smog. But the noise. A survey a couple of years ago found that at 10 major crossings the horn count  average per day was a whopping 107392 per day, that’s over 70 honks per minute. Cars and buses loudly flout No Horn signs around hospitals and schools.

Some drivers are honking because a pedestrian, or a cow is jaywalking, or another car is turning without a signal or just because.

Why is Kolkata so loud?

Remembering Sushmita

Sep 11, 2013
Sandip Roy

Purple bag nostalgia

Aug 7, 2013
Sandip Roy

Nostalgia today is no longer reserved for the disappearance of things we feel had been around forever. Or perhaps it’s our notion of forever that has shrunk - from 163 years for the telegramto 13 to 5. The MusicWorld store  was not even a decade old.

 

Monsoon season

Jul 24, 2013
Sandip Roy

There’s a word for it in English. Petrichor – the essence of rocks. But it just doesn’t do it for me. Call me a nostalgist but I still like the Hindi phrase saundhi mitti for that heady smell of the first fat drops of rain on summer-parched earth.

Sandip Roy

The telegram was 163 which I guess is a fine age to finally give up the ghost. The last telegram went out somewhere in India on Sunday July 15. Order No. 111-23/93/T-II (Pt. IV) from the government finally put the poor thing to its rest.  A rather dry bureaucratic way to end a very colourful life....

Mandela's long goodbye

Jul 3, 2013
f2.washington.edu

In his long goodbye, Nelson Mandela is also teaching us something. That no matter how much we want to hold on to something or someone, sometimes we have to let them go. To let go of Nelson Mandela is perhaps the greatest gift of gratitude the world can offer Mandela at this point.

Sandip Roy

In the last couple of weeks the state has been rocked by reports of brutal gang rapes. Sandip Roy takes us to the rally against the violence in College Square.

The Pressure Is On

May 22, 2013
frontpagemag.com

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

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.

 

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.

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.

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...

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.

Charlotte Cooper / Socialist Worker.org

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!

Naveen Kishore / Seagull Books


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.

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

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.

The leader of the world’s biggest democracy and one of the most powerful women in the country said they just couldn’t manage to talk to each other. "I waited and waited but didn’t even get a text message" said the chief minister. "But I left two messages and she didn’t answer" said the Prime Minister’s office......

 

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.......