Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Melvyn Brown Meets Patrick Swayze

Melvyn and Patrick Swayze-Calcutta-1991

In such unpredictable times, the passing of a screen icon amounts to a tragic loss on that side of the scale which keeps cinema pulsating . Clearly, we in India have best known Patrick Swayze for his American doctor role as Max Lowe , in the 1992 movie CITY OF JOY. He was a three-times Golden Globe nominated actor, especially for the smash success of the 1987 film DIRTY DANCING. Patrick was the recognized macho , country-boy and romantic hero around the world.

                            The year was 1991. The place, Calcutta . I happened to be walking down Chowringhee under the Grand Hotel Arcade when I saw him.. It was Patrick Swayze in person. In those years I was a freelance journalist , with a steady job as librarian in St.Xaviers College , and doing a regular weekly stint as ‘Peter Pan’ for The Herald . Here was the excuse. A good enough reason to start a conversation. My mother would always say : Never venture , never win.

                            Patrick Swayze was a ‘ big person ‘ ( physically ) in front of me. After having introduced myself , the tide took a wonderful course. His warm and welcome smile is always worth recalling. He was polite and listened to me closely . After a few minutes he put his hand on my shoulder and took me for coffee in the Grand hotel. We ended up having two cups and four pastries.

                            Suddenly, we were sharing nuggets of our lives as if we were long-lost friends. The actor , dancer, singer-songwriter was weaving a bond between us which would last for many years to come. He was born on the 18th August, and was raised a Catholic. His mind was open to all other beliefs and respected their followers. He was interested in the Bahai Faith, Buddhism and Scientology.

                             He turned to me and said : “ You are doing good work. I admire you. Send me your newsletters when I return home … “

                             After I watched his movie “Julie Newmar”(1995) ,I wrote and congratulated him. He replied and congratulated me for the books I had written and for being founder of the Ambassadors For Jesus movement. It’s been twenty years since we met. His memory lives on and will be ever present for generations to come. Patrick Swayze passed away on the 14th of September 2009. My prayers and sympathy go out to Patrick's wife, family and friends and to everyone around the world who has felt the loss of this wonderful performer.

                                                Melvyn Brown

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