Sunday, 30 August 2015



Calcutta’s track record as a city safe for women (is no more), as a cheap fast-food city (forget it), it’s a city riddled with illegal pavement hawkers, brandishing permits from those who matter. Calcutta, being in the eye-of-the-storm forgot a small footnote- birthday wish in remembrance of her founder. All said and sealed let’s drool over the breadcrumbs left for the day, Saturday 29th August 2015.
The above might have been an overdose of shaken ‘n stirred, at the same time very necessary for a whitewash for today’s events.

For Bengalis, especially, today is a potent and auspicious day, it’s Rakhi (when a sister ties a colorful cord to her brother’s wrist). And the boy-friends stay miles away from the girls not wanting to become a ‘bond-brother’ yoke. It was the famous Rabindra Nath Tagore who made Rakhi an annual event from his Shantiniketan hub.

Today, for Catholics is the flag hoisting ceremony followed by Holy Mass for the start of the Novena to Our Lady of Good Health, Vellankanni, which begins tomorrow 3oth August till 7th September. On the 8th September will be the Feast Day. The Novena is observed in all parish churches and at Saint Anthony’s Shrine ( which is also known as St. Joseph’s Chapel).

- By Melvyn Brown@Calcutta. 2015

Sunday, 23 August 2015

AFJ Celebrates Women of the Year 2015

Calcutta's Catholic Heroines 2015

Melvyn Brown and the Ambassadors for Jesus celebrated Calcutta's Catholic Heroines 2015, today 23rd August at The Home of Divine Mercy, at 3 Elliott Road, Calcutta, India.

The Ambassadors For Jesus and the AFJ Catholic Women United selected three ladies as Women of the Year 2015 for their sincere mission in Catholic promotion of the faith, in the Archdiocese of Calcutta. The Awards and Citation were given at a simple ceremony. The Venue was the Chapel of Divine Mercy, Calcutta on Sunday 23 August, under direction of Melvyn Brown.
Miss Hazel D’Rozario, who cares for the sick, old and lonely in her off-duty time. Hazel is a member of the Legion of Mary.
Mrs. Rosie Torcato, as a Sunday School teacher is known for her dedicated work in teaching children the Catholic Faith.
Mrs. Thelma Flavien, supports the Catholic Faith and the Church in social circles, defending and upholding Christian values.
The evening ended after viewing a short film, Touched by an Angel.

Calcutta's Catholic Heroines 2015

Friday, 21 August 2015



Once tasted you can never hope to forget the ‘Bakakhani’, ‘Apasura’ and the ‘Bandel Cheese’. One man still comes down Elliott Road carrying on his father’s ‘bakakhani’ business with not much success, for Anglo-Indians have moved on, and the ‘outsiders’ (if you know what I mean) think, it’s not their cup of tea.

‘MoMo’s are still around from China-town. The fast-food joints are no match for the ‘real thing’ the way Chinese folk make them. I visited a lady the other day, she was the same happy woman of days past, cooking the rare delicious Anglo- Burma dish ‘Pantha-kowsway’. The woman, bless her energy and grace, is not a day older than 85.

Do you live to eat, or do you eat to live ? The friend I have, elderly, chubby and all white-hair on top, says, “I live to do both”. She should know better – the lady is hitting 91. In Calcutta, the age factor is rising, and hardly any one dies of natural causes at 45-50. Doctors are in a state of panic. The young ones make up for medicare attention, and are often admitted to clinics and hospitals for the slightest complain, after all, most products are adulterated…One doctor said in a Hindi serial, Roshni, the hospitals need to be taken care of.

Be careful, not too many ‘bakakhanis’.

Photos Courtesy:

Sunday, 16 August 2015


For those of us who never understood the hype for the feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, especially for those born after 1950 is now truly viewed as a Dogma for us to accept and propagate, projected as the last millennium’s important moment in the Faith and in Holy Mother the Church.
Venerable Pope Pius XII had declared the dogma of Mary’s Assumption into heaven. It was to be as valid as the dogma of the Immaculate Conception (declared in 1854 by Pope Pius IX). Over the passage of 95 years since, millions of petitions from the faithful had reinforced the spirit of this recent dogma on the Assumption.

The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary was a declaration that the Lord had endowed Mary to be taken up, body and soul, into His glory. It was a great sign discovered in the Book of Revelation : Mary was the woman seen dressed with the sun and the moon under her feet, her head covered with twelve stars.(Rev.12:1).
Yesterday, 15th August was the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. AFJ(Ambassadors For Jesus) Founder, Melvyn Brown had approved of the many petitions received from his AFJ members in India and abroad to declare that from henceforth every year the AFJ and the AFJ Catholic Women United would celebrate August 15th as the AFJ Assumption Day. Say ‘Yes’ to Mary, our spiritual Mother.

-  By Melvyn Brown@Kolkata. India. 16 August 2015

Friday, 7 August 2015

Friends On A Calypso Journey Through Life by Melvyn Brown

FRIENDS     By Melvyn Brown

I am by no means a supporter for “losers” and “wasters”, but I think of them as my “friends” in this calypso-journey through life. Being the way they are is, perhaps, the way God wants us to learn not to neglect our duties, to be more responsible, to thank the Creator for ones well-being and competence. My “friends” are clearly the instruments and showpiece of the Lord.

I often help these “Friends” of mine in small, efficient and effective measures. Without having to tell them, they do odd jobs and receive food, at times money as the situation arises. They don’t know it but, they are my “friends”. By the act of being who they are – they also serve.

A few years back there was an American TV Series called FRIENDS. The dominant significance of that popular series was the enthusiasm riveted into the theme of friendship. I became a big fan, hoping it would salvage all the anger and pain in society with laughter and hindsight-criticism of the way the world wobbles in cockeyed celebration of hopelessness.

Week after week I was thrilled to follow the often small and minor mess in the lives of the characters. Fun-filled and continually an embarrassment to most of the viewers, FRIENDS, often hit the top-ten best TV Series, in comedy. In my personal collection of DVD’s I have Ten Seasons.

In FRIENDS, the characters always stood by each other through thick and thin. They cared and shared as best they could. They fought and made up and radiated good values. They classified the cause of war and peace in current trends onboard. The only thing that never changed was faith, trust and hope in all that they went through.

                  - By Melvyn Brown@Calcutta. August. 2015

Sunday, 2 August 2015



First impressions always matter, not always in looks or good dressing habits, but as the proverbial saying goes that what comes out of the mouth hits (impresses) harder.
People like to grumble about ‘coop-like apartments’ (four rooms and you can’t swing a cat). Rapid growth of city populations, and despite the crack-down on Maggi’s, the mumble grumble is a presence in many social circles anywhere in the world. But these people are few.

The fact remains “that what is said is often bread” to heal, preserve, promote and protect. Also to inspire. The Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam, ex-President of India, who died recently said,” Don’t declare a holiday on my death, instead work an extra day, if you love me.”

The potential of magic in the words spoken is a rare power to generate love, forgiveness and peace. Someone once said, “To err is human, to forgive, divine” Think about it. In 1939, Scientist Albert Einstein wrote to U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt that America should start an atomic research program. Was it a stroke of wisdom?
Dada J.P. Vaswani, a Sindhi philosopher and teacher launched in 2012, The Moment of Calm. It was to be a global initiative for world peace. He said, “ The Moment of Calm marks the birth time of one Apostle of love and peace.” He has the firm belief that there is one need the world hungers for, and that is forgiveness.
To the modern generation in the millennium, Pope Saint John Paul II, said: “Be not afraid”. It was a positive assurance that evil could be overcome in not being afraid. Jesus said from the Cross, to which he was nailed and dying : “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing”. (Luke 23:34).
The testaments made down the passage of time is unthinkable. As I said earlier, “What is said is often bread”. But that may come with limits, it’s what you can do with it. Have a good week ahead.

- By Melvyn Brown@Calcutta- August. 2015.