Pottermania .. Potternerd … Howgsmad…
For the “Haves” these words make all the sense there is in the world and for the” havenots” they are nonsense. I personally do not have a grudge against people who have not lived in the Harry potter world. People who have not just written off the HP series, but have gone a step ahead and sometimes also written off the people who are nuts about Harry Potter.
For those muggles, who don’t even know that they are one, I have no hard feelings. I don’t curse them with the “Stupefy” spell for their ignorance. I can still give them a chance and can still wait for the day the realization dawns on those souls, that to have been lucky to be born in the Harry Potter Era” and still not reading the epic is like reaching the finishing line and still not winning the race.
Yes, for you this is definitely an exaggeration and in all possibility you will read this post with a smirk, and with a horizontal nod, you will move on to another blog, another book and another life sphere. But I still will give it a try.... Maybe I am lucky and can get a few converts.
And you would be wondering why so much fuss about it..why do I have to enlighten you with something you don’t even consider worth discussing.. Well that is because, I was one of you. Let me take you back to the day my journey to get converted started.
It was the summers of 2002, I was on a train with a bunch of 5 people of my age, all set and excited to enter a new phase of life… we were going, bag and baggage, to our abode for next two years, our MBA institute. And there I meet this girl, tall, skinny, smart, simple and full of attitude.. “Vidula , my name is Vidula, it is derived from the word “Vidushi” and it means intelligent”, she told me.
And that’s how started the unending chit chats, gossip, sharing, caring not just for the next two years but even till date. It was in that meeting that Vidula, in her highest achievable level of excitement and intrigue, told me about Harry Potter ..how she loved it, how amazing it was, unputdowanable, “takes you to another world” kind of a book. And did yours truly believe her..OFCOURSE NOT… Well… I thought this is just another children fantasy book about wizards and witches …how can an intellectual..”sort of well read” grown up like me like a book like that. That was my first reaction.
But then that was Vidula.. she was not the kinds who give up easily.. so in my two years with her she kept pouring trivia about the series. By that time five books were already in market and our friendship and bond had grown even stronger… The two years flied in a jiffy and both of us were now set for the next phase of our life..she was getting married and I was joining work.
So that’s when I finally picked up Harry Potter… it was my way of telling her that I trust her for life and for me what comes closest to life is books. And right from the opening lines “ Mr. and Mrs. Dursley, of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much.” my dreams and reality criss·crossed forever.. the reality was a dreamland where everything was magical and the magic of dreamland was real.. I love Vidula even more today, and blindly go by her book recommendations because she introduced me to the “pottermania”.
Well that was my journey and I have countless things to say about what Harry Potter is for me..but here I will choose to talk about things that Harry Potter is not. Even if I can get one of you read Harry Potter .. my job is done. So here it goes…
- Harry Potter is NOT a children’s book- It is a book for all ages...Only exception being for the child within you. If that child is still alive, and mind you it has nothing to do with your age, you can safely say that it is a children’s book.
- Harry Potter is NOT a book about magic set in a dreamland - “In dreams, we enter a world that's entirely our own.” This world is real because it is made of real people who make magic , not by wands and spells… but by love trust, bond, friendship and conviction… It is only in such a magical dream land that “Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times"
- Harry Potter is NOT a fantasy “far from real” book –As I just said, when you read Harry Potter you don’t read but live in that world. And as the book says “Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?”
- Harry Potter is NOT a onetime light read – This is a book for life… Yes it is.. It will teach you life’s lessons. Two of many that I learnt from this book
- Your abilities or resources do not determine your destiny, it is the choices that you make in life. “It is our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities”
- Respect irrespective of class “If you want to know what a man's like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals”
5. Harry Potter is NOT story of an extraordinary boy born with magical powers- Most importantly this is not a book about a singular boy, it is not Harry Potter, but all the small and big characters of the book, that make it what it is. This book would have been impossible without the two strong pillars of friendship and trust. Ron & Hermoine, the undying love of Snape, the experience and wisdom of Dumbledore, the commitment of Sirius Black, , the devotion of Hagrid, the warmth of Weasleys, the courage of Neville and the ambition of Voldemort
And secondly, it is not the powers that Harry was born with, but what he used them for that made him extraordinary… “You fail to recognize that it matters not what someone is born, but what they grow to be!”
Hrrrghhhhh … So I finally did end up selling this book once again…. Well I leave the choice to you …But I love Vidula for making Hogwarts real for me.
This was written for the Harry Potter Festival