Last month I was at the hospital for a visit to my doctor for a check-up. I was tensed. I was nervous. To make matters worse I came to know I would have to wait for three hours before I could meet the doctor. I groaned in dismay and contemplated on how I would kill time in the waiting lounge surrounded by sick patients. As I sat there I suddenly remembered I had brought along my Harry Potter book in by backpack. I heaved a sigh of relief. Just then I received a text from a friend of mine enquiring about me. I told her about my condition and the fact that I would have to wait a further three hours here. She sympathized with me. I texted her back, "Don’t worry...I have Harry Potter!”
It was afternoon now. I was going back home in a bus. The wind slapped my face as I looked outside the window at the overcast skies. My phone beeped. It was a text from the same friend. “Hey, how are you? You are okay na? Hope it went well with the doc!” I smiled and texted her back, “I am fine...Everything’s fine. Harry Potter saved the day...Again...!”
It is strange, bizarre rather when I sit and think of the impact that Harry Potter and its characters have made in my psyche in such a short span of time. For people who aren’t accustomed to the world of Harry Potter these statements might sound very childish and over the top, but for me the significance that the world of Harry Potter holds in my life is truly unique.
Now I am not writing this post to elaborate on J.K. Rowling’s marvelous story, its different characters and the magic behind them. No, I somehow just wished to briefly share this intricate yet beautiful relation I have with this fascinating series.
My trysts with Harry Potter started way back when the first HP movie came out; the Philosopher’s stone. I was in Udaipur at that time and unfortunately had the bad experience of watching it in Hindi. I never understood the complex storyline and gave up on following it, believing it to be just another fad that the world was having. Over the years I kept following a couple of other movies as well but still never really got the hang of it. It was only in 2005 when the Order of the Phoenix – the book, had released that things changed. By a lucky chance I managed to borrow the book from a friend who had it and took it home without any expectations. I just wanted to see what the fuss was about in this after all.
My life was never the same after that day. Let’s just say I had no idea then that I had got one of the greatest friends of my life right there in my backpack that day.
Yes, sounds stupid but in actuality is very much the truth. I read the book in two days flat and was just completely blown away. It left me gasping for more. I immediately went and bought the other books in the series and just completely devoured them with feverish madness and hence commenced my captivating journey with the Harry Potter mania.
People who haven’t read the books would never understand the real magic behind them. For most, HP is a children’s fascination which has lots of nice special magic stuff. But people who have managed to look through these frivolities would know the real truth. For me reading the Harry Potter books remains one of the most deeply gratifying experiences ever. The reason that I connect to it so deeply is the fact that it is so real despite being set in a completely unreal world. The lead character is not a superhero with extraordinary powers but is as average a person as one can be. He flunks in exams, gets tongue-tied talking to girls and is very emotional about his close ones. However, more than this, what binds me so emotionally to the series are the small real lessons of life it keeps reminding us without trying to say it out aloud. Simple truths of life -that there is no greater gift in life than friendship, that you can never succeed if you don’t have true friends to support you, that if you are loyal to the ones who love you things will always be fine for you in the end and that true love is beyond anything and everything in this world.
I thus make no bones about the fact that I have learnt so much from the HP series. Many dialogues and many situations in the books have left me pondering on them very deeply and they have left me more insightful than I was before Harry Potter hit my life. There are so many small little gems to take in from it that if you genuinely try and understand it you can only be a better person.
However Harry Potter’s impact in my life goes beyond the realms of these niceties. It is as I mentioned before a true best friend of mine; always there for me. At times when I have felt terrible, when I have felt low or hopeless it has always been there. I realized this more in the last few months than ever before. Like the day at the hospital I mentioned at the beginning; it just stays there every time and anytime for me.
Why I chose to write this today? No real reason. That is what it is with Harry Potter, I can talk, write, shout and be crazy about it anytime I wish to. My fellow Potterheads would agree I believe.
For me Harry Potter (the books) is the best, the most satisfying, emotionally overwhelming and enchanting experience that one can ever have. There never was, never has been and never would be another series like Harry Potter. For those who haven’t read the books I have this to say, “Forgive them Lord, coz they don’t know what they have missed.”
I know I will never get bored of the series no matter how many times I read it. I will always laugh and cry with it, no matter what situation of life I am in. That is how it always is. And that is how I wish for it to remain; until the very end.
22 May, 2065. He staggers along in the hallway of his house with the help of his walking stick; finally resting his aching eighty-year-old back on a comfortable armchair beside the window. The afternoon breeze soothes his wrinkled face. With trembling hands, he bends and picks up the book lying on the small table beside the chair. The book looks worn out and the pages bore a yellowish tint. He opens the first page with the same excitement and thrill he had once opened it with when he had first bought it decades back. The title- Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone - looks a little faded in colour, but it still brings a smile on the old man's crinkled lips. Suddenly he hears the mad cacophony of voices as his two grandchildren come running into his room. They look at him and then at the book in his hands. Rolling his eyes, one of them says, “After all this time?” He looks at them, and rests his head on the back of the chair; smiling to himself, he says, “Always..!”