“I solemnly swear that I am no good writing this.”
It was in September 2008 that I got my ‘accepted’ University letter from the UK for my Masters Degree. The first picture that rolled inside my head was when Harry Potter receives his letter from Hogwarts. Not that I was eager to get away from my parents who were no where near the equivalents of the Dursleys, I still was kind of thrilled and in the overall excitment I forgot to say a proper good bye to my family at the airport! The honest truth was I could see My Papa and Amma and sister sobbing and I couldn’t shed a tear, ofcourse I was sad, but the emotions at play that moment were comple-te-ly out of my hands. I got to know that it was not me but my emotions inside my head to be blamed for that when I watched Disney’s Inside Out! Well, I still get taunted for it, story for another time..See I wander away?
Okay. I started reading Harry Potter series or should I say I actually started enjoying reading as an experience because of J.K Rowling’s magical wave of her words and characters? I was really late to reading and it was time after my tenth standard exams that my Pa brought me this book ‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s stone’ which was about less than couple of hundred pages. I decided to give it a go. Having finished in less than two days, I was eager for more. Got the second and third book together and I hadn’t known the excitements a book and its characters could provide like none before! I still remember reading the dark, rainy, cold happenings in Azkaban, dementors and Black’s escape on my train journey to Calicut with Amma on a rainy afternoon and with every falling raindrop on to my window railings, I had goosebumps for the added effect from nature itself.. May be I was under a charm spell?
Every following book that was released, the story was no different. Pa was happy that I got into reading, but Amma was scared that it would affect my studies and my scores in the exams. It didn’t actually and I passed with okay marks for every board exam that I appeared for. There was also a twist in the story where someone had even told Pa not to buy me the books as it was about dark magic. Thankfully, he ignored it and still bought me the books until the last one. The finale book which was released days before some sort of an exam (which were many in Indian curriculum), Pa was not ready to buy me until the end of the season. Luckily one of my uncles, bought it and sent it to me via courier on the day of its release! How cool is that?? Imagine a high voltage beaming on my face? That was me in front of my parents with their “defeated” look on their faces.
With respect to the characters, as I had seen the movies first and then read the books, faces of Harry, Hermione and Ron was etched in with perfection. I still chuckle at some of the expressions Ron Weasley has in the movie. That boy has made me laugh! Hermione reminded me of studying and Harry of pure adventures. However I should say, as I grew up (not vertically it stopped at 5 foot, but more horizontally), the views on the books, its characters has evolved much more than its surface values. The quotes in the books which I still return to even now, has been sometimes like an invisible guide. The last three movies I had watched from the UK were also special as I had an imax opposite to my office and I would get a popcorn and watch the movies sometimes with just a few in the whole room, as I tend to go and watch it after the first or second week. It was like having the entire screen, the stories and the characters just for yourself! A big screen on a cold January afternoon with your favourite snacks to munch on and you say “Nox, Let the movie begin!” Bliss!
When I came to start my research in Birmingham, the house that I and my housemates moved into had 4 rooms and guess which room I wanted for myself? No surprise there, the one under the staircase. It was a lovely cosy room and ofcourse I have had days and nights where I had just stared out of my window to look at the constellations, kids playing on the street, ice cream vans, my old neighbour uncle’s VolksWagen car which almost became a part of the garage, and ofcourse the white blanket of snow in winter! Life has been easy and hard on different levels, the paranoia of waiting to get things started in life, the hardships of earning, the laziness to get out of the bed for early morning shifts, the household chores waiting just for you, still the beautiful flowers that blossomed in my window sill garden reminded me of what Dumbledore had said “Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times if one only remembers to turn on the light!”
Now, I had put on my facebook status that I felt overwhelmed having seen the Harry Potter Studios in London last week. It was magically unique and I nearly was emotional as I could identify and relate the characters and props displayed and the movie scenes where they played their roles, etc. However I should also say that it has also showed me that its not just the charm the movie has but an entire team effort to bring that magic into reality. That’s the only magic that worked to create such mesmerising movies for us to cherish forever. I felt like shouting ‘Bravo!’ to every single artist who has worked for it and in my mind I had a huge ‘Thank You!’ card for each one of them.. It struck me what J.K Rowling had said,”Whether you come back by page or by big screen, Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home!” Harry Potter has been my teenage story which has stayed with me all this years and I felt home.
I can write volumes on my feelings over page by page of the book or the on screen drama trigerred cheers, laughs and tears, but I think you all would have felt the same in one way or the other. I am 28 now and things are going on in my life which I have no idea where they will lead me but this I think J.K has scribed using her quill really well, “Its our choices that show us what we really are far more than our abilities..” Let my choices speak for me and my life, but again one thing the author has stressed in her books to every single reader is to “Believe in yourself!” Hey, there! Remember that?
Well, I don’t know whether I will live to be an 80 year old Granny, but I would like to repeat what Alan Rickman said “When I’m 80 years old and sitting in my rocking chair, I will be reading Harry Potter. And my family will say to me,
“After all this time?” And I will say “Always….”
THank You, J.K..xxoo