At the age of 13, I fell in love. True, serious love.
No drop-dead gorgeous hunk, but a shy, demure boy next door. Dreamy, introvert, but with his own unique charm. A thin frame ever more prominent thanks to his oversized clothes, glasses and scruffy hair, quite average looking, otherwise, but what made him so different from anyone else were his shiny green eyes, and a scar shaped like lightning, right across his forehead. His name was Harry. Harry Potter,
When I first met him, I barely knew the impact he’d have on my life. I wasn’t sure if I’d really like him, but the more I got to know him and his world, the more I found him irresistible. Harry and I grew up together. When he faced triumph, I celebrated for him. When he felt pain, I grieved with him. And over the seven long years that I got to know him, there wasn’t a single emotion I hadn’t experienced with him.
And I’m certain that the affair would’ve continued, if only he weren’t a character in a book.
Created by JK Rowling , Harry Potter could have possibly been another fictional, magical character. Except that he wasn’t. True, he was a wizard, and he went to Hogwarts School of Wizardry and Witchcraft, where he learnt to fly on brooms, transform toads into cats and what-nots, and . His magical make-believe world, the catchy jargon (Quidditch, ButterBeer, Hogsmeade, and my favourite – Muggle!) and the fantasy might have been the initial fascination that drew readers in, but that’s not what kept us coming back for more, devouring book after book, and clamouring for more.
What made us all ardent fans of Harry and his world were the ease with which we felt as if we were a part of it. How every summer, we were the ones boarding the Hogwarts Express at Platform 9 3/4, learning Transfiguration, Charms, Potions, Defence against the Dark Arts and all other ‘magical’ subjects, and dining in the Great Hall, living in the house dormitories, and belonging to one of the houses – Gryffindor, Slytherin, Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw. We felt as if we knew Harry inside-out, as if he lived with us. But besides everything else, we loved the books because of every single thing they taught us, about life.
Which is why I firmly believe every person, irrespective of age, place and choice of reading must read Harry Potter. Because sugar-coated in the form of fantasy – lie multiple lessons of life to be learnt. The value of good friends, who choose to stand by you, when no-one else does. The magic of smiling in the face of adversity. The courage of standing up for someone and something you truly believe in. The power of unselfish love, trust, loyalty and sacrifice. And above all, to not judge anything or anyone, for nothing truly is as it seems, especially where the greater good is concerned.
I’ve been a bookworm since I was a kid, and every good book I’ve read till date has taught me something. But few have had the deep-seated impact that doesn’t go easily. For after reading all the books almost countless times, followed by endless marathon-sessions of the movies, I’m sure of one thing. That the long seven year journey, right from the beginning when the magical world celebrated the birth of Harry Potter to the moment where Harry bid his son farewell as he left for Hogwarts for the first time, with everything in between, will stay with me for a while.