Note: Could be long and slightly emotional.
I have been a serious person most of my life. I have no memory of me every letting go and just having pure fun. There were a lot of reasons for that, which is not going to be part of this post anyway. That would be slightly boring and well, depressing even. And since we did not have kids in our family (me and my youngest sibling are only 4 years apart …so we were sort of more like friends than siblings) I never knew how to be with kids (I used to try in School, but they never gave me the time of the day) or how to enjoy those small things that kids enjoy. Sounds a little pathetic now, but I hardly noticed it growing up.
One day my then boyfriend (now ex husband) took me to this movie ‘Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone’ and the theater was mostly full of kids. I had hardly heard of it, but he said that it had good reviews. I was seated besides a family with 3 kids. When the movie started, I was awestruck. Something switched on (or off, I don’t know) inside me and I got transported to a different world. It was like Magic. Suddenly there I was jumping in my seat along with the kid next to me cheering Harry when he was trying to score in Quidditch match. I couldn’t help contain my excitement I had through out the movie. I was suddenly super hyper active. I wanted to find out everything about this movie and when I knew it was from a book, nothing could have stopped me from reading it. Ever. And that is when I fell in love with the world of Witches and Wizardry. I got the paperback version of the books which had been available till then and completed them as soon as possible. For the other books that came up later, I either used to pre-order them or go and get them the first or second day of its arrival and promptly call up my manager and tell her that I am sick and would not be able to come to office and sit in my hostel room, close the door so that no maid can come and disturb me and complete the book. Yeah, I am crazy that way. Because I do that even now if that book holds me in its clutches. And yes, my favorite female character Hermione Granger forms the second part of my pseudonym. Honestly, I thought the Order of Phoneix was a little bloated up for sales reasons and the last one was a little too dramatic and that Voldermort’s death was a little too easy for the amount of his crimes. This book is very special to me because it made me feel like a kid again and sometimes very silly which was so uncharacteristic of me. My friends were in for a shock to see that side of me.
There was this night when I was reading the Half Blood Prince and when I completed reading Dumbledore’s death, I just couldn’t hold it in. I burst out crying and was crying non stop for almost more than half an hour. My room mate and close friend who was sleeping, got the shock of her life (I have never wailed over the two years I have stayed with her) and she panicked and was trying to get one word out of me as to why I was crying. When I explained her, among hiccups, about Dumbledore’s death, all she did was to snatch the book from me (it was a hardback copy unfortunately) and hit me on the head, thrust the book on my hand and went back to sleep. I was stupefied but the tears wouldn’t stop even then. It was like I lost my Grandfather that day (and I never even knew my real Grandfather’s from both sides, they were already dead even before my parents were married) I was constantly scouring MuggleNet site for any tit bit on Harry Potter, anything at all, doing the quiz and playing the games and talking to anyone who would hear me talk about it and my room mate had no choice. So I kept talking to her and she was totally exasperated with me and finally decided that the only way to make me shut me up was to read the book herself. I got her hooked and then everytime I see her reading I would ask her which part of the book she was in, should I tell her one important thing that will come up… I know now how much I would have annoyed her. I really feel sorry for her now, but then, all I needed was a kindred soul to talk about this wonderful world. Yeah, I was pathetic that way.
Want to know something more pathetic and stupid ? I was discussing about this at office with another colleague and she was like ‘Lord of the Rings is much better than Harry Potter’. I was enraged (yeah fumes from my ears and all). I told her that she was comparing apples and oranges. She was firm on her opinion. She told me that she will lend me her LOTR books and that I should read it and find it out myself. I refused and till now I haven’t read them. Because I didn’t want anything else skewing my view of Harry Potter world and I only viewed it as a test of my loyalty to HP. Yeah, I never said my sense of loyalty is anything was remotely sensible. But even after that argument, I knew I was being stupid to overreact, but still haven’t read LoTR. I have lost count of how many times I have read those HP books during some troubled times. And I was very sad when I lost those books along with a lot of other things in my life one day. But that series brought out a different person in me. I never knew fantasy and adventure could influence me like this series of books did. And till date that was the only fantasy book I have read (if you don’t count those romantic novels in fantasy genre…romance is sort of a fantasy isn’t? ). Hmmm.. I really miss that world. It meant a lot to me. My life changed during the course of the story. But it was there to comfort me in a very strange way. There are not many books that had an impact in my life like Harry Potter series did. But I am glad it came into my world.