Monday, September 12, 2011

J K Rowling published her first Harry Potter book in 1997. And since then the world has been divided into those who have read Harry Potter and those who haven’t. Until June of this year I belonged to the latter category. I kept away from Harry Potter and his adventures for primarily two reasons. These were for kids, right? And fantasy fiction is not my favorite genre when it comes to reading preferences.
The final movie in the Harry Potter series, HP and the deathly hallows – 2, released earlier this year. I read comments of friends who went and saw the movie with an air of indifference. I had once taken a peek into my niece’s Harry Potter book and knew about Dumbledore. I saw bits of the first movie in the series – HP and the sorcerer’s stone. This was some time back and this was how knowledgable I was about HP.
Sometime in June this year, while I sailed with my sailor husband, I ran out of reading material on board and the only thing left for me to read were the e-book versions of Harry Potter. And I decided to take the plunge. Since then I have spent a huge chunk of my leisure time (which is meager in itself) reading up on the adventures of Harry Potter. I was in a sort of suspended living. Important things to be done were often squeezed in few days of break that I took between each book. I was ‘avalanched’ by Harry Potter! Initially I read on the computer. Recently my husband bought a kindle – e-book reader. And it got easier to read on it.
Sometimes I wish I had not kept myself bereft of the books for so long. But there were advantages of starting late. I didn’t have to wait for months, sometimes years, for the next book in the series. Today I stand a die hard fan of Harry Potter. And I totally understand the mania. As luck would have it HBO was airing movies in the series in the months of August and September and I managed to catch few of them. Of course the movies only touch part of the books leaving out many parts. It is infinitely better to read the book and then follow it up with the movies, as is the case always. I have even introduced Harry Potter to my 3 year old as part of her bedtime stories!

The final part of the series, the deathly hallows, was not available on the ebook format. And so I harangued my husband until he ordered the paper back version. I await that with bated breath, wanting to know what fate lies ahead for Harry Potter and his nemesis, Lord Voldemort. A part of me also dreads the day I finish it. For the characters in the book have been my constant companions over the past few months and there will be this vacuum which will be hard to fill. There is this feeling of melancholy that I invariably feel after the end of a good book when I actually miss the characters. I sometimes wish wistfully that we lived in a magical world of broomsticks and wands!
I have been ‘Pottered’.