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Thursday, July 28, 2011

The realm of magic & fantasy

As I watched the last instalment of Harry Potter movie, it left me poignant. It’s absurd to understand how a movie and its characters became a part of my life as I grew up. I still remember I was in class 8th when I had gone to watch Harry Potter and Sorcerer’s Stone for the first time. My friend told me about the book. Initially, I took no notice of the book but when this friend of mine kept on raving about it, I decided to read it. So I got myself a copy of The Chambers of Secrets and fell in love with the characters of the book and the magical world it had created. It was considered to be a book for children but later I got to know that Harry Potter had cast a spell on everybody and age was no bar to fall under its enchantment.

Children, teenagers, elders, they all were Harry Potter fans. The second book enticed me to buy the next one in the series and so I bought it. This is how I too joined the Harry Potter fan club. I read the books and watched the movies to get transported to the magical world. This was one book which had so many characters and as the story unfolded in layers, we got to know more and more about each one of them. The troika of Harry, Ron and Hermione was of course the soul of the book. Harry was the one who always endangered his life to save people around him and his friends stood by him through thick and thin. The characters of the book have been etched out in our minds forever. Then there was Harry Potter’s vocabulary. Words that were never heard before. Words which had no meaning in the outside world. Words which are beyond a person’s comprehension who has not read the book. This vocabulary added to the persona of the magical world and made everything seem real.

On the surface, it may look like any other children’s book but it had something for everyone. I loved it because it had all the elements- love, hatred, friendship, betrayal, mystery, suspense, drama, thrills, adventure and loads of action. Harry, Ron and Hermione were always in the middle of action chasing something to put the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle together.

It meant something to me. It became a part of my growing up years. Since it was written at the backdrop of a school, Hogwarts, I became more fond of it. Hogwarts was the place where most of the action took place. So Professor Snape being the most dreaded teacher around, the Malfoy and Slytherins acting as bullies all the time, Quiditch match bringing out the house rivalry thing etc. struck a chord with me. This was something we experienced at school so it was easy to relate to it.

Whenever I read the books, I felt like watching the movies too. I always wanted to see how the story had been adapted visually. There was also a curiosity to see the new characters which were introduced in the books from time to time. The new characters raised the level of excitement. Harry Potter movies gave the feel and experience of the fantasy world. I was in love with the Hogwarts castle, the other sets built and the dark treatment given to the story on such a grand scale; it all added perfectly to the mystical aura.

It took some time to absorb the shock that J.K.Rowling won’t be writing Harry Potter anymore. Movies, however, provided some solace but they have come to an end too. Now I will have to make peace with the fact that Harry Potter’s time is up.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Mixed Feelings

Yesterday was a day of ups and downs. I had an interview in the morning, so I got up early and left for it. It rained in the morning so I thought it’s going to be a fine day ahead. The morning was cool and pleasant which made it easy for me to commute to South Delhi. I had to wait for some time for the person who was supposed to take my interview. The wait was killing me, so I said to myself probably it’s not such a good day as I thought it to be. Just when I began to feel a little sleepy, a man at the office got me a cup of tea. I needed it badly to keep myself awake.

After some time, I was called in for the interview. It went fine. The interviewer seemed a very considerate man. It felt more or less like an interactive session where he was just trying to get to know me better. I got positive vibes while I was leaving from there. I said, “Hopefully, it’s going to be a good day.”

In the afternoon, I had to meet Tanya for lunch. I thought it’d be easy to get there within half an hour as I was already in South. But, bus number 727 didn’t come. I waited for half an hour. 423 green buses passed. 425 green buses passed. 423 red buses passed. 425 red buses passed. No sign of 727. At last, it came after waiting at the bus stop for an hour.

Having had a hearty meal with Tanya, we decided to watch something. All the excitement went down the drain as I ran out of luck. The DVD I had got didn’t play in the DVD player. So, we had to settle down for Dil Chahta Hai. After getting bored of watching DCH, Tanya decided to make some sandwiches instead. She chopped an onion, a tomato and a capsicum but realized there was no bread. I was sent to the nearby market to get the bread but the store was found closed when I got there. Then, we went to the market together to get the bread.

We had to meet Ginni at Dilli Haat in the evening. We were running late. While we were on our way in the auto, every time Tanya checked her cellphone; Ginni’s name flashed on the screen. We could understand the latter’s restlessness as she isn’t used to the habit of waiting for someone; the only thing she loves is to make others wait. On speaking to her, Tanya kept on dilly dallying, otherwise, Ginni would have killed us both.  It was good to see her and then, we began talking like the old days. From office drama to jobs, everything was discussed at length.

We saw a bioscopewala and these people got all excited. We heard him shouting-“Cinema for 10 rupees”. So, we decided to give it a shot. We rushed to the bioscopewala in a child like excitement. We bent on our knees and peeped inside. But, much to our surprise, there was no movie being shown. Ginni started saying we had been fooled. It was hilarious. All we got to see inside were posters of actors like Sunil Shetty, Salman Khan and some monuments like Taj Mahal, Humayun’s Tomb etc. Ginni’s excitement began to fade away quickly. She said,“ Why are you making us watch scenery? Where is the movie?”  In a jiffy, we noticed people gathering around us as if there was something really exciting to watch. The credit for bringing us all in the spotlight also goes to Ginni, who was screaming at the top of her voice hysterically. Already there was a lot of hullabaloo and on top of it, the bioscopewala asked us to pay 20 rupees instead of 10. When we argued with him, he asked us not to pay him at all. On hearing this, Ginni said,“ Let’s not pay him if he says so.” At the end, we gave him 40 rupees and left. There was no end to the cuss words then.

 It was time to get back home so Tanya began looking for an auto-rickshaw. What else could we expect from the autorickshaw drivers? They all started showing tantrums and refused to go. Ginni again started shouting in hysteria, “Dial 100...they can’t say no to a passenger...” We approached a constable and he helped us out in getting an auto. We had barely reached the metro station, when we got a call from Tanya saying that she had got down at AIIMS as the auto driver took the wrong route. God knows whether it was a mistake or was done on purpose. Something similar happened with me also. It started raining heavily at night and no rickshawpuller was ready to take me home for 10 rupees.

Well, since morning, I had quite an eventful day so I wasn’t in a mood to give the rickshawpullers the pleasure to have their way with me. I was already done with my quota of problems for the day, so I decided to walk till home even at the cost of getting drenched in the rain.

On getting back home, I realized that despite little bit of pinpricks, it was overall a good day!