In 2009, at the age of eight, I went to watch the fifth offering of the Harry Potter saga, completely ignorant of the fact that there were four prequels which I had never viewed. Fifteen minutes into the movie, I feel like I am writing my school’s yearly exams – I cannot understand a thing. So, I decided to make avail of the sound-functioning air conditioning facilities of the cinema hall. I remember waking up at the climax of the movie where the trio are walking towards the railway station and taking quite a fancy towards Emma Watson, who was the most beautiful girl I had ever laid my eyes on (she still is)
In 2012, a year after the saga had wrapped up, I bought the DVD of Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone from the vendor, honestly because all the other DVDs were of action movies which I despise. And I envy that day when that 11-year old boy was warped into a magical world with no limits. I envy his introduction to Chocolate Frogs, 9 3/4th platform at King’s Cross station, unfriendly goblins and of villains drinking unicorn blood. The next seven days, I finished watching the next three movies. Few months later, I watched the last four as well. There began a magical experience, a passage in my life which would be cherished and considered monumental in my existence like none other. My love for the movies eventually transcended into my love for the books, the pages of which I devoured so rapidly, that I am still not-so-fondly reminded of that period by my parents flashing that year’s report cards of mine. I developed a sort-of-encyclopedic knowledge of the saga, with my books being filled with character sketches and theories associated with the Harry Potter universe. My love grew unfathomably intense than expected, with me getting to numerous fights with my colleagues who sometimes teased my beloved characters.
Years passed. It was 2014. A period of extreme loneliness. As Robert De Niro’s character Travis Bickle says in Martin Scorsese’s Taxi Driver ‘A day becomes indistinguishable from the others’. I was 13. People were falling in love around me. Hearts were getting broken around me. Boys were discussing their approaches to get their crushes. Puberty was kicking in for all. And…. I was just kind of there. And every day felt like an arduous task to get through. Everything was just going downhill. But destiny has its own ways.
It again interwove a chapter for my story which I thought was a thing of my past, the chapter of Harry Potter. Once again somehow, I ended up again delving through the pages of those books again. I was once again watching the movies again. And there I found solace. I felt back at home. I felt something. A feeling that I was among my friends again, that I was part of a group. A bond so strong that forget the Dark Lord, the five elements wouldn’t dare break it. I began loving life again because I wasn’t living in this banal world. There I was, the fourth in the group, with Harry, Ron and Hermione, facing threats way beyond our ages to face. But with every threat, our friendship was getting stronger and stronger. And inhibiting that fantasy world, I learned to live in the real world.
It is now 2016. I am 15. And while was watching Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part I, I find myself sobbing in the scene where Harry and Hermione dance to ‘O Children’. This scene is where it hits me that all the reminiscences of childhood of the trio has vaporized. They are now mature adults. And my thoughts catapulted back to that train cabin where they first met. And their entire journey from there flashes before my eyes in a second, just like the climax of American Beauty, where Kevin Spacey’s character Lester Bingham experiences his entire life in a split second. And I cry. What glorious years they have been !
Harry Potter saved my life. I carry a picture of the trio always and whenever trouble befalls or loneliness creeps on me, I talk to them. They reply. I hear that reply in my heart. You will definitely think, I am probably an eccentric guy whose has considered his inner conscience as the trio to make himself feel better. I respectfully disagree. I know that it is them. For they do live in my heart. And Harry Potter, Ronald Weasley and Hermione Granger will forever inhibit that place in my heart. Always