My Life With Harry Potter

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

A Life With Movies

On a day which I don’t recount, in the year 2007, I waked through the entrance of the cinema hall nearest to my house with my parents, my friend and his parents. I was six year old then. Although my parents bring up the fact that Taare Zameen Par was not the first movie I saw in theatres, I still believe it was although I am sure they are not lying. I say that because cinema is about feeling, and it was the first movie that made me do so. Roger Ebert once said that cinema is the greatest art because it embodies all the other arts such as painting, dance, music, etc. Taare Zameen Par was a standing testimony to that statement. There I was, sitting with my friend on one side, relishing popcorn and the screen lit. And for the next 164 minutes, I sat there, spellbound, with no other natural or physical elements meddling with my attention as I was pushed down a rabbit hole into a world no different than mine but populated by a whole different bunch of characters who resonated with me on levels unpenetrable. It was a vivid and unforgettable experience of visual poetry. As the movie neared its climax I looked around for a bit, and every single person’s cheeks had a greyish undertone, and some of the cheeks were still moist. And after the climax, there was a downpour of tears from every individual’s eyes, including me and I had just seen one of the greatest movies of all time. And so my love for cinema was kindled.

The next year I went to watch another movie which was making a lot of noise for its portrayal of India with major Bollywood artists condemning the movie. I once again revisited that same cinema hall, sat in a seat almost 5 rows behind it. I only obliged to go to the movie because of love for quiz. There was a question about who invented pistol, I recount during which I provided comic relief to the audiences by flaunting my knowledge about the topic by shouting out the answer in the cinema hall. But aside from that, I saw something really special. And for the first time I had seen something so chilling. My heart thumped and there was an angst in each second of the movie. It was a story of a couple who were perfect for each other but had all the other things in the world working against their existence and their relationship. The movie was the Oscar-winning Slumdog Millionaire, my first introduction to Hollywood.

And then, I got hooked to books, and as a matter of fact, I still am hooked to books, but not that much. Next stop on the journey was when I took a book from the bottom shelf of my nearby library called as ‘Harry Potter & The Philosopher’s Stone’ by J.K.Rowling. And within a year I had finished all the seven books and was longing to experience it in reality. And the closest that came was the movie series and once again  I fell in love with movies. But, for the next two years, I blocked everything else in my life and became a living encyclopaedia of the Harry Potter universe. I literally knew as much as J.K.Rowling did knew about the magical world of Hogwarts.

The next stop came when I was twelve years old. Due to a shift in my tuition timings, I had a hour left to me to do anything as it may please. As I surfed through the various television networks, I found a show called as ‘The Simpsons’. I loved it and watched every episode per day. But due to a shift in its showing time, I was left with only one show airing on my convenience and as a twist of destiny you may say, I began watching ‘Castle’. And it really changed my life. I became emotionally attached to Richard Castle and Kate Beckett, watching every episode religiously and loving them, longing for them to get into each other’s pants and in a way, becoming a follower of cinema as my religion.

And then I began watching a lot of English movies which then took a definitive stop when I watched Saving Mr.Banks, (500) Days Of Summer, The Theory Of Everything and The Imitation Game. I felt a rush of emotions in each of these movies which I cannot articulate in words but for the first time I felt an association with those motion picture. There was an inner feeling which dwelled in my heart that each frame of each of these motion pictures was speaking something. Then my love for movies was cemented due to Nolan’s Inception and Gondry’s Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind. I felt like a tramp who had just met the Almighty, getting my ignorance vanquished by philosophy. It made me question my existence, my beliefs, my feelings and in short, brought about a life-altering change.

And the next stop, the one due to which I am talking to you right now, my friend, was Damien Chazelle’s Whiplash. The rush of emotions which accumulated from the beginning shot exploded in a kinetic manner in a proportion of a volcanic explosion once I had seen Whiplash. It was cinema personified. I became aware that many didn’t have a chance to see the movie or gave it a miss. And I wanted to shout to everyone listening to see the movie which I had so ardently loved, so I began a blog and wrote a review about it. And that is the blog you are reading now, dear friend.

Movies have taught me to love [ 500 Days of Summer, Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind, Flipped, The Fault In Our Stars, The Perks Of Being A Wallflower] , to question the nature of my existence [ Inception, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind], to consider the importance of my existence [ The Shawshank Redemption, It’s A Wonderful Life] , to know my inspirations [ Schindler’s List, The Imitation Game, The Theory Of Everything, Selma, Moneyball ] and most importantly to love myself and to find hope in my existence [ The Perks Of Being A Wallflower, The Shawshank Redemption ] and everything in between. This post is a personal declaration of my affection towards movie and their inception. Many of you may have stopped reading from the beginning itself, considering I didn’t put what I learnt from watching The Wolf Of Wall Street , but those who have finished reading it, my thanks. You share the same love I share with movie, because you wouldn’t have read it completely unless it resonated with you on a personal level. I would love to talk to you about your love for movies and life as well, if you are on Facebook you can send me a friend request on the link below. If you like what you read, you can subscribe to my blog. Thank You !