10 years ago I chose Harry Potter
“I used to tell you about these books, but you never cared,” Mom would tell me later. But I have no memory related to the subject before this day. I didn’t know a certain group of people across the world were standing in queues hours in advance to get their hands on the newly launched book in the series.
I had turned 13 less than a month ago, a student of Class 7 I was. And I had no clue what Harry Potter was.
Something related to magic. People flying on brooms. That was it. That was all I knew and I never was curious about it.
It was something about magic. Magic was bad. The imagery of witches flying on brooms was bad. And there are ghosts. Horror. A completely negative idea. I am not interested. Thank you.
The only thing which I perhaps knew then was the series had seven books, out of which 5 were out in the market and 3 had been adapted into movies.
The term ‘Potter’ somehow had a very negative impression in my school, generally. Teachers and students alike- they all used to negate the idea of its existence. I am absolutely sure they knew as much about it as Harry knew about your or mine existence. None of the books made their way into the school library, no student could ever be caught with anything related to Potter in the school. Potter was in fact, if I remember correctly, ‘the reason students were performing badly in exams’. These were no strict rules, just unwritten ones which simply happened to be in practice.
I have no idea what went through my mind that week. That first week of January 10 years ago. I was having conversations regarding Potter with this friend of mine. I had got to know a few things from her. And it seemed intriguing. She was one who was clearly open about her liking of the series and was probably seen in bad light in school, for reasons ‘relating to Potter’ but still exactly unknown to me. (Although in the later days, there indeed was a growth of Potter-fans in the campus- almost all hushed ones)
That week suddenly one day I asked her to lend me the CD of the first film in the series. I wanted to see what this thing was all about.
I distinctly remember. It was 10 years ago. 7th of January 2005. It was a Friday. My parents and sister were there. Around 7.30-8 in the evening, I put the CD on. I didn’t know then and I wouldn’t know for at least a few years after seeing the film that its magic was going to change the course of my life forever.
Yes, it was that day 10 years ago. The day when I realised who this magical wizard was. The day I first entered Platform 9 and three-quarters. The day I saw the doors of the Great Hall open for the first time. The day I was introduced to a new game played on broomsticks. The day I wondered why I took a bus to school. The day when I wondered why I hadn’t received a letter from Hogwarts when I had turned 11.
I am proud to have known Harry Potter. I am proud to have been in the generation which grew up with Potter. To have been influenced by it. To have been crazy about it. To have categorically made it an important part of my life.
Life’s been one way since that eventful introduction-day 10 years ago. And I have written a lot about life with Harry Potter all these years. To commemorate today’s day, I thought it best to reflect upon the time when I still hadn’t known Harry.
After all, Harry Potter was not just about people flying on brooms. Or ghosts being scary. Or magic being bad. Accept it, Harry Potter added optimism and simply changed the way we looked at those things.
Also check out these previous Harry Potter related entries: