I had just finished my quarterly exams and was on a vacation trip at my sister’s place in a remote town near Mysore. One morning, as I descended to the living room, I saw my cousins glued to the TV watching something. Munching a piece of buttered toast, I asked them what were they watching. “Harry Potter” they replied in unison. I joined them and within minutes, was intrigued enough to ask more about it.
“It’s the story of a young boy who goes off to study in a school of magic.” My cousin explained. Sure enough, the scene which was playing was that of the doors of the great hall closing and barricading themselves by magic. “I can get you those books if you want” my other sister told me. She knew my love for books and she was not going to miss this chance of gaining leverage on me (sibling politics, you know)
I returned home, nearly forgot about Harry Potter and then just before the next quarterly exams, managed to lay my hands on first three books of the series. I finished the first book in 3 days before my exams started. As was the rule, a ban was placed on my reading of books other than those of the syllabus. Harry Potter made me break the rule of the ban and I managed to smuggle the remaining two books in my pillow case. (Hey Dad, if you are reading this, Sorry.) I finished the two books in 4 days. For the next few years, Harry Potter became my escape. I have read the books so many times that I could name where a word or a sentence was used and by whom it was said.
To me, the success of Harry Potter series in the real world is yet another significant pointer to how a sincere effort can break all norms and records. Ms. Rowling, who once didn’t even have enough money to buy paper and had to write on tissue papers, is now the richest and most followed writer in the world. Her brainchild successfully created a new generation of book lovers, that too in an age when reading is hardly the kind of hobby seen in the youth. It shows how great her writing is and how masterful a story teller she is.
Apart from inspiring me as a reader, JK Rowling’s story is one of major motivations due to which I started writing. Today, my professional as well as personal life is very much connected with writing. I earn both money and happiness through it. Reading Harry Potter was the significant turn in my life where I realised for the first time that I want to become a writer.
It has been 20 years since the bespectacled young skinny boy Harry Potter boarded a train to Hogwarts, but the magic has only but strengthened. Through the huge base of fans of her work, JK Rowling has brought a sense of international and inter-communal unity and love all across the world. I don’t think Ms. Rowling had realised it when she wrote the book that how her work would become a rallying point for all the good people around the world.
For this and for all the great deeds inspired by Harry Potter, for teaching us that no matter what we should keep fighting, for all the great characters we fell in love with (and for many other things that I am going to write in the next few blogs) Thank you Ms. JK Rowling!
(On the completion of 20 years of the Harry Potter series, I will be writing some blogs describing my journey as a reader in the Harry Potter universe. If you have something to share, message me on my Facebook page)