Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Pottermania - Strikes Late

My first encounters with Harry Potter was when I was studying in my engineering college (JJCET). I used to be an avid quizzer and used to love solving the quizzes which come along with the Friday’s “The Hindu”. The last question in the quiz used to be on Harry Potter and I never even gave as much as a glance at them.

Who would want to read a novel to answer question like “Which platform did Harry Potter take his train to Hogwarts from?” or “How was Harry Potter able to resist Prof. Quirrel?”. I used to wonder how someone could read a novel about wizards and witches. I carried the same feeling until the beginning of this month, during which I used to tease my friends as well as my cousins who used to read Potter; asking them how could someone be so childish to read such books or what is so enjoyable in the book that you are reading it?

I had always enjoyed action or thriller genre of novels and a fantasy novel about witches did not attract me till 02-Dec-06. That was the day, when I was forced to take up Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone from my cousins’ book collection, since there was nothing better to do.

In the following 16 days I have read 4 Harry Potter books and am dying to get my hands on the other two. I have no clues as to what has brought about such a drastic change in me, but I have turned into a huge Harry Potter fan.

I was attracted to the book mainly due to the emotions Rowling was able to display through its characters. It is so easy to identify yourself with either Harry or Ron or Hermione. Everyone would have gone through or would have known a close friend who had a troubled childhood or have faced a Draco Malfoy in his/her school or had a teacher like Severus Snape.

I would consider Hogwarts and Quidditch as an amazing idea, born out of an amazing imagination. I have caught myself laughing at the way Rowling has compared the modern amenities with the fictional amenities of the wizard world. Broomstick for Bikes/Cars, Owls for post, and what not.

I have been reading the books while traveling to office, back home, while having dinner or at any possible time I can spare for the book. My aunt commented last week that if I show such dedication for preparing for IAS, I could clear it quiet easily. I have been sleeping for 5-6 hours in the last few weeks, forcing myself to close the book and sleep, lest I doze off during office hours or during meetings.

The basic plots of all the 4 novels which I have read revolve around the same line. They follow Harry’s ordeal in trying to survive attempts on his life by a very powerful wizard (Lord Voldemort), who had killed him parents. Harry is also faced with challenges in his school in the shapes of Draco – an evil minded student – and Snape – a biased professor who dislikes Harry – who constantly put him unpleasant situations. Harry overcomes all barriers due to his virtues and beliefs, and with loads of help from his close friends Ron and Hermione.

Since I had watched all the four movies before I read the novels – that could be one reason why I picked the books in the first place – I knew the climax of every novel, but it was lot of fun as a movie can never give as many details as a novel could possibly give. I do not know much about the stories of the 5th and 6th installments of the series, except for the deaths of a few main characters, which is one of the reason I will be going out to get the next two installments tonight itself.

It’s extremely late, but I guess it’s never late for anyone to get a wave of pottermania.