Jul 26, 2007

go potty!

Move over Cinderella. Give way snowwhite. Tolkin you were good but not as. If you don’t know already what I’m talking about then you’re from that lesser part of the world that is not into Harry Potter. This post is a tribute to that book which for fans like me has been something more than a book , a phenomenon world over. The book which turned non-readers into readers and became a cult in our age group and turned moms from femina lovers to pottermaniacs & in the age of the internet penetrating at the speed of light, got people to read  again  ! A book which recently ended for good with the last part " Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows ". On this note I begin by saying “Alohamora” …
To be honest , I didn’t know anything about the book until I saw the movie and frankly I was like " what the hell? Why’re those guys wearing funny clothes and flying on brooms? "

But it was in 2002 that a friend of mine got me onto the book and there was no looking back. Now Harry potter is a part of my life. My most prized possession on my bookshelf. And I wouldn’t be lying when I say I preordered the latest book two months before it actually hit the shelves. Oh not to mention spent close to 900 Rs on it which in India is could feed you for a month.

As if the book wasn’t huge enough , came the movies! The first movie broke the records of Titanic. And Titanic was the highest grossing film in the history of Hollywood. Recently the fifth movie “Harry potter and the Order of Phoenix “ hit the screen and history was created all over again.

Well if you still are not convinced, here’s something for a fact. In 2004,  "HP and the Goblet of fire" became the highest selling book. Only next to bible. And the latest I heard is that some hardcore Japanese actually took English classes to be able to read the book? Crazy huh?

Here’s the lowdown on this masterpiece. HP is the brainchild of Joanne Kathling Rowling who in 1990 was on a crowded train from Manchester to London when the idea for Harry simply popped into her head . She spent the later 5 yrs of her life framing the 7 parts of the book. The first book “Philosopher’s Stone” came out in 1998. For the few Potter fans here , refresh your memories and for the non-fans , once you’ll know what the book’s all about , you can start reading it!

So… Harry potter is a normal 11 year old or at least he thinks so . Until the day his life changes for good and he discovers that he is a wizard! Just like that! He leaves his relatives- the nightmarish Dursleys for good and enrolls in the Hogwarts School of Wizardry, learns to play Quidditch – that is somewhat like football on a broom! Sounds interesting? Read on…he meets his two best friend Ron Weasly – the confused, face making, wizard and Hermione Granger, the bushy haired knowall! All goes fine until Harry discovers that there exists Voldemort- the one who must not be named -who killed his parents-yes potter boy is an orphan. And Harry is next on his hit list.

The remaining 6 books cover each year of his life in Hogwarts, experiences, adventures and trysts with Voldemort . My personal favourite book-the Goblet of Fire describes the triwizard tournament – something like a football world cup for us… The 5th book goes a shade darker with voldemort becoming more powerful and how Harry and his allies form an army to defeat the various skullduggery by voldi to get Harry killed. The 6th book HP and the Half blood prince" reveals the secret we all had been most anxious to discover. Dumbledore –the beloved principal of Hogwarts- tells Harry that voldemort’s life is divided into 7 parts called horcruxes which must be destroyed to kill voldemort. The two horcruxes are already destroyed. Now the big question? Will the remaining horcruxes be destroyed and voldemort will be done with forever? Or is it Harry who’ll meet his end at the hands of the voldemort?

Rowling delivers a complex and demanding plot in the form of a hugely entertaining thriller. And her sense of humour scattered throughout the book will keep you in splits. Is it any wonder this book alone turned an ordinary housewife into the 2nd richest woman in the UK?

So now that I’ve given a brief synopsis of what HP is all about , you must be thinking so what’s so great about a lanky teenager with a scar on his head playing football on a broom trying to fight a demon?

Here’s something for a fact. Harry Potter is not all about magic spells, and flying in the air. It’s about you and me .It about friendship. Friendship between Harry and Ron and Hermione which make them leave everything and be by him through fire breathing dragons and killing curses. It’s about love. The love of parents towards their children and the sacrifices made by people for their loved ones. The unspoken bond between teachers and students. At the broader level the amalgamation of all races of the world – American, English, African and even Indian and Chinese at a common place. Oh and for those who liked movies such as mean girls and cruel intentions , there’s a lotta high school action not to mention a few crushes and a prom party and other spicy stuff characteristic of a high school drama.  It is also about life and its various oddities .And eventually it is about the triumph of good over evil.

Of course like any other great piece of work, Harry Potter has had its share of flak and parodies ranging from “parry hotter “ , “ hairy pothead” to good old hari puttar! Sour grapes huh??

Harry potter is a classic which may be over with the Deathly Hallows but will remain immortal for those who have experienced it. Lived it. And will be cherished by generations . Cinderella and snow-white won’t ever be the same again.

1 comment:

Sarthak K said...

aaah, I completely agree...written from the heart! You forgot to tell em that Voldie got Dumbledore killed in the 6th book...thats why the momentous task of destroying rest of the Horcruxes and ultimately vanquishing Voldemort fell on Harry's not-too-little-and-not-old-enough shoulders! I feel Rowling's best skill is the rich detail she gives to her characters...Hermione, Dumbledore, Snape and Hagrid - 4 different characters - so different and yet so unforgettable! In fact, I sometimes felt she gave less depth to Harry's character..considering we see the world from his point of view...

And Monica, Let me tell the readers..that online friend is me...Sarthak who introduced you to HP books :-).

I would have written an essay over here...why Harry Potter is liked so much etc etc but you've explained it too damn well. Hats off!

I would love to point out to all HP fans reading your blog to one of my posts - 5 cool Harry potter articles - these were articles that were published in various online journals before Deathly hallows came out. Check em out...simply cool!

In conclusion, I have nothing to say except Nitwit, Blubber! Oddment and Tweak!