“Mysterious thing, time”- when Dumbledore said these words, little did we know it would hold so true even today. After 20 years of the first Harry Potter film, the team is set to get back together for a reunion special titled Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts. For kids who have grown up in the ’90s, there couldn’t be a better New Year gift given we will get to see actors Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint coming together on screen after a decade. The books and films have been part of our childhood and continue to still hold a special place in our hearts.
My first memory of Harry Potter is of us (siblings and cousins) buying one book and reading it in turns. Given there was a long waiting list, we would have our nose in the books the whole day. Forget food, sleep would also be sacrificed so that we can satiate our curiosity about what happens next in Harry and his friends’ lives. The love for JK Rowling’s novel not only helped us develop a love towards books but also brought us closer as we would then spend hours discussing the characters. We would even sport the Harry scar as a symbol of our loyalty. We would also tease each other with names. The mean ones would automatically become Bellatrix or Umbridge, and if we had to get our jobs done, all that we needed to do was assign someone with the job of a house-elf.
When the books turned into films, every Potterhead’s imagination found a face. While we all had our own wizarding world designed in our heads, it finally came alive on screen. While many still have the book vs film debate, the Harry Potter films have been a best friend on sleepless nights and low days. We all know what lies ahead, the climax is still etched clearly in our minds but as they say, you can never have enough of it.
Ask any fan and they would confess that they have imagined themselves as one of the students in Hogwarts. Year after year, we have waited for the school letter to reach our doorstep so that we could also join Hogwarts. I was at a loss for words when two Indian characters were introduced in the Harry Potter franchise. When I saw Parvati and Padma Patil’s roles played by South-Asian actors, I was upset and wondered why my parents were not in the USA for I could have auditioned for the part. Like most school girls back then, I would have Daniel’s pictures, cut from newspapers, pasted in my diary. He was cute. Wasn’t he?
Also, I did find my way to pay homage to the most loved film franchise. During my 10th boards, we were asked to write an essay on a happy dream. As you must have guessed it, I penned my hopes of getting my letter and then jumping on to the Hogwarts Express to reach the magical school. The essay was good and I thoroughly enjoyed myself writing it, even wishing that someone in the ICSE board may have been a friend of Rowling or even the makers get me a ticket to reach the sets. However, my happiness was short-lived. When we walked out of the exam room, my twin sister, who sat behind me during the exam, told me she wrote an essay on the same subject. Till our results came in, we feared getting low marks as the examiner might have concerns about two papers (and the only two) back to back with essays on Harry Potter.
Talking about my sister, given her studious nature and curly hair, she was nicknamed Hermoine in class. A few of her friends still call her by the same name. As for me, my cousins named me ‘Rita Skeeter’ after I decided to take up journalism. Such was the magic of the films that you would relate to it with your real life. And as the team gets together for a reunion, millions of fans across the world will also get transported to Hogwarts to relive the journey.