As children, we have always been enthralled by the concept of magic and had the desire of using the same to please and amuse others with our little ‘tricks’ or saving ourselves from sticky situations just with the help of a magical ‘chant’. Magic seemed more like power, a power where one swish of a hand changed everything and we all wanted that, more than anything.
Joanne Kathleen Rowling repaints the magical world of spells, potions, and transfigurations making us all crave for an invitation letter at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Written from a third-person narrative we get introduced to an orphan named Harry Potter living with his sole relatives after his parents died in a car crash (as told by his uncle and aunt). Bitterly tortured and humiliated Harry lives with them until on his eleventh birthday he receives his letter of acceptance at Hogwarts. Just like a bolt from the blue Harry comes to realize that he is a born wizard, a very famous one, whose parents were murdered by the ‘You-know-Who’ or the most infamous Lord Voldemort. It is said that Harry’s character sketch was developed and improved after Rowling’s mother passed away where her own anguish and pain were transferred to the orphan Harry.
Rowling’s unparalleled imagination, wit, and humour are capable enough to make even adults imagine themselves as one of the characters in the story. From invisible station platforms to gliding staircases and ghosts, fantasy and ingenuity have been reignited among readers.
Harry takes several days to get used to everything ‘magical’ around him -from Quidditch matches played on a broomstick to learning to change a mouse into a snuff-box and posts carried by owls, life at Hogwarts is more like a dream to him. The teachers are no less intriguing as we encounter the hard as nail Professor McGonagal, the implacable Snape and the easy-going Dumbledore. However, we all know that where there is light, there is darkness and indeed, there is a forbidden section called Dark Arts from which arises Lord Voldemort and his disciples, convinced to turn the warm and merry Hogwarts into a cold and despicable place.
It has always been a riddle to everyone including Harry on Voldemort’s incompetency to kill him and leave him with a mark on his forehead. Harry becomes ‘the boy who lived’ leading to the disappearance of Voldemort who still lurks around Hogwarts looking for an opportunity to return. In this story which is the first of the seven series gives a little but strong glimpse of Harry’s courage and indomitability along with his friends- Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger whose portrayal of friendship and the guts to stick through thick and thin is worth applause. Aristotle’s saying “Friendship makes prosperity more brilliant, and lightens adversity by dividing and sharing it” gets highlighted in every turn of the page.
With centaurs, dragons and veiled figure the story takes the readers on a ride bewitched with enchantments. The Harry Potter series has been translated into at least sixty-eight languages and have sold more than 400 million copies worldwide making Rowling the first billionaire author. The huge popularity led rise to film adaptations which too were a smashing success in their own right.
“It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live” but sure enough all the Potter heads will disagree when the dream would mean to live and walk through the historic corridors of Hogwarts laden with irresistible mysteries and depth and falling in love with its eccentricities.