The Therepuetic World of Harry Potter I entered at age 13.

It’s 20 years since the first book and nostalgia is all over the internet. The geeky kids of then are reminiscent adults of today. Till about 12 or 13, I was hardly a reader, forget an avid one. I tried cultivating the habit because they said at school that it was a “smart people thing”. Because of being an introvert and some other personality traits and often terms like “slow” and “God forgot to give you brains” used by loved ones, I thought of myself as lacking in intellect. And I tried really hard to prove that otherwise.

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My elder brother was the reader of the house and he introduced me to the Harry Potter books. He bought them second hand and got them bound and the colours were really dull – a dirty blue with dull red borders. I was quite honestly put off. The first day I opened the book, I was stuck at the “Boy who lived” – the first page for three hours. At some point, I dozed off and then decided – books, or at least this one, wasn’t for me.

Days passed. I was cleaning the house and I came across the book again. And this time, it was a deep dive. I went from the Dursleys, to Hogwarts, to two-faced Quirrell in a matter of days. And that was really fast by my standards. And then I was done with all six books in the next few months (despite exams). I was then eagerly awaiting the seventh one like the rest of the fans.

The book was therapeutic because it helped me believe that you don’t need to grow up in privilege to turn out good. That you could be bright and be a girl. That you could be awesome at sports and not be a douche. That friendship matters and stands the test of time. That “bad people” aren’t always bad but just misguide their energies because of some bad treatment they received before. That love makes us do great things. That old people don’t have to be boring or uncool. Just at the age when I would have formed perceptions and stereotypes, the books helped me challenge them.

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But more than just this, Harry Potter introduced me to the world of reading. At a time when patriarchy overpowered me and limited my access outside home, books were a good world to lose myself into.  It was safe and it was dreamy. Books were my gateway to many important, impressive people, specifically, women and feminism and social justice and a bunch of important ideologies that define me today.

I think sometimes, where would I be without the second chance that I gave to the Dursleys.

Crockery Conversations! Part 1

The lights were switched off after the kitchen was cleared of its dinner contents, and the owners of the house retired to their respective bedrooms, some for reflection, some for rest. That is when other beings came to life. Those beings, which weren’t spared, much thought by anyone, as they were silent spectators throughout the day, to everything that was happening, secretly or otherwise. It’s as if they were a part of the background and had melted into the walls. They say walls have ears. What they do not say is that crockery has ears too, and mouths. They do not say it, primarily, because they don’t know themselves. Crockery, as beings, are, secretive, to say the least.

As the clock chimed twelve and got down from its stand to have a chat with the newly bought wristwatch, the crockery assumed it as a safe time for conversation. Mrs. Pott, quite naturally the biggest teapot around, who showered motherly affection over the rest, as well as bossed them a little, sat for a round of gossip.

“Do you remember what happened this day, about 50 years ago?”

One of the plates said, “We were bought to this mansion then, is it not?”

Yes, quite a lot of us have been withered and recycled now, serving other households. Yet, compared to the kind of crockery made these days, we are much more durable”, she said, slyly glancing at the China plate who was sitting at some distance.

Mrs Pott wasn’t much interested in Politics. She only knew that Communism, China, and other words beginning with the letter C were unfavourable. And having lived with such a mind set for about 50 years, now, was like expecting a frog to sing in a concert. (My request is that this comparison be taken in an old fashioned sense, as frogs do sing these days, and get away with a lot of money. JB and RB are good examples)

Mrs. Pott was of good English make, and although not very happy about being in Indian household, she soon realized that this wasn’t any Indian household. It was a royal one. She soon made piece (err, peace) with other Indian crockery, all except the paan-daan, or where they made the betel leaf refreshment. She hated the hideous red pigment and the stain it left. And rightly, so, she thought, as it was later found that tobacco had with it caused cancer.

But, anyway, getting back to the current topic of conversation, a new lad, by the name of Snoop Mugg, had entered the tea and coffee section. The younger cups were very enthusiastic about this new entry, as that meant a lot of chatter from where he came from, and of the people it had served before. Mrs. Pott, however, did not approve of him. First of all, it was shaped like a dog, and she knew what the place of dogs should be. Definitely not in the kitchen.

She irked at how people and crockery mixed so freely these days. The new daughter-in-law of the household, for example, was a Muslim. How could they just blatantly inter-marry like this? She was firmly sure, that if the ancestors of this Manor were still alive, who had a good sense of where each person’s place was (much like the British, she nodded approvingly) they would never let this happen, never pollute the pure blood like this.

At the mention of the words “pure blood” a coffee mug that was a favourite of one of the book loving teenagers of the house, said “Pure blood, as in out of the Harry Potter books that Priya reads while she sips coffee?”

“Who is this blasted Harry Potter now?”, asked Mrs. Pott, irritated at being interrupted.

The mother of that mug quieted him, rightly, for a fight would have ensued, and Mrs. Pott would have dominated. A sudden noise startled them, and they realized the cook had come to heat the water that Maalkin had first thing in the morning. They had lost all idea of time in their gossip. Or maybe the Clock forgot to chime because of its chatting. We shall know what exactly happened, in the next little sneak peek into this queer household..