I recently watched the Harry Potter 20th Anniversary on Prime. The series meant something to all of us. I think we all grew up with Harry Potter. I remember how this was the first book my friend had read and his reaction was — “ I am able to imagine this world in my head. And that is amazing!”. This is the power of J.K. Rowling’s writing. It was accessible and it was wildly inclusive; it had something for everyone.
I remember how I myself grew up with the series as a 90s kid. In boarding school, you had to fish time to read. The 20 minutes before they shut the lights out in the dorm. During the games time if your house wasn’t playing. After the showers if you changed quicker than the other. Sneakily below your study desk if the warden was a little aloof on duty. In the toilet if you had to finish an important part after lights out. Saturday and Sunday, in the time which was not part of anything else. On rainy days when activities got cancelled. And in queues. While the queues moved and while they waited everyone to line up. I remember that nothing could keep me from the world painted by J.K Rowling. Not my own pressing reality or the warden on duty.
And I think that was what Harry Potter had in it for me. A healthy escapism. Hogwards — with trunks, letters,authoritative supervisors, dining halls and dorms resembled my world, albeit with some magic. I remember carrying the book everywhere, even getting admitted to the infirmary to get more time to read it. And maybe it was also special because my sister was always a book or two ahead of me and the books gave us a lot to talk about.
I think Harry Potter made me realize why stories are important. Why writing is powerful and what a good book can do to you. I hope someday I find time to recreate that world in my head and fall in love with those characters again.