I am a day late into this post.
I promised Ms. Rowling a post the day she was done with hers. She is, presumably. I just finished reading the last HP last night.
I have read all the Harry Potters. For a person residing in the shell of exclusive taste in almost everything, thats quite a bit. But I made her a promise, in my mind, not in person, to comment once she wrote that last one. My thoughts... and at Smokerings, thats all that counts.
I latched onto the entire HP thing a little late, towards the end of the year that the first one was published, on a long train ride from Jamshedpur to Ernakulam, a four day train ride. And I found it engaging.
Honestly speaking, out of the seven, 1, 4 and now 7 make a good reading. Really. The first one was obviously good, which is why everyone sat up and took notice, including cynics like me. Yes, even back then. The concept was brilliant. That there might exist a world, which we were unaware of, that we were Muggles, while the smart ones were called Wizards. And that they had a world where the dishes could be done with a flick of a wand.
And then there was the fourth one, pacy, interesting with a real purpose.
And finally the last one, which I bought only by way of an obligation, but turned out to a fascinating read nevertheless.
But I have a problem with the series. It has nothing to do with its popularity. I think it paints too nice a picture of life. No, I know its not that easy, there's that grey in the book, that entire bit about He who must not be named. The Slytherins, etc. The entire good against bad story. But alas life isn't that nice. In life there is no sorting hat to begin with to tell you, who is nice (Hufflepuff), who is intelligent (Ravenclaw), who is brave (Gryffindor) and who is evil (Slytherin). Because in life, everyone is a bit of everything.
I see people and I find that in everyone, there is something so exquisite, that you just have to watch and wonder. This is a lot coming from a misanthrope like me. But then in most people there are weaknesses too, there are flaws. What shows up first is a function of how you approach a person. If unfortunately, the flaws surface much earlier than the pearls, and I realize thats what life is all about- you've gotta give people time.That they're not around to put up an act for you, to showcase their jewels for you. That with time it all shows up- who is nice, who is intelligent, who is brave, and who is wicked. Not who actually ... what- what is nice, what is intelligent, what is brave, and what is wicked. That it all resides, in measures, inside all of us. And if you haven't figured it in someone yet, just give it time.
Time, there's so little of it nowadays. I don't have it. There are so many people who don't have it for me, they write me off, and I'm OK. They'll probably come around. But I wish in life there was a Sorting Hat, something you could conclusively use to say whose right and who's not your type.
I own all the Harry Potters, and the only other author I can say that about is Vikram Seth. but then probably I can't borrow one from anyone I know. I can't.
Too much on my mind right now. More later.