How Harry Potter Entered My Life – Part 1

book cover of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Harry Potter & The Prisoner of Azkaban, Cover Art 1999, UK Edition
Harry Potter & The Prisoner of Azkaban, Cover Art 1999, UK Edition

20 years ago, my mother took me to a magical place; Planet M at Fort. For the uninitiated, in the 90’s, Planet M was one of the best music, movie, gaming & book related retail stores in India. They had installed these racks where you could play a CD of your liking, put on headphones, and groove to the music! Come to think of it, I don’t think I’ve come across anything like it since it shut down! For an 8yr old, being surrounded by all that, in a swanky South Bombay store, was a pretty cool experience. Unsurprisingly, it became one of my top 10 favourite places in Mumbai, and it was memorable every time I went there. My first visit, however, was undeniably a turning point of my life. Because, that’s the day my mother brought home, Harry Potter & The Prisoner of Azkaban.  

You see, this third instalment of the Harry Potter Books had just been released, and my mother found out that it was being sold at Planet M. As she puts it, I was a very reluctant child, whose answer was always, “No.” She kept trying to find ways to get me hooked on to reading, to hobbies; ways to channel my hyperactivity & ‘destructive’ behaviours. She was extremely concerned that watching the television would numb my brain, and no sir, she wouldn’t have that. So taking me to Planet M, was one of her brilliant ploys of getting me out of the house, and away from the idiot box. She kept talking up this book she had read about, which was for children, and that she really wanted me to read it. I couldn’t have been more unimpressed, considering I was more caught up in the music CDs around me.

When my mother brought home the Prisoner of Azkaban, I was as usual, defiant, and wanted nothing to do with the book, simply because my mom really wanted me to read it. Sorry, mom, the joke was on me. She tried her best to cajole me, but I wasn’t interested at all! Finally, she gave up & decided to read the book instead. This just strengthened her resolve in getting me to read  the book. So one night, when my grandma visited us, my mother brought up the topic of this fascinating book she was reading, which had some of the most extraordinary characters; a school with witches & wizards, broomsticks, a hat that spoke and a gadget that turned time. Now, I was a lot of things, but a fool wasn’t one of them. Defiance & rebellion aside, if a book had a gadget that turned time, I had to read it! I think back to that night, and thank my stars that I changed my mind, because, that’s the night that changed my life.

To Be Continued….

Published by thatbhaumikgirl

If you have to ask, you'll never know. If you know, you need only ask." - Helena Ravenclaw

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