In New Delhi: Hedwig’s Theme would be playing if this were a Harry Potter movie. I would put the John Williams theme on my phone for a simple Muggle like me. God bless technology. Since Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone has been a movie for 20 years, I, too, “think that a change of decoration is in due,” and rightfully so, to paraphrase Professor Albus Dumbledore. The Boy Who Lived and his two best pals are the subjects of numerous memes and posts on my Instagram timeline (who set unrealistic standards of companionship). In Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, no friend ever makes the kind of selfless sacrifice that Ron Weasley did during the game of “Wizard’s Chess.” Ludo is fun to play; you’ll see. And, of course—this is just the grownup me speaking—the Hermione Grangers of the world will triumph over you on every exam. My opinion of the film has evolved over the past 20 years, for better or worse. For me, the “Ministry Of Magic” will always be accessible only through Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.
I have vivid memories of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Not through the books, no. It was only done through movies. Although J.K. Rowling created the magical universe, people like me were Warner Bros.’s target market, and it would be an understatement to say that we were successful consumers. Additionally, this was before you could have an endless Twitter debate about books vs. movies. The Harry Potter movie series, to put it mildly, created a universe for me that I feel free to explore whenever it is convenient. But I also have the books on my list. One day, when I’m old enough to no longer be interested in what movies have to offer, I’ll switch to paper and soak in J.K. Rowling’s words and wit.
When the movie came out in 2001, I was a junior in high school. I first learned about Harry Potter thanks to the tours of the stationary stores where a boy in glasses holding a wand would sell expensive pencil boxes and pouches. I learned that there were DVDs for sale after hearing crazed buzz about the movie (read: recess conversations). It’s interesting how, even at the age of 26, the scratchy typeface and Hedwig’s Theme at the beginning of the movie make me feel as like everything will turn out okay. If that doesn’t sum up magic, I don’t know what does.
Hindi-dubbed DVDs and CDs served as my introduction to The Boy Who Lived since they were more popular. I still find it hilarious when Draco Malfoy asks Harry, “Darr Gaye kya Potter,” and Harry responds, “Darr our tumse.” There were other times throughout the summer when kids’ channels would show the Harry Potter films nonstop, and that was the only marathon I had the motivation or endurance to participate in. Otherwise finicky teachers would without a sure purchase ticket for the Harry Potter films. Not to mention our parents, who were coerced into the watch party and who never objected to the purportedly “kids movie.” Additionally, I have no problem expressing that I Hoping to levitate the feather, I “swish and flick” (hope I did it well, Hermoine) my ruler in the air while fervently chanting “Wingardium Leviosa.” Alternately, turn on the lights swiftly while exclaiming “Lumos.” failed to function! I mean, I’m a Muggle.
I now understand why I still feel tempted to watch the Harry Potter movie series on a bright winter afternoon or when I am having difficulties falling asleep at night when I reflect on my fascination with the Harry Potter film series. In my opinion, Harry Potter’s magic is not found in the flying broomsticks or the potions. Nothing like the resurrection stone, the master wand, the invisibility cloak, or the cauldron of spells could contain it. It follows three buddies as they make their way through life. Every creature had faith in Hagrid, even though he made a few mistakes and held a lofty notion that Dumbledore trusted him with his life.
It has to do with the fact that I used to believe I was Hermoine and have spent the majority of my adult life feeling more like Ron. It has to do with faith. Even though I’m an adult, there are some days when I just want to walk onto Platform Nine and Three-Quarters and vanish.
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