Harry Potter and the Indian fan - one last magical time (Feature)

July 9th, 2011 - 2:40 pm ICT by IANS  

Facebook New Delhi, July 9 (IANS) No more Hogwarts. No more Pottermania. Is it really ‘the end’? Fans in India, as around the world, are heartbroken.

It was love at first sight for millions of youngsters in this part of the world when the Harry Potter movie phenomenon took off in 2001. Exactly 10 years down the line, their beloved boy wizard is set to bid adieu on screen with the last of the editions releasing July 15.

“It’s sad because even after the books finished, we at least had the movie to look forward to, but now there will be nothing to wait for,” said Aditi Singh, 12, a Class 7 student at DPS Dwarka, who is dying to watch “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2″.

The sense of identity was so complete that Antara Baruah, who was just six when she was introduced to the Harry Potter world and is now almost 13, still remembers feeling sad that she was just a Muggles, an ordinary person with no magical powers.

In the last decade if British boy Daniel Radcliffe, who plays Harry Potter, has grown from an 11-year-old to a young man of 21, so have his fans.

Ajitesh was only 13 when he saw the first movie “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone”. Now 23, he works as a copy writer with an ad agency and is experiencing mixed emotions about “the end”.

“Being a Potter fan, I feel excited as I have been waiting for the movie for a long time. At the same time, I am sad as this is it. I had been reliving my childhood with the movie. Fantasy, fun and action - it all will come to an end,” lamented Ajitesh.

Image consultant Siddharth Bijpuria’s affair with Potter movies started when he was a teenager.

“Harry Potter will be well written about in history as one of the most successful franchises ever. The whole experience is mystical, no matter how many times you watch each film, you just can’t get enough. In short, ‘Harry Potter’ is delightful imagination,” he said.

“It’s one of those things you want to keep living with,” said Bijpuria who hopes author J.K. Rowling “will be back with Harry Potter once again after a few years”.

For Rowling it was like a rags to riches journey. She was a struggling single mother when she wrote “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” in 1997, but its phenomenal success has now turned her into one of the world’s richest women.

Rowling’s seven Harry Potter books were translated into 65 languages and sold more than 400 million copies worldwide.

She herself was high on emotions when she put out the last boy wizard’s adventures in 2007 with the final book.
“It’s like an ex-boyfriend. I’ve never cried for a man as I cried for Harry Potter. Now we’re casually dating and we have been for two years,” said the author who featured on the 142nd position in the Sunday Times Rich List and is said to be worth 530 million pounds.

All the Potter books were eagerly awaited in India. Some loyal fans would queue up outside bookshops at 3 a.m. on the day of its release.

Chitresh Sinha, 28, thinks it is time the series took a break.

“Well the books are a different experience than the movies. There is an element of fatigue coming in and it is good in a way that the movie series is ending. But still, I’m still looking forward to more books and Pottermania throwing in surprises,” said Chitresh, a brand planner with Chlorophyll Brand Consultancy.

The movie cast - mostly British - too is sentimental about the end.

Lead actor Radcliffe said at the red carpet premier of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2″: “Each and every person, not just here in this square but around the world who have watched these films for the last 10 years, they will always carry the films with them for the rest of their lives.”

There are many fan websites about Harry Potter on the internet, the oldest one is said to have come about in 1997. The Facebook page of Harry Potter last book has 28,215,314 people liking it.

As Ajitesh said, “It’s not easy to say bye to something you grew up with.”

(Arpana can be contacted at arpana.s@ians.in)

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