I Have Not Read Harry Potter

Interior of professor Snape's magic jags collection.


I have a confession to make.

I write this in the year 2017, and more than halfway through it. I am in my mid-thirties, and on the wrong side of thirty-five. I consider myself fairly well read, but – and here’s the confession, get your best gasps out – I have not read Harry Potter.

Well, that’s no longer entirely true, actually, but we’ll get to that in just a bit. Back in the day, when people would discuss Harry Potter plotlines threadbare and the next movie/book is all people could think about, yours truly would ignore the whole thing and get on with whatever he was doing. It wasn’t out of any active desire to not read the Potter series, mind – I just never got around to doing it.

And by the time Pottermania had gripped everybody, I was too far behind to catch up to it, or so I thought.

And to be fair, seven books is a lot to catch up on, and that too with each successive book being thicker than the one that preceded it. And what with one thing leading to another, and landing a job and getting married and what not, good old Harry and friends got left by the wayside.

Until, one fine day in the not too distant past (just last Friday, actually), I realized with a start that my daughter will soon start to read the series. And so as to better prepare myself for the ordeal of having to answer all of her questions (remind me to write someday about children and their questions. I might not be able to fit my emotions about this in one column, but I’ll try) about Potter, I decided to glance through the first Potter book.

By Monday morning, I had finished the first three, and by Tuesday evening, I had devoured the fourth. Truth be told, you ought to be grateful you’re reading this at all, because I’m on to the second chapter of the fifth book, and it is taking all my willpower to not abandon this column and go back to The Order of the Phoenix.

I don’t quite know whether it is the plot, the characters, the writing or a mix of all of the above, but I’m hooked.

I can’t wait to find out what happens next, and one advantage of being two decades late to the party is that I don’t have to wait for the next book. It also helps that the books are available on the Kindle Unlimited program, because a card carrying Puneri was never going to buy a book a day, no matter how exciting the story.

But finally, at long last, I’ve been hooked onto the magic world of Harry Potter and his friends, and this ordinary, Muggle-infested world seems positively dreary in comparison (most of these Muggles, if you ask me, are also in dire need of a hex or two. Especially the ones who drive on the wrong side of the road). The good news, of course, is that I shall soon be able to introduce my daughter to the series, and tell her what happened next.

Speaking of which, I need to find out precisely that myself. Voldemort is definitely back, and that can’t possibly lead to anything good, now can it?*

*If you answer the question before I have finished the series, I will hunt you down and bite your head off.

Ashish Kulkarni

Ashish Kulkarni

Ashish is a confirmed Punekar, which guarantees eternal undying love for the city, but also mandates an incurable sense of cynicism about it.

He doesn't expect the paradox to be resolved in his lifetime
Ashish Kulkarni