My childhood owes a great deal to the masterpiece by J.K. Rowling, the Harry Potter series. It’s quite an irony (but then life’s full of them) that when I first got the ‘Harry Potter and the Order of Phoenix’ and the ‘Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince’ as gifts, I decided to stow it way in a cupboard considering it a drab gift. Little did I know the blessing that came with it.
‘Do not judge a book by its cover,’ or, in this case, ‘Do not judge a book by its size,’ for big as it may be, the Harry Potter books are full of excitement, fun and emotions which will never bore you (trust me, this is coming from someone who’s read the books for not less than seven times). So many people I come in contact with and who do not share my love for this, often look at me incredulously and say, “I’d never read those books. I’ve watched the movies already.”
“Movies!” I scoff. Movies aren’t even close to comparison to the books. Granted, the beginning four movies are pretty decent, but after that, the movies fail to meet the expectations and the standards of the book, which has a striking complexity expressed so simply. People who have watched ‘Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince’ do not even know what happened in the movie, and mind you, that book is one of my favorites in the series. I have CRIED when Dumbledore died (oops, spoiler alert?). The movie also fails to do justice to the intricate plot, one close to being flawless.
But then again, to be fair, one cannot deny that the movies have been a sensation. Highly entertaining, with all its flaws of course, but which movie has ever fully done justice to any book?
I wish I could ask everyone to read the books, but sadly, it is their own personal choice.
I can only say, please don’t throw away this lifetime by blatantly ignoring masterpieces like the Harry Potter books. Life is too short to live without magic.
So when I do meet people who share this love with me, it feels so great because there is a whole other WORLD we share together; the world of wands and hippogriffs and Hogsmeade and magic and so much more! There is simply too much to talk about.
Which is why, my best friend and I decided, we would go to a Harry Potter themed restaurant in Bangalore, the only one existing as of now. It was not the food we were interested in (shocking considering that both of us are such huge foodies), but the love for Harry Potter in itself.
It is called ‘Two Friends Cauldron’ located in JP Nagar Bangalore. It is not big nor striking to look at, I’d have preferred a more impressive entrance, but it’s what inside that counts right?
The café is small, bright and cute (a dark setting would have suited the mystery too), not perfect, but not bad either. The entrance is adorned with the lock opening charm ‘Alohomora’, and then in you go.
The walls are decorated with either Harry Potter quotes, potions and elixirs, or the Marauder’s map.
However, it was the Menu that stole the show. Creatively named, anyone would want to try it all.
The food was pretty average, except for the Treacle Tart which I did like (we had ordered Butter Beer, Lasagna and Treacle Tart), but we were hungry and all that mattered was that it all went in, including the scraps.
But what struck me most was not the place or the decorations or the food, it was the people in the café. It wasn’t hard to see that all of them present there belonged to the fandom.
Now let me ask you a question. Have you ever been to a really pretty restaurant and you’re dying to take a picture, but you’re afraid people will judge you? Fear not, for if you belong to this fandom, no one will ever judge you for wanting to take a picture with a wand and a Sorting Hat (a stick and a ridiculous looking hat to the layman). In fact, the fandom helps each other for the same. Nobody cares how ridiculous you look because everyone is just as ridiculous as the other.
And this was how it was in the café as well. So we went around the little café, wearing hats and robes by turns, posing with wands and helping strangers pose with theirs, all the while thinking, “What a wonderful, big family this fandom is.”
Because at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter whether you’re old or young, black or white, or whatever barrier you choose to build with your differences. All of it breaks when you love one thing so fiercely, when we have shared laughter and tears together along the journey of the seven books.
We all have been there in Hogwarts, shared all of the magic and the ups and downs together, and just as Albus Dumbledore would put it: Of course it all happened in our heads, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?