Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Disclaimer: For those who haven’t yet got their hands on the latest (for reasons, I do not call it the last) Harry Potter book, do NOT read on. This blog will act as a spoiler.

For those who have…go right ahead!

J.K.Rowling has finally proven herself. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is just pure brilliant. This one book has transformed the series from a set of individual stories into one long interwoven spell. Like a true Hindi film, the book has all the elements of success – drama, love, sacrifice, friendship, betrayal and the one constant of good wins over evil.

Probably one of the few books which evoke emotions (Like the melancholy ending of Love story or the humor of Inscrutable Amricans), I would have been the saddest person if Harry had died in this book. Not for any other reason, but it would have proven that he was the boy who lived merely out of luck. But thankfully it is not to be. The boy lives on…and with him lives our hope of a better tomorrow.

Not revealing too much of the plot, I believe that the best part of this book versus its predecessors are the twists and turns in the story that Rowling managed to weave. You never know where the plot is leading to. Its also interesting how she portrayed the shades of dark in the greatest wizard – Dumbledore, defying the fairy tale logic of black and white. There is a little dark in all of us. The difference, as Dumbledore says, is what part of us we choose to follow.

And as I recently told a friend of mine, this book has done the impossible. It actually made me fall in love with Severus Snape. He emerges out of this book as the hero of all times. The one who lost his love but yet dedicated his life to protect her son. His story, seen in the pensieve was heart wrenching. Somehow, he doesn’t evoke sympathy or pity at the end of all this. He evokes empathy and love and awe. A moment of silence to honor a man who lived and died with dignity!

Slightly disappointing was how Voldemort died quite an uneventful death in the end. One would have expected the greatest dark wizard to go down dramatically, but it was not so. But Rowling, never failing to please, added the twist about the wands in the final duel, over-shadowing any lack of drama.

As most Potter fans, I wait with bated breath for the next one.. and hope like hell that there is a next one. Perhaps it’s little Albus Severus who takes on the role… who knows what Rowling has in store for us in the future.

Kudos to a woman who imagined this world of magic, a world that seems more real than ours and makes us ache to be a part of it. A world which shall for years to come, be talked about with the same awe that before only Enid Blyton deserved.

Monday, July 16, 2007

The boy who lived - Order of the Phoenix

The world as I see it is divided into two kinds of people - Potter believers and then there's the rest of the world. Harry Potter came into my (and millions of others') life when he was merely a clueless young kid. And he never left!

The latest motion picture, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is by far the closest depiction of the world of Harry Potter that Rowling created. The earlier movies merely managed to narate the story, but failed to capture all the nuances of the book. The wonder of the wizarding world, the awe of walking into a tiny ordinary tent and entering a palace. Harry's dread of the Dursleys, his ache to belong somewhere, his confusion of being the boy who lived and his thrill at being the youngest seeker.

The Order of the Phoenix scored on various counts. It managed to bring together the world of muggles and that of the wizards as two co-existing worlds. The order flying over river Thames on their brooms was not only visually appealing, but also finally brought the books in geographical perspective. The special effects were dazzling and befitting a series dedicated to wonder and awe. The scene where Dumbledore vanishes with a flash of light with his Phoenix fawkes was shot beautifully.

One of the best played characters was that of Dolores Jane Umbridge, the hogwarts spy sent by the Ministry of Magic. Her irritating giggle, the purse of her lips and her evil taunts almost make you want to reach out and give her a piece of your mind. Cho-Chang was a disappointment but surprisingly, Luna was a delight. She played her role to the hilt and you could do nothing else but like the little girl. Even Sirius Black was brilliant. Every time he would give that crooked smile and wink, i could swear that i heard a few hearts skip a beat!!

The movie also had a great sequence where good clashed with evil. Dubmledore fighting Voldermort was an awe-inspiring sequence. The two greatest wizards clashed their powers leaving everyone spellbound.

Why I love the Harry Potter series is something I will share another day. But for those like me who do too, one piece of advise - go and catch the movie. For once, you wont be disappointed.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

The click of a mouse...

“The time taken to travel across the world is now equal to the click of a mouse…”

So said a not-so wise person…me! The net is a fascinating thing. It manages to collapse geographies, cultures … seen and unseen boundaries.

I went to a hostel when I was 13 years old. In all the years since then, there have been times that I have been in and out of home….but mostly they never coincided with my sister’s plans. We started living in different cities since that summer. It was an age of self discovery…a time to find out who I was and what I wanted to be. Perhaps the distance between us grew larger as time passed and we became concepts to each other. We loved each other because…well, we were sisters and we were supposed to. But, if you had asked me her favorite book or what she liked to eat, I just may have been dumbfounded.

Time passed. Distances grew larger. She moved oversees and I got immersed in the buzz of university life. It was perhaps then that we started understanding of what we stood to lose by silence. And then we discovered the internet. The world was flat once more. We could bounce off thoughts, ideas, moods and just about anything off each other with a click of a mouse.

And I discovered my sister once again. I saw her for the person she was and the things that made her unique. We saw each other as friends for the first time, as two people with conflicting opinions but no conflict.

If you ask me today, I’m not sure that I can still tell you the name of her favorite book. But I can tell you what can make her shout with glee….or cry at the drop of a hat (trust me, she will when she reads this).

An ode to my sister….for being what she is to me and much more.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

One of my fav songs...

One of my favourite songs....something about it always manages to touch some chord...

Thank you - Dido

My tea's gone cold,
I'm wondering why I got out of bed at all
the morning rain clouds up my window and
I can't see at all
And even if I could it'd all be grey,
but your picture on my wall
it reminds me that it's not so bad
it's not so bad

I drank too much last night,
got bills to pay
my head just feels in pain
I missed the bus
and there'll be hell today
I'm late for work again
and even if I'm there,
they'll all imply that I might not last the day
and then you call me and it's not so bad
it's not so bad

andI want to thank you
for giving me the best day of my life
Oh just to be with you
is having the best day of my life

Push the door,
I'm home at last
and I'm soaking through and through
then you handed me a towel
and all I see is you
and even if my house falls down now,
I wouldn't have a clue
because you're near me
andI want to thank you
for giving me the best day of my life

Oh just to be with you is having the best day of my life

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