Monday, July 4, 2016

Becoming a part of the Harry Potter Fandom

The Cambridge dictionary describes a "fandom" as "a group of fans of someone or something; especially a very enthusiastic one". I for one, am a book worm and the first fandom I joined was one of Harry Potter's. 

There are some obvious reasons as to why young teens or enthusiastic readers completely fall in love with the flow of an epic tale. And there are other reasons that are not as obvious...

I have been a voracious reader since the 5th grade. When my dad gave me the final book of Harry Potter "The Deathly Hallows" on my 11th birthday (I'd not even started "The Sorcerer's Stone at that point), you can imagine my dismay at not having read the earlier books and my excitement to read them. 

The very next day when I went to school I found out that the tiny school library didn't have this book I was now desperate to find. surprisingly, it was our cranky old librarian who took an interest in my frantic search for the book. She asked me to get registered as a member at the State Library. Now you see, at that time, my dad was posted at Port Blair,  Andaman islands. The State Library here, was a little building housing an average amount of books. But for a first timer like me, who had never been to any other library, except for the little one at school...this was a dream come true. Books I'd never heard names of, authors with funny names, books in foreign languages, students wayyy older to me...it was like stepping into a world of books, where all the walls were literally covered with books. I'd been so anxious to lay my hands on "The Sorcerer's Stone" that I'd whined and nagged, till my mom was forced to take me to library in the evening. 

You see, I had been 11 when I read about Harry being accepted into a school of magic ...HOGWARTS... He had been 11 too. A vulnerable guy, with family troubles, a terrible past and yet a dauntless attitude with an adorable personality. How can you not sympathize or fall in love with him instantly? 

It is natural for every teenager to feel rebellious , out of place or lonely sometimes. I grew up reading J.K Rowling's masterpieces and would make it a point to watch all the movies as I turned every age with Harry, making it even more real to me.

My mom had trouble understanding, why I'd rather read about Quidditch than read classics like the Mansfield Park. No offence to Jane Austen, but at that point of time, flying on brooms seemed a lot more fun, than falling in love with the wrong guys over a proper English tea. 

Becoming a part of the Harry Potter Fandom was one of the best moments of my 18 years. Even as I realize, that it isn't reality...I still believe that J.K Rowling is a magician herself, for having created a world full of magic out of mere words. She has inspired generations. Harry is forever going to be "the chosen one" to me and to all other Harry Potter fans out there.

Be it Dumbledore,(who we later learned, duped Harry for most of his life at Hogwarts), Snape ( whose undying love for Lily touched all our hearts) or even Voldermort (who was just another shunned halfblood, who went the wrong way)...all the villains and vamps made some impact on us all. (Except of course, for Umbridge!)



Fred and George were among my favorites. I still love reading their mingled dialogues and cheeky tricks. Though I started reading to know more about Harry's life, I actually could almost always empathize with Hermoine. She was the girl who didn't have many friends who were girls, the one who always put up her hand to answer stuff. She didn't care much about the likes of Malfoy and read too much for her own good. Ron and his "Blimey's", or "Dunnos" was a forever refreshing and adorable character. One of the most touching moments of Ron and Harry's friendship is when Ron realizes that Harry didn't put his own name into the Goblet of Fire. I think that Daniel Radcliffe did an especially good job in that one. 

Fact is, I love being a part of the fandom. It was one of those de ja vu moments when I realized that there were others like me out there, who were just as crazily in love with Harry Potter and his friends. Mom is right...Harry doesn't exist in reality and there are no witches or wizards (visible ones) or flying brooms or moving portraits. But we from the fandoms keep them alive in our hearts, our minds and our memories of the good times we spent, curled up on a chair with one of those Harry Potter books for hours together. 

I think reason is over rated. I think quidditch is amazing. I loved Hedwig and I cried when Dobby died. I laughed at Ron'd stupid jokes and Hermoine's crazy rantings about books and potions and lessons. I felt as ecstatic as Harry did, when he flew on Buckbeak's back and as anxious as he did, when the first years were being allotted their houses. 

Though they aren't "real", they became a part of us as we journeyed through the roller coaster lives of Rowling's magical characters. Last but not least, to all those out there, who think Fandoms are "lame", I'd just like to say, that it's just a place or a group of people with whom we can express our thoughts openly without being nervous. Its just like any other community on the world wide web. Yes, we have have different likes and dislikes than you... and that's just it.. We're not wrong, just different.
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