Sep 5, 2003

Two days with Haribhai Magicwaalaa

Thanks to Samrat Sir's lending of book one in the series, I was able to read the first offering from KumbharwaDa. Or eschewing local lingo and BC-jokes, I finished reading Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (variously (and some would say "blasphemously") called Hari Kumbhar and Harry da Puttar: sorry if you're a Potter-fanatic).

I know I have been (by self-admission) unfair and uncharitable to the series without reading the book, but that was more targeted at some aspects of its commercialisation. I also know Rowling doesn't really need my approval, but I will unhesitatingly say that I found it quite readable and imaginative in its settings. IMO, there was more than a hint of traditional British children's literature as derived from Enid Blyton. Happily, Rowling doesn't patronise her readers, leaving them to unravel the wordplay behind The Mirror of Erised and its accompanying warning (or do I say: gninra wgniyna pmocc asti"). Also to her credit, she doesn't dwell on the differences between Muggle-dom and the wiz-folk, getting on to the plot without digression. It was always meant to be a big series, correct?

Another aspect is that the the visual creativity of the book readily lends itself to a movie adaptation, though as recorded here, I still feel the "Gryffindor (see? my orthography has improved!) have to win" requirement could have been handled differently. How about Principal D'dore awarding just enough points to tie scores with Sssslytherin and tying scores? Followed by a Quidditch match to settle the outcome? More Lagaan-esque perhaps, but then the occasion wouldn't be that of an end-of-term banquet, right? (sans wild-boar entrees (hog?) and singing bards).

Barbs apart, I will read the rest of the books as and when I get my hands on them. That is, if I haven't been vaporised or turned into a replacement pet for Neville by a fire-breathing Potter fan mad at my impertinence :-)

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