Whether you’ve spent your time waiting for the books or marathoning through them, it’s undeniable how much of an influence JK Rowling’s Harry Potter has been on every millennial. An entire generation grew up having their morals shaped and believing in just a little bit of magic, thanks to the boy wizard. It’s been 20 years since the first book, and Bengaluru’s Potterheads are all set to celebrate the magic with Literary Lounge: 20 Years of Harry Potter on June 25, 4 pm at the British Library. Dramatised readings, butter beer and trolley treats? This way please!
The first book, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone came out on this day in 1997, enchanting us to no end. 20 years later, the proud community continues to grow, a lot of them still believing the book brought them magic. “What’s obvious is that Potter has created a make-believe world for a generation which is about 30 years and under as of today, and is continuing to influence younger minds,” says Nirmala Govindarajan, the author of The Community Catalyst who is curating this event along with the British Council.
The exciting agenda includes participants getting to sip on butter beer, being sorted into their houses – Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw and Slytherin, participating in a quiz, listening to dramatised readings from the Philosopher’s Stone, and singing the Hogwarts anthem. You can also get your teacups read by the resident Tessomancy and Divination professor, while donning witching hats. Try to hold your horses, but you can apparently buy chocolate frogs from the sweets trolley too!
“I wish I get to read the bit about Harry entering Hogwarts for the very first time,” says Romal Laisram, who will do a dramatised reading of the book. For him, the book is everything pure and innocent and is reminiscent of childhood. He notes that this series was important for an entire generation. “I still know a lot of people who are hardcore atheists and will still fight for everything Harry Potter, like it’s real. Most literature is black or white, this isn’t. For instance, Snape was a character everyone hated, but he represents our dark side and teaches us that behind everything negative, there’s something that’s led us there,” he says.
A Potter maniac, Yogita Dakshina will be present with gallons of butter beer. “We are making a non-alcoholic variety with soda, vanilla essence, butterscotch syrup and fresh cream. There’ll also be a coffee variant,” explains the lass whose favourite memory of Harry Potter involves standing in line to get her hands on the latest book. “It taught us the complexities of how, sometimes, right can be wrong and how wrong right can be. With increasing choices that this generation is faced with, (meaning, more complexities) it’s more important than ever for them to read this series. Why? Because it moulds you into a person who sees different points of view and most importantly, it keeps you grounded,” she says, while Nirmala hopes that, “Each Potterhead meets other ‘wizards and witches’, make new friends, and relive the essence of Rowling’s magic world and literary text.”...