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Sun, Sand, Stars and Dreams

The chronicles of a misfit Indian teen

Month

July 2015

Happy birthday JKR!

An introverted 12-year old girl stared wide-eyed, as a young green-eyed wizard with a lightning bolt scar on his forehead waltzed into her life and changed it forever.

She was delighted to know that she was born on the day that the first book was published, he very same year too. She felt that she had some kind of magical connection to the world of magic, which later became a worldwide phenomenon.

Six years down the lane, she believes that it was the best thing that could have ever happened to her.
This is a fangirl’s tribute to the woman who changed her life, through the books she had written.
Yes. I am talking about Harry Potter.
Harry Potter was the one book that helped me continue my romance with reading novels and responsible for making me read more.
But, most of all, it was the magical world where I could escape into. The one place I felt happy. I believed that the characters were my friends, that I was best friends with Hermione, the character I could identify the most with. I have the same bushy hair, obsession with books, and the need to do something good in the world. Twelve years old me was also a loner, studious, very concerned about school, and had a lot of insecurities.
I went on adventures with the Trio, cheered for the Gryffindor Quidditch team, cried when Sirius Black, Fred Weasley, Remus Lupin and Tonks died, and felt happy for the survivors, although that happiness was tinged with a bit of sorrow.
It was the one fandom, whose fan fictions were devoured voraciously by me, perhaps, to make up for the lack of more books. I started writing for the public, by writing fan fictions, when I was around 13.
Harry Potter taught me to believe in myself.
It taught me that it is okay to be different.
It taught me that bookworms rule the world.
It taught me that happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, if one just remembers to turn on the lights.
It taught me that a person’s character can be judged not by how he treats his equals, but by how he treats his inferiors.
It taught me that there is a bit of light and dark in each and everyone of us, but it is the side that we choose to act on. That makes us who we are.
Before I die, I hope I could tell JKR how much of a role her books played in shaping my childhood.
Thank you, J. K. Rowling, for creating a magical childhood for an entire generation, and for the generations to come.
Happy birthday, Queen of our hearts, and the boy wizard who stole our hearts! 🙂
P.S. If any Indian fan is reading this post, here’s something you might like. 😛

Conversations with the veteran auto driver.

Disclaimer: None of the views or opinions in this post are mine.

The day before yesterday, my second eldest cousin sister on my maternal side of the family gave birth to a baby boy. As Indian social norms go, we, that is my mother and I went to see the mother and baby yesterday.

But, because our driver had gone incognito and I do not have my license yet, we asked an auto driver to take us to their place. The said auto driver was someone known to my mother’s family since a long time. Maybe even 30 years or more.

A Chennai auto driver is almost what a New York taxi driver is.

So, the conversation my mother had with him went like this,

Mum (M): It has been ages now. How is your family?

Auto driver (AD): They are all good. My children are well settled, and they look after me very well. I rarely go on trips now. Just a few regular customers.

M: Settled? What are they doing now?

AD: My eldest son is working at a small bank, he’s earning well. My second son, ah, he’s really done well in life. He has a job in an IT firm, he earns a lot. Both of my sons are married. The eldest has a son and a daughter and the second son’s wife is pregnant.

M: How about your daughter?

AD: Ah! She’s good too. She has a son now. She quit working after her son was born. I support her decision and I think it is great. I’m telling my daughter-in-law to do the same thing. My son is earning well, why does she need to work now?

Me: Maybe because she likes working? Or that she likes having a great career?

AD: No. See, she can start working once her kid starts going to school. It will be very difficult to take care of the kid and work as well. A woman’s priority has to be her kids. It will be difficult for the kids too, not having enough of their mother’s attention.

M: So, we have moved back here and honestly, I find it very difficult to adjust. It has been more than 20 years since I left this country.

AD: Indeed! You were living in Dubai, right?

M: Yes, for a little time. Then, in Riyadh, somewhere close by.

AD: Oh? This Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Qatar and all are near to Riyadh?

M: Yes. Somewhat near. But, they are different countries.

AD: I know why you find it hard to adjust here, then. My second son was working in Dubai for some time. He took my wife and me for a tour of Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Very nice places they are. Even though it is hot, there are air-conditioners everywhere, very clean surroundings, friendly people, and everything available nearby.

M: Yes, yes. My niece, the one who gave birth to the baby boy yesterday, she lives in Singapore with her husband. That is a nice place too.

AD: Her husband has a job there? That is nice. He is from another religion, right?

M: Yes, he’s a Muslim.

AD: A Hindu girl married a Muslim boy? That’s scandalous! At least if it was a Christian, that’s way better than a Muslim. Now, what will they name this baby? Will he be a Muslim or a Hindu? It is a good thing that this girl’s sister got married before her. Because she wasn’t, no one would have wanted to marry her sister either.

I’m glad that my children don’t believe in all this love-pove nonsense.

Me: So, now that your children are well settled, how long will you work?

AD: As long as I can. I spent a lot on my children’s education and marriages. I don’t really have much for my wife and myself.

Me: Do you regret that?

AD: Spending on my children? No. Absolutely not! I’m happy that at least they are able to lead a better life than me. Driving auto and all.

Me: Do you enjoy your work?

AD: No. Not really. But, this is all I know to do. I am a loner in the auto-driver circle, I don’t really like them, especially these young men who are so rude, vulgar and uncultured. I am really glad that my sons work in offices and drive cars instead of autos.

Me: Really?

AD: Yes. Both my sons bought their own cars in the past year. My daughter’s husband has a car too. They drive to their offices.

Mum: Can you drive a car?

AD: No. I don’t know to. Never got around to it. I am scared of driving a car. I don’t know why, but after all these years of driving an auto, a car scares me. *laughs*

P.S. This is a first attempt at some kind of an interview. Do excuse if any mistakes are found. I’m an amateur. I’ll definitely love suggestions or comments on how to make it better! 🙂

In memoriam.

Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam passed away yesterday. For those who do not know who he is, he was a former President of India, a scientist and a great man.
I believe that he was the greatest Indian President that my generation has ever seen. I considered him to be a kind of role model ever since I read his autobiography in my 6th grade, when I was in an aeronautical scientist phase.
Even after I grew out of that, I admired him for his courage, his genius, his simplicity. He was a true role model. When he was to take the oath as the President, his special invitees were a cobbler and a small restaurant owner. Here are some more incidents that show how kind and inspiring he was.
He passed away yesterday, doing what he loved best, teaching a couple of college students. I did feel a little sad, but what annoyed me was other people’s reactions. Namely, my classmates.
Yes, I know that my classmates at college are a shallow, ignorant lot. But, even I couldn’t believe the depths they could go to.
When the news broke saying that the former-President has died, instead of having the courtesy to offer sympathy, the first thing that my classmates ask for is a holiday. The class group on Whatsapp went crazy with nearly 200 messages asking whether today was going to be a holiday or not.

When will they realise that when a person dies, it is not courteous to be happy about getting a holiday? What if the person who died was a close friend or relative?
This behaviour has disgusted me beyond the limit. How can people be so insensitive or immature?

“If a country is to be corruption free and become a nation of beautiful minds, I strongly feel there are three key societal members who can make a difference. They are the father, the mother and the teacher.” 

I dread the day when people like these become the father, the mother and the teacher. The world shall be doomed.

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