I am a shy person. There are times when I am not, and with people that I am not so, but usually, I am. At times, I am shy because it is convenient. To not talk. Well you see, basically, I am shy. And a shy person has a lot of thoughts. Apprehensions and worries, some real and some imagined. I am also an only child – the introvert, only child. I have had imaginary friends and an imaginary sibling, growing up. Wait, that’s normal. It’s okay, read on.
I was in college when I first laid hands on a Harry Potter book. It was the thickest book I’d read till then (not counting Gone With The Wind). I was a bit apprehensive, for I was not a small child then. Nevertheless, I started reading and apprehension turned to, well…obsession, one might say and now this series is my favourite. Not just because of great story-telling, but because somewhere I believe Harry, Ron and Hermione had a fourth wheel and that was me. Am sure most HP fans feel so. We have all learnt most important life lessons from Harry and the rest, here are a few of mine:
Family doesn’t need to be blood-related. Ron and Harry are one of the best examples of friendship and how easily Harry slides into the role of the unspoken fact that he was more a member of the Weasley household than any other. I don’t have siblings. But I have a lot of close friends and few of them are family to me.
Pay attention to the quiet and unheard people. Luna was shy and considered to be a freak. Sounds familiar? Oh yes, I’ve lived my life being considered crazy, because I was different. I now make it a point to pay attention to words of those who nobody listens to and the underdog always has my vote.
No one is born evil. Of course, Draco Malfoy taught me this. We are all born with clean slates for our minds and whatever is fed into it, is how we grow up to become. We also have our own conscience which guides us. Even the most evil person has one – at times, hidden and at times, dormant.
Never stop believing in magic. The fact that I read this book in the last year of my teens and umpteen times ever since, with the same relish as the first time, is a proof that magic is ageless. Believe in magic around you, within you and in every other person & thing. You can see them, only if you believe in them. So, don’t stop believing!
In the end, love is the most important. “Do not pity the dead, Harry. Pity the living, and, above all those who live without love.” Albus Dumbledore had said this to Harry in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Love can move mountains; it’s true. Look at what a life without love did to Voldermont. Snape taught how to love selflessly.
Look for happiness and you will find it. Darkness can be comfortable. It is very easy to dwell in self-pity and surround yourself with sorrow. A few years ago when I was fighting acute depression, I read the Harry Potter series again. And when Dumbledore said, Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light, I re-read the line a few times. Call it a sign or a coincidence, though I’d read the book many times before, it was then that I started to look for happiness in my own sadness.
There is no end to list which will hold what all one has learnt from the Harry Potter series. While Hagrid and Snape taught that appearances can be deceptive, Ginny taught me how important it is to be bold. But the character I have taken the most from is, Hermione. She reaffirmed what I have always believed in – that reading can save your life. Reading has saved me and I am not apologetic about having my nose between pages of a book at all times. Hermione taught that it is okay to be a smart-alec. It is okay to know things, to be a nerd and to be a warrior. That one doesn’t need to be delicate and princess-y just because they are girls.
Lastly, Harry taught me to never give up. There is this one particular thing that I am trying to achieve since the last few years and I have faced more failure in it than I might have in my last 15 lifetimes, but I am not giving up. I fall, I rise and I begin from scratch, again.
I might never succeed but I know what I will always be. The girl who never gave up.
An Economist by education, Samarpita Mukherjee Sharma is an ex-journalist with more than a hundred articles in her name. Currently, a full-time freelance writer-editor, the highlights of her days are editing manuscripts and writing for websites, publications, businesses and government departments. She has also been actively involved with multiple projects of UNV and been recognized/awarded for her efforts. Having grown up all over the country, Samarpita is currently settled in Bhopal with her husband. Know more about her work at www.samarpita.in.