Friday, July 22, 2011

I will not watch the last Harry Potter movie,

Because its not just another movie. It wasn't just a novel either. It was a world I literally lived in. You weren't just a novel character, ever. You were a person I understood.

Because I wasn't just another fan. I was someone who talked alone in my room, mimicking conversations between you and your friends. Because I literally slept with those books under my pillow. Because I remained awake night after night reading in the lamplight, only to duck inside the blanket on hearing the slightest noise around me.

Because I hated the movies for the twisted disfigured story they showed, but I still couldn't keep myself from watching them over and over again. Because I felt genuinely excited about wearing a S.P.E.W. badge on my chest when I went to see The Goblet of Fire. Because I keep a secret photograph of mine, wearing black robes and a pointy hat, holding a black stick I called wand. Because I thought that a Harry Potter bookmark was the most intimate gift ever given to me. Because my friends made me cut the cake on Hermione's birthday, and I thought it was cute. Because I own a Harry Potter towel, still.

All this wasn't because I felt Harry Potter was some cult. It was, and is, because it just felt natural to follow you. It was because you taught me that rules can be broken, and that its not a crime to play while working. Because I was a person who thought friends were a myth and friendship was a waste of time, before you made me realise what it truly could be. Because you made me stand up when I was scared. Because it was your story that inspired me to start writing in the first place. Because people may think I am still a kid, but the truth is, I grew up with you.

Every year since I read the books for the first time, I waited, with baited breath, on pins and needles, for the next book, the next movie. And now the wait is over. If I watch the movie, it all ends with a note of finality. If I watch the movie, there is nothing to look forward to. So where does one look, if there is nothing ahead? Look back and reminisce, or just close the eyes? Because, you know, some journeys are so much more beautiful than their final destination. And because this, for me, was a journey of a lifetime.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

What my lost purse taught me

Actually this post comes a long time after the events that happened in it. A few months back, I lost my purse in Forum Mall while I was shopping with my parents. When I say I lost it, I mean someone stole it. It was a precious pure leather bag, and I lost it along with a lot of things like my Debit cards, my ID, my pepper spray, an old diary containing all the articles I wrote as a child.

I was distraught, but more than that, I was angry. I hate thieves, I hate people who cheat. i hate people who treacherously take away what's not rightfully theirs. The purse along with all of its belongings were an honest person's earnings, and those vile twisted good-for-nothing thieves had taken them all away for their own honourless living. They had spoiled my evening with my parents, they had no right to do so. They had no right to enjoy at the expense of my tears, and yet they were enjoying, somewhere. It was so unfair that it made no sense. There had to be someting wrong with this world and with the way it worked.

Filled with contempt, I left for my apartment with my parents. The only thought I had on the way back home was - if the thief ever stood in front of me, even to apologise, I will punch him and kick him and hurt him till he bled for my tears.

Two hours after the purse was lost, my father got a call from the Commercial Street Police Station. The Inspector on duty told him that a purse containing an ID of Radha Sawana had been found on the Commercial Street and this was the emergency contact number on the card. He wanted us to collect the purse from the Police Station right then.

Off we went, I and Dad, and the Inspector showed us the purse. It was my purse alright, minus some cash and my pepper spray. I was delighted! I thanked the Policeman with all the gratitude I could muster, I really was immensely grateful. The Policeman asked me if I remembered anything about the thief, as they believed they had some leads on the culprits but needed more information to pursue them. I replied in the negative. Disappointed, he said, "We were lucky in your case Ma'am, at least there was an ID card with contact numbers in it. I have two more such purses, with no clues at all. And they did not register any complaint anywhere, so I cannot collaborate with other police stations for any information. Did you register a complaint somewhere anyways?" I replied in the negative again.

"Why?", he asked, "There is a Police chowki very close to Forum."
Backed up by Dad, I gave him the honest reply - "I didn't have any hope, or expectations"

For a moment, he looked hurt. Then he said pleadingly, "Madame, you should always register a complaint. It helps you and it helps us. Please do let us know if you remember something about the thieves anytime."

Thanking him again, we left, tired faces lit up with smiles. The distress of loosing the purse, and the awful journey till Commercial Street in the rains all remained a distant memory. Sitting in the bus, relieved now, I realised how quickly the Policeman had changed everything. It took just one honest deed, one good gesture to change all the accumulated destructive feelings. And that's when I realised, that Goodness rules the world. Still.

Its not so visible, but its Goodness that drives us all. If only bad things happened to everyone, we all would soon become violent cannibals and destroy each other. But we haven't. There's a lot of poverty, starvation, corruption, injustice, inequality, terrorism (etc. etc.) all around us, enough to make us all mad people. Yet, we haven't. Because sometime somewhere, something good happened to us all, and that is our strength. This goodness drives us to do something good, and this goodness makes us hope for good, expect for good, strive for good.

But we also underestimate this Good. We rarely ever realise how much of it is out there, running this world. We give importance to just the bad things. We remember the theives, we forget the policemen. Don't. Don't let the negative fill up your heart, because there's enough good out there to replace it. Enough, for all of us.