We grow up to wake up to a world where there is no prince charming.
We grow up to face a world where there are no knights or Mills&Boons heroes to sweep you off your feet.
Girls grow up reading M&B where aggression & torture is is the signature of the perfect guy, every girl wants a guy who will first force himself on her with passionate fury and then be gentle with her.
BREAKING NEWS PEOPLE !!
Thats not love where a guy treats you like a beautiful toy and then later on proclaims undying love for you.
As a fantasy its good to read but HELLO REALITY , there isno dark prince waiting out there for you, you only have real men with a lot o fimperfections and if you are lucky enough , then you find a soulmate with whom you can live a beautiful life amidst equal doses of happiness & pain.
You live in a patriarchal society where male dominance inits own way is cheered on and the women are always treated less, despite the fact that there are a few out there who are fighting for EQUALITY.
But coming to point, well lets just say that if I have kids of own, then am not going to let them grow up reading stories like Snow White& Cinderella or the likes of it. Hell NO .. not if I can help it.
Why would I want my kids to grow up with a delusion that the men are protectors and the women are just weaklings born to suffer in silence.
Harry Potter I will say with eyes closed is a very good place to start with, a world which can be a child's playground, because if you fall there , no one comes to pick you up, you have to get up on your own and make your way about it.
If your eyeballs are popping out of your socket right now and if you think that I have lost my marbles, I would request a little more patience, read this whole piece and if you feel that you have been reading the ravings of a twisted loony then fine by me, go live your life as you please but maybe , you might see the world a little different after reading this.
Harry Potter series written by Joanne Kathleen Rowling is a story set in a world that doesn't exist as of now, I wouldn't rule out the possibility of such a world existing , because there was a time when peoplebelieved the earth is flat and if you travel too far then you fall off theprecipice but now we know its round, but it took sacrifice on the part of a lot of people to believe this fact to be real in the first place.
Coming back to point, yes Rowling gave us a world thats not real as of now but she penned down characters that are very much real , every character in the book, you will find them around you if you look carefully.
Calling Harry the main protagonist isn't exactly right because this isnt just about Harry, it was about a lot of people, it was a story seen through the eyes of Harry but not wholly about him.
As an orphaned one year old child, he was left in the care of his aunt & uncle who weren't exactly evil as you might call them, theywere just too mundane to accept the fact that there could be a lot of things happening around them which they may not exactly understand but just because you don't understand, it doesn't mean its not real.
Lesson 1 begins there , just because you don't understand the mysteries of life .. that gives you no right to tiurn your back on it or mock it.
Harry grew up with his relatives, being tortured and bullied, he never knew love, he didnt have any friends to run to yet he survived, he wasnt damaged in his heart either, he was scarred but that didnt taint the goodness of his heart.
And this brings to attention the life of his tormentor, the very reason he became an orphan in the first place .. his parent's murderer ..Tom Marvolo Riddle aka Lord Voldermort.
Tom grew up as an orphan too, he grew up in an orphanage and in comparison he was better looked after than Harry, yet the cruelty of the world got to him, he was scarred and he let the darkness control him, even at asmall age he took pleasure in intimidating people, he enjoyed the fact that he had the power to instill terror in others.
So thats two orphan boys who grew up in different circumstances, one was cared for , one was bullied and the world knew later who was their saviour and who was their tormentor.
Harry's first ever friend arrived in the form of Rubeus Hagrid, his first real connection to who he really was, his first link to his roots. Harry for the first time in his life had someone who stood up for him against people who disliked him, he got his first glance into his reality through Hagrid who took him around to get him ready for Hogwarts where Harrywould finally begin to understand who he is.
The day he meets Ron & his family, Harry realises what he would never have, a real family but little did he knows that family doesn't always mean having parents & siblings, family is anyone that understands and accepts you as you are.
Harry is rich , he is wealthy thanks to the fortune his parents left him with, Ron grew up in poverty and we can see that Harry would easily exchange all the money he had to have a family like Ron's and there you realise that there are things in the world that money cant buy for you.
Friendship doesn't always happen between people who are within your comfort zone, it can also be with people who maybe a lot different from you but are still good at their hearts. Hermoine was easily disliked by all her batchmates simple because she was a bookworm, she was too upright but one little incident and you realise that her heart isnt so bad, that beneath her thirst for knowledge, she is like any other normal person who loves to make friends and have her fair share of fun.
And thats the trio we have, who teaches you that there is more to life than achieving success in your careers or finding the right life partner. Heck Hermoine even chose friendship over her love because she knew she was doing the right thing, now thats courage !!
To stand upto your love when you know they are wrong, she showed us that life isnt just about falling in love and supporting every single crap that your lover does, instead its about standing upto them and making them see the error in their actions. Ron even accused her of desiring Harry over him and not even that could rattle her.
Harry wasnt the perfect hero, he had loads of faults of his own, for one he was insecure about his happiness, and his anger stemmed from his insecurity, in book 5 when he is kept in the dark about the functioning of the Order Of The Phoenix , even when Ron & Hermoine were aware, Harry flared up, he was furious , he considered himself to be deserving to know taking into account everything that he had faced and survived by then. There were times when Harry despite having his two best friends by his side, felt he was alone, that there wasnt anyone who understood him.
Harry never wanted protectors .. he wanted people who treated him as an equal. He wanted people to accept his personality , his individuality, he was just an adolescent like any of us who was struggling to make his identity.
Ron , always in the shadows, Harry was admired & treated like a hero, Hermoine was intelligent but Ron had no special talent to show, he was just the best friend of Harry Potter & Hermoine Granger who were both extremely popular in their year. But that didnt deter him from being what he is, he was always their best friend, there were times when the feeling of being a worthless sidekick surfaced and that even drew a wedge between them but eventually Ron always had the humility to see the truth and he always came back to Harry because he knew that more than anyone else, it was him that Harry needed.
Harry always had an invisible protector in the form of Albus Dumbledore, whom he first met as his headmaster in Hogwarts but Dumbledore ever since the day Harry was born has always watched on him, to Harry .. Dumbledore was the hero, the epitome of perfection and Dumbledore can never go wrong but little did he know that he couldn't have been more wrong.
We all have our role models and we have the misconception that they are perfect, that they can never do anything wrong, this thought process comes from the ego within us, ego which wouldn't want us to admit that we are idolising a person who can ERR. We want our heroes to be perfect but have we ever thought that the people we admire can be people who have strived to lead a good life despite their many faults ??
Until Dumbledore died, Harry never knew anything about his hero , about who he was as a person. There is line in the book Deathly Hallows whichmakes this misconception of Harry to the fore, Harry while talking to Elphias Doge at Bill & Fleur s wedding cant fathom a 16 year old Dumbledore, to Harry , Dumbledore has always been the most powerful wizard who can never go wrong but then the bubble bursts when he reads Rita Skeeter's book on Dumbledore, the woman is known to lie mostly but she takes pleasure in flushing out the dirty secrets of great men and women, in simple terms, she is the best example of paparazzi in our world.
And because of Rita, Harry comes face to face with the truth that the man whom he trusted to be perfect was far too flawed at a younger age.Dumbledore dreamnt of doing everything that Voldermort did. He aspired to do everything that later on he fought vehemently against.
And this change in him stemmed from the guilt of his own sister, Dumbledore's brother Aberforth who was nothing in terms of brilliance next to him was infact a much better human being that he ever was. Aberforth cared about their little sister Arianna while Dumbledore the elder one was too busy making plans to become great, and his sister's death which involved his best friend then, Grindelwald forced him back to reality. It made him realise how small he was as a person despite all his academic brilliance, and Dumbledore knew he had a choice, to be a powerful person who wielded terror tobe a better human who would be loved.
And he chose the latter, to be human rather than a beast. It was his choice that eventually helped him play the large role he did in saving the wizard world. If not then the wizarding world would have had to face notjust Voldermort but also the dark wizard Albus Dumbledore.
Man always has a choice , no matter what your past is , no matter how badly you have been scarred, your present always gives you a choice and eventually its you who shape your destiny.
Harry understood his parents through the eyes of the people who knew them but his first real connection to his father came in the form of Remus Lupin, one of his dad's best friend at Hogwarts but he almost got his dad back when he met Sirius Black.
When life slowly seemed to be returning to normal for Harry,like all other kids, Harry finally had someone whom he could call as his family when he got Sirius but there you go, life was never a bed of roses, Harry had to watch Sirius die and he could do nothing but watch helplessly, it was Lupin who held a thrashing Harry in his arms as he saw his Godfather drift away.
But he lost Lupin as well, in the last great battle at Hogwarts, Lupin laid down his life as well, so its true when they say that here are no complete victories in life.
Because even when Harry did manage to finish off Voldermort,it also came with the cost of many lives, most of them who were his loved ones. For Harry when he first realised that Voldermort was his enemy, it was only about avenging his parent's death but Harry truly joined the fight against evil in the backyard of the Weasleys in the book of the Half Blood Prince and Dumbledore didnt want to tip his hat to Harry because he was afraid of showering Harry with spiders. It was there that Harry who had till then felt forced into the fight against the dark forces saw himself in a different light, and it was this realisation that helped him walk into the fight with his head held high because he knew he was doing the right thing, not just as a son who wanted to avenge his parent's death but as a human who had a moral responsibility to the society to do his bit for the worldhe lived in.
Women have always been portrayed as weaklings in our age old classics, always protected by men but Rowling gave us powerful woman characters. And here Lily James Potter must be mentioned because the entire story of Harry is based on Lily's sacrifice.
When Lily died to save Harry, she did it as a mother saving her son, an act born out of a mother's love for her child, she didnt know the far reaching consequences of her act, she never fathomed that her act of sacrifice would actually not just protect Harry but also bring about the downfall of Voldermort. People saw Harry as the saviour but in reality it was Lily who made it possible.
And she didnt have any powerful weapon in her arsenal, it was one pure emotion that brought about the downfall of the most powerful dark wizard of that time, it was LOVE.
It was Lily's love for Harry that saved him from dying that night, it was the protection born out of her love. It was Love that conquered evil that night and made it impossible for Voldermort to kill Harry who was just a toddler then, unable to defend himself.
So there you go, a woman who wasnt weak, a woman who didnt need any man to protect her. A woman who accepted death while trying to protect another life.
Then there was Ginny Weasley, she lost her heart to Harry the day she met him as a 10 year old but her existence to Harry was only as hisbest friend's sister and nothing more. Ginny though hurt by his ignorance didnt hold it against him nor did she make herself miserable just because her affections weren't returned. She carried on with her life, she bloomed into a strong independent young girl who had many takers. Infact she could have anyone she wanted. She watched Harry fall in love with another girl but she didnt let her pain out. Hermoine was the one who helped her out, Hermoine and Ginny are the perfect examples of best girlfriends. Hermoine encouraged Ginny to live her life, to make her own identity that just being a girl who wanted the HarryPotter and it did work eventually because Harry fell for Ginny & he fell hard. But whoever said love is a fairytale couldn't be more wrong.
A time came when Harry had to walk away from his love because his love could turn out to be his weakness. And Ginny didnt stop him,she didnt beg and plead with him to chose her above his duty. She had fallen inlove with Harry for what he was as a person and she knew she couldn't ask him to make a choice. When he walked away, she let him go because that was her way of giving him the support he needed to go forth on the perilous journey waiting for him.
So thats another strong female character.
Appearances are always deceptive and there is a character who can prove it beyond doubt - Severus Snape.
Hated by everyone throughout the first 6 books, hearts bled for him in the 7th book because he turned out to be one of the bravest men the world has ever seen.
In love with a woman from a very small age, loving her above all else , unloved by his family , not at all popular in school despite being talented, and worst of all he had to see the girl he loved marrying his archrival.
Life had given him nothing but loss, his entire life was a failure on the personal front but he died a hero. He loathed Harry because he was so much like James, but Harry had Lily's eyes and Snape could never let anything go wrong with Harry, he couldn't watch the life leave Harry's eyes ,not as long as he was alive, because deep down Snape had been the reason because of which Voldermort went after Harry. Despite the fact that Harry hated him, despite the fact that Snape could never whole heartedly love Harry, he protected him because he was Lily's son and till his last breath he kept his word, his promise to Dumbledore that he would help him protect Harry, between his hate for James's son & his love for Lily's son , love won and Dumbledore knew this.
No one ever understood why Dumbledore trusted Snape so much and Dumbledore never bothered to give any explanation because Snape's reasons were too personal and Dumbledore respected that.
But the real beauty .. the reason why Harry Potter series is so real is the central theme of it .. HUMANITY.
The single word encompasses all human emotions and Harry Potter has a bit of it all.
Rich VS Poor
Powerful VS Weak
Love VS Hate
Sacrifice VS Greed
Good VS Evil
You have it all, world from the time we can remember has always dealt with the issue of rich VS poor in various forms, be it the racial discrimination , the gender inequality , the religious tiffs, we have seen it all.
Harry's friendship with the Elves who are seen as nothing but dirt by the wizards, Hermoine's fight for elf rights and equality &respect for all living beings. It was Rowling's way of telling us to let go ofour inhibitions and to stand up for what is right rather than covering ourselves in the easy protection that our status offers us, she taught us to go out into the world and see a human as human irrespective of whether he/she is rich orpoor, whether he/she is black or white.
There are so many reasons and I can go on forever and it will never end because each time you read a Harry Potter book, it has something new to teach you, but to understand that you have to see past all the magical wonders of the book , you have to understand the raw emotions the book istrying to teach you. Don't laugh it away as just another fantasy because it isa book on life, a book that wont lead you astray, a book that can give you a childhood that the real world cant even dream of giving you.
It tells you that no human is perfect. It tells you that women aren't any less than men. It teaches you to be proud of what you are. It teaches you to break the norms imposed on you and to live life on your own terms. It teaches you to follow your heart rather than be at the beck &call of the society who wants to dictate your life but will never be there when you really want them around. It teaches you to be your own backup rather than counting on others. It teaches you to fight your battles on your own.
If anyone reading this thinks I am a feminist , if it is feminism to fight for equality between men & women then yes I am a feminist but in my own eyes I am a HUMANIST. I believe in equal rights for all humans, I believe that each human should be judged for what he/she is rather than judging them based on their nationality,their skin color, their religion, their assets, their family background and whatever other norms are in existence today.
I believe in the mystery of life ... I love being crazy .. I love being passionate .. and to all PotterHeads out there ... I believe in the possibility that a world like Hogwarts can actually exist, if not today then someday.
I love being ME with all the good & bad I am, but I will never stop being ME no matter where life takes me.
live like there is no tomorrow , laugh till your last breath, love unconditional , be human because thats what you are.