Parting of the Ways

Alhamdulillah this piece got published in Islamabad Dateline.



Growing up in the World of Harry Potter

July 7th is the premiere date of one of the most anticipated films of 2011, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (the final part). For those of us who grew up with Harry and his magical world, this date will be a kind of “closure” to the phenomenon that gripped the world: a bitter-sweet “parting of the ways”, to quote the book.

We had all thought we had said our goodbyes back in 2007 with the release of the final book. After all, the movies had always been a disappointment to the most avid fans:  Voldemort, the dark wizard who is Harry’s arch-nemesis, features no nose to an almost comical effect (admittedly, in the books he is described as “snake-like”); Mad-Eye Moody, Harry’s eccentric professor who has an all-seeing magical eye in the books wears an unseemly eye-patch in the movies; important scenes from Harry’s past are missing from the films, among other criticisms.

Yet book fans are always too quick to judge movie interpretations, and in retrospect I feel that maybe the Harry Potter Generation was at times too hard on the movies. My fellow Marauders seem to share my view, for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Part I) earned $125,017,327 according to IMDB ( on its opening weekend, and the second part of the movie has been predicted to be an even bigger hit on the box office.

So why does the Harry Potter phenomena continue to flourish? The answer lies in the magic of words. Harry Potter was not just a fantasy book series for our generation. We had deeper bonds, as thick as the golden Priori Incantatem threads between wands. I remember the first time I picked up The Philosopher’s Stone. It was unlike any other literary piece I had ever read. If the Famous Five series was full of adventures, than Harry had thrice as many; if Nancy Drew’s mysteries had drawn me, Harry’s midnight adventures under his Invisibility Cloak had me mesmerized. And of course, there was The Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry a 10 year old child’s dream school with magically appearing banquets, Sorting Hats and Quidditch.

The Harry Potter books had timeless lessons of loyalty, courage, friendship and love. As we grew up to face the realities of the world around us, Harry grew up with us to face increasingly Dark threats to the world he lived in. The later books symbolized political intrigues, fear and insecurity, lies and deceit—and ended in messages of hope with the classic triumph of good over evil.

As the Harry Potter chapter comes to a close, to the nostalgic its lessons will never die. The author J.K Rowling was also hoping to immortalize her characters on a new website called Pottermore. For the fans, that is hope that their childhood friends and memories will be shared by future generations.


2 Replies to “Parting of the Ways”

  1. Congratulations on getting published 😀
    and I was just thinking about this same thing. Harry Potter was an era for us. It defined a large chunk of our lives – the “Harry Potter years” – waiting outside the bookstore, for the very minute the next book was released, reading in class, while eating, all night long – just devouring the books.
    Good times ❤

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