Harry Potter ? Life lessons and a little magic!

My daughter is turning 17 tomorrow. That magically Phenomenal age is just a step away from attaining adulthood. I was quite recently reading about a list that a group of readers had offered to a teenager turning 18… my thoughts veered to what I will be able to offer to someone turning 17.  Apart from the typical and almost lore–like knowledge that I can share with her, I kept going back to a particular series of books which has kept me company in good times and bad.

Having one’s firstborn is always memorable. It is your birthday too, along with the little ones. You are reborn as a mother. While reams have been written about the sacrifices a mother has to make, suffices to say – it is a newer you, particularly those who have been hands-on mothers. My memories of having her and subsequent post-partum depression were made bearable with the help of books – precisely four books. My Family and Other Animals (read, re-read and re-read some more) and the three Harry Potter books. The Harry Potters were lovingly supplied by my nephew, Swarup who came down from the US to elevate my mood, armed with those books.

Since this year happens to be the 34th year of Harry Potter’s life (my daughter turning exactly the half) and the 15th year, that the first-ever Harry Potter movie was released, I am going to fall back on one of my favorites - the Harry Potter books. These had, as I mentioned earlier, been there with me in darker times and in times of light. I will take 17 quotes out of Harry Potter to pass on to Kriti my daughter, so that she learns to create her own magic with her imagination, and faces life; Cause as Oprah Winfrey had very rightly said once – that the greatest thing Harry Potter has given the world, is the freedom to use our imagination.

  • “It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.” – Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets


  • “It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.” ?  Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone


  • “I'm going to keep going until I succeed — or die.” – Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows


  •  “We've all got both light and dark inside us. What matters is the part we choose to act on. That's who we really are.” – Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix


  • “Greatness inspires envy, envy engenders spite, spite spawns lie.” - - Harry Potter and the Half – Blood Prince



  • “To the well-organized mind, death is but the next great adventure.” ?  Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone


  •  “Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times if only one remembers to turn on the light” – Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban


  •  “You fail to recognize that it matters not what someone is born, but what they grow to be!” –Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire


  • “It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends.” – Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone


  • “The truth.” Dumbledore sighed. “It is a beautiful and terrible thing, and should therefore be treated with great caution.” –  Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone


  • “Understanding is the first step to acceptance, and only with acceptance can there be recovery.” – Harry Potter and  The Goblet of Fire


  • “If you want to know what a man’s like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals” – Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire


  • “Things we lose have a way of coming back to us in the end, if not always in the way we expect.” – Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix


  • “Words are in my not-so-humble opinion, the most inexhaustible form of magic we have, capable both of inflicting injury and remedying it.” ? Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows


  • “Parents shouldn't leave their kids unless —unless they've got to.” – Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows


  • Do not pity the dead, Harry. Pity the living and above all, those who live without love.” – Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows


 All these quotes, taken out of their immediate context are as relevant as life is to us. A single mother taught the world in easy and no uncertain terms, in simple lucid languages what many struggles to explain and elucidate.  What the great Bard Shakespeare said in ‘The fault dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves” in Julius Caesar, is exactly what she says.  That it is our choices that make us. It is all about the roads we take or we don’t.  J K Rowling through Albus Dumbledore, Harry, Hermione, Ron, Sirius, Mrs. Weasley, Neville, Professor McGonagall, Hagrid, Malfoys, Dobbie, and others teach us many a time that irrespective of death, betrayal, and the feeling of being let down, Life must go on. It goes on. It is futile to resign oneself in remembering the departed. These books have reminded me only too often that death is a gradual progression of life and one which is inevitable. They will, I hope teach the younger people that it is the best and sometimes the greatness that gives birth to envy and that envy may lead to lies and harm. Harry’s perseverance will be a sterling example that one must try and seek out what little happiness one can get even in the face of adversity. It will teach them that real courage means standing up for adversaries too if their causes are real. Through Dumbledore, they will learn that words shouldn’t be used inadvertently or it may cause lifelong damage.  Apart from numerous other heartwarming things, what they will also learn is that doing good unto others will yield well for them as Life moves in cyclic order. As we keep saying that Karma is a bitch… it will pay you back and what goes will come back.

So, muggles, which are your favorite Harry Potter books? Or the favorite quotes? Do you too think they are as relevant as I think they are? Won’t you share your magical moments with the magic that is Harry Potter?

Won’t you put your feet up, with a cup of hot coffee in your hands and savor the touch of magic in our unmagical muggle life? while the world moves at its own pace… 

Love and light or as Harry would say Lumos!