Every year on this day I write a Facebook post in honor of Harry Potter and J.K. Rowling and I talk about how this book series saved me during my rather turbulent teenage years. I was introduced to the world of Harry Potter when I was 12 and even though I’m 26 now, I am yet to find a book series which makes me as happy as the Harry Potter world had. A few no doubt have come close. But there was something about being a rather naïve twelve-year-old, believing that life couldn’t be going to a rather boring school and coming back home and keeping up with the apparently rest of the brilliant students in my class. I would actually daydream that Harry Potter might come bursting through the doors of our Assembly Hall and whisk me away on an adventure. Tell my school there had been a mistake, and that I rightfully belonged to Hogwarts. The love for the series grew so intense that I owned Harry Potter merchandise (thanks to relatives who live abroad and love me a lot), and I was the cause for envy for a lot of kids. But still, I wasn’t the brightest button when it came to studies. So…how did it matter that I owned Harry Potter merchandise?
One of the other things that I owned was a diary with a lock, and it was a Harry Potter merchandise. The cover was of Harry Potter and Ron Wealsey, on their way to Hogwarts on the train. Of Harry offering Ron some of his food, and trying to be his friend. When I was younger, I didn’t realize who was my friend and who wasn’t. And it took me twenty-six years to cast of people who were quite toxic from my life. Because something that Harry Potter did teach me, a friend never makes you feel bad about yourself.
Well, I moved on and through all the wrong decisions I made through life, I came across amazing people who shared my love for Harry Potter and who helped me understand that everyone goes through bad things. But you cannot let one bad thing define who you are. Sometimes, I think the only reason I pulled through school was my immense love for Harry Potter. The stories and the movies always had me looking forward to something in life. No one understood it then (least of all me) but through most of my teen life I was depressed.
Depression would be a pretty obvious thing of course when you’re reduced to feeling like you’re not good enough and nothing good would ever happen to you. Maybe it’s because of this that all the characters that I write always like keeping to themselves, that they all seem to suffer and sometimes doesn’t know what is it that has hit them. When you’re depressed, there’s always something you need to hold onto so that you don’t sink. So for me Harry Potter was that anchor. I’m sure J.K. Rowling knows that she’s saved countless lives by bringing the boy wizard into our lives.
But from my part, I would have turned out to be quite different had I not had Harry Potter as a ray of hope in my life.