03 March, 2021

Harry Is Hipnotic

There's something about Harry. The global phenomenon washes up on Indian shores, with that magical hold over children.

Harry Is Hipnotic
Aspectre is haunting the dreary world of Indian muggles, us ordinary non-magical folks—the spectre of Harry Potter, the bespectacled, nerdish-looking, teenage braveheart wizard who battles evil. There’s a furtive minority that wants to exorcise this inspiring spectre. They claim Potter’s adventures, a heady witch’s brew of magic and motivation, is bad for kids the same way Satanism is. But Potter has nothing to fear, for manic muggles—call them Pottermaniacs, Potterheads—have embraced his riveting adventures with a fervour never seen before. Two hundred million copies of his first four books have been sold around the world, translated into 55 languages, plus in Braille, in 200 countries.

So Mumbai schoolgirl Zara Ahmed, 15, Potter faithful and earnest muggle, woke up at the crack of dawn on June 21 to join an early morning bookstore queue for Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. It is the boy wonder’s fifth adventure, a quarter of million words long, 766-pages thick and coming three years after his last escapade. By mid-day, Zara had devoured half...

More from Soutik Biswas

Latest Magazine

March 08, 2021

other articles from the issue

articles from the previous issue

Other magazine section