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Harry Potter and the Cursed child -Review

The Hindu had an article about Pottermani when the book was released this Sunday, and I realised that one of the statements held true for me also. In 2007 when the seventh book was released it was my parents who bought it for me, but now for the first time I am able to buy a Potter book on my own… 😎 I was waiting for the book  on tenterhooks will be an understatement. Everytime I heard the gate open, I would rush to see whether it is the Amazon delivery man. Finally it arrived and my entire family very understandingly – left me alone. 😍😍 So after seven hours of receiving the book, here I am with my thoughts about the book. 

As advertised, this is not a book per se, but the script for the play that J.K. Rowling wrote along with John Tiffany and Jack Throne. It reads like a screen play of a movie and this is highly unsatisfying for me. The beauty of JK’s books were in the details, where she paints vivid images of the wizarding world with her words. I remember the countless times I have immersed myself in that world. I had always found new connections and meanings with every reading and it never ceases to amaze me what an intricately webbed and complex world she had created through her seven books. That complexity is obviously missing here, since this book is like an afterthought, a continuation made for the sake of continuing. (Not that I am not grateful for it – something is better than nothing, after all). And it does not seem to seamlessly continue from where it was left. Frankly, Lord Voldemort falling for a basic instinct of human kind is something that i am finding hard to digest. And since there was no indication for it in the previous books,  (the genesis for the plot began from there), it is yet again an unsatisfactory justification. Maybe you can take it as artistic liberty, but coming from JK who always left no loose threads lying in her books, the explanations given seemed… off. (once, I realised that the reason for Dumbledore’s fleeting look of triumph while listening to Harry’s recounting of Lord Voldemort’s resurrection in the forth book had its explanation in the seventh book) 

The book begins with the last chapter of the seventh book. So this sets the stage for the book – it is about the children of the wizards and witches who fought in the Battle of Hogwarts and how a chance to change the past is thwarted. 

It is an interesting storyline with the usual father-son, friendhip,  dynamics coming into play. They have brought many of the well loved characters into the story line. But I am sure that all Potter fans like me would have liked to know what happened to the other supporting characters – the Weasley brothers (why is Ron running the Weasley Wizarding Wheezes and not George?), Hagrid and the like.

And the book tries to cover the emotions and events of four years in small montages in a matter of 300 and odd pages. The book managed to well me up in all the right places, but the angst, suffering, loneliness which I had experienced intensely along with Harry Potter is missing here. And herein lies my biggest concern about the book and I couldn’t help wondering as I finished, could having used the basis for the screen play to make a full fledged book have made a better impact?

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Burundi – a paradise in the middle of nowhere – 1

The first time we heard of Burundi, we were all like – what? Where is this place? 3 years down the line, things are no different. Even now when we stand at the immigration counter, the officials go – “Burundi? What?….” Or worse still, people say, ” Ah, Brunei. Yes, I know that place. The Sultan of Brunei. Once, the richest man in the world!” Sometimes, I correct, sometimes…. I just let it go and smile, “Yes. Yes.”

Burundi is a tiny country, in central-east Africa. The country is land bound on all sides except the West. On the west is Lake Tanganyika. How do I explain this lake? A simplistic way of saying is, it is HUGE. I am not going to give the dimensions here, anyone interested can always Google it up. Let me put it this way, when i was talking about the lake to one of my friends back in India, she said, “oh yes, like our Mettur dam Lake!” How do I tell her that the Mettur dam Lake is akin to a tiny fishing pond when you compare Lake Tanganyika. I mean, you have beaches in the middle of the African continent because of this Lake. Beaches with non-salty, freshest, bluest water. If this was a more developed country, movie-makers would be clamouring here for their shooting schedule.

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Which brings us to another statistic: This is one of the least developed and  one of the poorest country in the world. (Hey, World Bank says that, not me). The irony is, the land is so fertile and there is no scarcity for water. Even the poor do not go hungry because they can grow anything on this land. (Of course, I am not talking about the urban poor or the nutritional value of their food – I am just talking about hunger). But there is no gold, diamond or oil deposits here; maybe that’s why no one is much bothered about this country.

Every time, we travel, we just can’t help admiring the beauty of this country. It reminds me so much of Kerala, by the way – lush green vistas, misty hills, red sand… And every time, we (my husband and I) say to each other, “When development happens (which I am sure, it will, some day), I hope they respect this beauty and work around it and not against it”.

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