Sunday, September 11, 2016

Harry Potter Question :: Why no one notices ill effects of Polyjuice Potion on Hermione in CoS

I was seeing the Chamber of Secrets movie for possibly the billionth time [sadly, after my recent Hard Disk malfunctioning, I only have one movie which I keep seeing.]. During the course of the movie, on the scene where the three drink Polyjuice Potion and Ron and Harry turn into Crabbe and Goyle respectively. *drama building* Then the two ask Hermione to come out and when she doesn't *drama building* SPOILER ALERT the two boys ask her to come out... and when she does...

[Anyone who has not yet read the books or seen the movies - Why are you still on the planet? Go read the books and come back!! ]

She is a cat! She has cat hair all over her face.
Apparently, we learn, the hair Hermione got off Milicent's robes were not of Milicent but they were cat fur and also, we learn, Polyjuice Potion is ONLY for human transfiguration.

Now, everyone knew the second part - it was also in the book. Definitely, someone must have tried becoming an animagus this way. So, will someone let me know why or how could Madam Pomphey, Professor Minerva McGonagall, Professor Severus Snape, Professor Dumbledore and the doctors at St. Mungos (in the mentioned order), fail to identify the situation as the ill effects of Polyjuice Potion?



I presume Polyjuice Potion is a legal one - else Hermione would never brew it in Year 2 [she was still a good girl then!]. But certainly, it would account for - a) goods stolen from Snape's ingredients cupboard, b) the trio upto something when the chamber of secrets was open and there was a hazard to everyone in the school, especially muggle borns.

I mean, no teacher had a concern to this?
Couldnt any of them identify the potion?
If they identified the potion, couldnt have asked the trio about it?

In anticipation of some answers!!

Harry Potter Questions :: Section Introduction

September !! Ah!! The month for which all Potterheads await. The month, when the new year begins. It denotes, new beginnings!

This september.. September of 2016.. I am going to do some makeover for this blog and make it - 'Pages from a SlytherClaw in a Muggle World'

Also... The new section - Harry Potter questions.

Now.. let me tell you.. I love Harry Potter. Cross my heart and swear to die, I have read the books end to end many times and seen the movies a million times. Yet, there are some things that I am not very sure about.
Thus, all my doubts and queries, I will post here and hopefully you can help me solve them ;)

To Septembers :D

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Yellow-Co-Incidence

It was weird today. In the morning, I had no idea what to wear. I decided to wear a chudidaar-salwaar-kameez. The problem was still not solved. I still had many options to choose from - from different designs to different colors. The dilemma was there because I had two dresses in mind and I wanted wear them both on Thursday. So, for an ordinary Tuesday, I couldn't fix my mind on anything.
Finally, after good five minutes of thought process, which is like an hour for me, I decided on a yellow suit. Now there were three reasons for choosing this suit -

Firstly, yesterday (Monday) was a really dear friend's birthday. We met during our training program and there we celebrated my birthday. This yellow suit was the same I wore on my birthday then. Not compulsorily but I try to wear this yellow suit for most of the birthdays of my friends from the training. It was only my birthday that we celebrated together. Wearing the suit, brings some nostalgia.

Secondly, the suit is kind of cool around the neckline. I really like the suit for that. Also, I did a little eye liner and earrings to complement the suit.

Finally, the most important thing - I hate yellow. Primarily, I hate it because my mother made me fast on Thursday's and till the count of fasts didn't finish, I had to eat yellow and wear yellow and put a yellow paste on forehead and even bath with yellow water. All in all, I am saturated with the color. This color, as I said, is considered lucky to be worn on Thursday's. So, I try never to wear it then. I wore the suit today as last Thursday or the one before that, I wore the suit and there was another guy who wore a yellow shirt. I didn't appreciate the color coordination then. I certainly didn't want it to happen again. Hence, Tuesday was a safe day to wear yellow.
I was at my desk when that guy walked in the office. He was wearing yellow. So much thought process, for nothing!! 

Later today, I went to the cafeteria with a friend. I was speaking to the friend whose birthday it was. The other friend who was there with me, was looking at the menu for options. I turn around simply speaking on call when I see the guy in yellow, sit alone there, watching tele and eating something. As a well practiced habit, I turned away instantly but I couldn't help register the thing in my mind. I spoke to my friend on call and then to the friend I was with and then to the other friend who joined us later... I spoke to all of them happily but I couldn't get the image out of my mind. We crossed paths a few times in like five minutes but even now, hours after, I am still standing there - by the counter and the guy in yellow shirt is sitting there.
Somewhere I want to see myself walking upto the guy in yellow shirt sitting alone, sit beside him, maybe let out everything if I can but that doesn't happen. I am so well trained now to ignore that I don't walk there. Indeed, I just feel sad. I don't feel like walking to him for any purpose.

Surprisingly, I avoided yellow specifically for the third reason... And yet, the third reason sat there, becoming very prominent, registering clear in my mind, maybe wearing yellow for the same reason that I did.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Well.. first things first - Ignore the tags! Whatever they may say, this is NOT a book review. I will

never be big enough to write a review for any Harry Potter book. The entire series is a huge part of my life and indeed, it is something so huge that I can conveniently interchange 'life' and 'Harry Potter world'.

There is a friend in London and all I have spoken to him in weeks is about the play in the Palace Theatre and how I just need to see it. There was a puja (ritual) that we hold at our place every year; my dad wanted to have it today and I made him shift to the next week. I could barely sleep the last night - with so much excitement for the new book. Indeed, at a point, my mother actually shouted on me for being over obsessed with the book and forgetting everything for it. I just said her one thing - A life is well lived when we have a lot of dreams and we fulfill them. Otherwise, we are just breathing. To me, Harry Potter was that dream.
Despite all the above, I had a wonderful day!
This was the first book that I have obsessed over and got the first book from the bookstore. I was a fan even when the seventh book released but I was in school then. I had my dad buy it but I only read it when I came home from school. Hence, I loved today even more.

If I have to define my day in a checklist -
  • Bug your friend in London with Harry Potter trivia - Check
  • Insanely wait for the Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - Check
  • Cancel everything in the world for a week when the book was releasing - Check
  • Not sleeping waiting for the book to release - Check
  • Waiting outside the bookstore even before the books or the owner arrives - Check
  • Get the bookstore people to start quickly for me to buy the book - Check
  • Fuss with the bookstore people over not handling the Harry Potter books with enough consideration - Check
  • Buy the first book the bookstore sold - Check
  • Read the entire book - Check
  • Reread important scenes with Snape - Check
  • Fall in love with the magic all over again - Check
Current status - waiting for Harry Potter Go App and to somehow disapparate to London to see the play

Coming to the story... I got a call in the evening from another Potterhead. He asked me one single sentence - As a reader, how did you like the book? (ofcourse, I loved it as a bigtime Potterhead :P) That is also the perspective I am going to put here.

SPOILER ALERT : I have tried to not include any spoiler but sorry if there is anything :S

The book looks really big but it is not. This is the only disappointment I have felt. The book is actually longer than any book and it looks pretty thick.. However, it is just 330 pages of text. Also, since the entire thing is a screenplay script, therefore, all dialogues! Thus, the actual story is even small. The story starts a little slow and with the scene where we left it - at the Kings Cross when Albus begins his first year at Hogwarts. Before you know it, Albus is going to start his fourth year. However, it is then, the things begin happening. And it is also when, you can not even think of putting the book down... not even for a second.

Being a screenplay, the book is divided into 2 parts and each part has 2 acts... 4 acts in total. Each act has couple of scenes. Initially, it is a little difficult to read a Harry Potter story like this but once you are in it... you are in it till the end!!

This is NOT a spin off!! The story has MOST OF THE HARRY POTTER SERIES CHARACTERS. The book begins with Albus being unsure - what if he lands in Slytherin? Actually, he just feels that he is not at all like Harry - the boy who lived and now Albus is stuck with being Harry's kid. Someone, both the father and son, dont reach out to each other. Albus feels that Harry always is the Chosen One. And then, Albus takes it to himself to correct what he thinks his father does wrong.

During the journey, we see some back-stories - Draco, James-Lily, Ron-Hermione, and more. We see Professor McGonacall, Albus Dumbledore, Severus Snape - Do NOT get your hopes up. Yes, he is alive when he appears. No, he is STILL actually dead. I can't reveal more. The scene with Severus is really beautiful, though. Snape's reaction and all he does is amazing. However, let me tell you, dont get attached. We got some deaths that are equal in magnitude if not less, to the Prince's Tale.

The antagonist is weak. I mean, the suspense was already building and then the antagonist was revealed pretty early. Also, the antagonist did not stand up to the suspense built around it (wont reveal gender). The strong points were - we have lots of things from book 1, book 3, book 4 and book 5. Also, I love Scorpius. Albus and Scorpius are ultimate examples of - it is our choices that show us who we truly are, not our abilities ;)

I have not stopped beaming since I read the book. Indeed, I read Severus's part twice. My friend, also asked me that should this be made to a movie - this was something I was thinking about while reading. There is floo network, walking the wall at Kings Cross, apparation, transformation... I am not sure how all of this would fit in a Broadway... So, my first answer was YES! Most Certainly! And then... I realized.. We dont have Alan with us anymore and no way I am having anyone else play Snape. So, no, this can not be made into a movie.

If you check facebook or other social networking sites, there are so many people all over the planet reading this book and going crazy with joy. I have always been amazed at how some ink and paper has stirred the heart of millions and united them all. There have been pre-launch events and fans coming all together to celebrate a book. Jo, Happy Birthday.. and look, how words are so powerful to change everything!! Thank You for the eighth book. I strongly recommend all to read it.

If you still have not bought it... then buy it HERE

Happy Birthday Jo!
Happy Birthday Harry.
This one is truly for you Alan... We have lost Snape thrice now.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

The iPhone Conundrum

After a very long time (lie!!) I am traveling by the Delhi metro (well.. After quite long I am traveling at this hour.. Otherwise I traveled on Monday itself and today is just Thursday). What I notice significantly in the train is that almost every girl is holding an iPhone. Mostly it is 6s but quite 5 series as well. Regardless of the size, color, cover or willingness-to-flash the brand, an iPhone, nonetheless.

Just a couple of years back, I sought Apple products to signify two things - riches and even more riches. The first riches is in terms of technology - iPhone is a one of it's kind phone and Apple products have the market still in awe with the maintained standards, security and style. The second and the greater of the riches is definitely the Richie Rich type of riches. And yet, here, everyone (almost everyone) has an iPhone.

I am not pointing fingers as I, myself, am typing this on an iPhone. However, this iPhone is more my dad's than mine in the second sense of riches. I am still battling everyday with Google and the user manual on iBooks for the first kind of riches. It has been more than eight months since my dad brought an iPhone unannounced. Unable to decipher how to insert the sim card, he handed it to me. I had to call a colleague who had recently purchased an iPhone to find out the same. Since then, my status with my iPhone is much like a guy's with his crush - it's complicated.

My primary reason to carry this expensive beauty in my hands is none of the three S factors, I mentioned above. I use iPhone for my love for songs and karaoke. There is this wonderful app Smule, which was recommended to me by a friend. Now I had Smule on my previous android as well but that was only to fulfill my hobby. Smule on iOS offers so much more. It lets you use some modifiers and then record your voice. I fell in love with my voice when I heard it on Smule on iOS and thus in turn, with iPhone on a whole.

Coming back to where we started - everyone has an iPhone. And as far as my observations lead me to, iPhone is much, way much popular in girls than in guys. I believe (as I have also witnessed), this is due to the guys gifting an iPhone to their fiancee. This brings us to the conundrum that I am facing - I have an iPhone 6s plus, already. I am also quite happy with it, as I have mentioned.

So, requesting all the guys and girls, feel free to suggest me what else can I take take as gift from my fiancee as and when he comes ;)

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

The Alarm Clock

Every morning, I wake up to my parents endless (and quite effective) efforts. Half in the dreamland and half right here, I make my way through the usual tasks, that are so mastered that I can do them even in complete sleep. Next I leave for my bus stop where I need to await the bus.

Waiting for the bus is another experience in itself. Every day I will see the same set of people rushing by. Before my bus should reach the stop I await at, a number of buses pass by. The same buses and almost the same schedule every day. There is a bus which has K S Gupta inscribed on it. The name resembling that of a good friend. There is a bus for TERI. Another one for St. Mary School, for DPS RK Puram, for another location for my office. Coincidentally, I travel to GG7 location in bus number 6. The other bus is to GG6 location, bus number 7. Another bus that reads Durga, which would sometimes stop at the bus stop where one guy boards it. There is also a bus that reads Kumar. Three people take that bus from the same stop as I do. Curiously I have followed that bus whenever I could, and there is one thing that I noticed about it and that was that this bus usually comes before my bus at the stop but it mostly gets stuck in traffic and thus trails. Ironically, as I write this, the bus overtook mine.

Anyways, when finally I catch the glimpse of my bus at the far end of the bridge (that leads to my stop), I call someon. She is an HR at my office and boards the bus two stops after mine. It takes roughly 3-4 mins to get to her stop from mine. Every morning I would call her and then she would start from her home towards the stop. Sometimes she gets a little late and then I ask the bus driver to wait. Twice she has also put up a chase in an auto where I was her acting GPS. Other times, I am just her alarm clock, as she puts it. An alarm clock that never fails.
I first met her in the private cab that I thought to join to beat the heat. That, however, didn't work out and she ended taking the bus with me. However, maybe it's a part of her job but I do remember her smiling every morning and wishing everyone good morning when she would enter the cab. I used to feel that not being a morning person, I get cranky most during mornings, especially after fights with maa or when I know that there is a long day ahead. She would have to go through alot of ordeals too, yet the smile never failed. Thus, I try little every day to not fail. As a reminder, rather as a tribute to that never say die spirit... And be the alarm clock each morning.., be that tiny part of someone's life who once made me realizes, that it's a beautiful day, every day.

PS: I hope we over take the Kumar bus soon. It's still leading us 😔

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Be the Change!!

"When difficult times come, people change." - This is not something that you might have heard for the first time but it definitely is something that I heard today with a very different meaning.

I was watching the latest Bollywood movie Airlift, starring Akshay Kumar. The movie is about how the Indians escaped the adverse conditions in Kuwait post Iraq's attack. Now, like all Akshay movies, this is definitely a movie worth the watch. Bigger than that, however, the reason why I really saw the movie is because of 'Kuwait'. Kuwait forms a part of my childhood. And not just childhood, Kuwait has given me some really amazing memories that I am fond of. I would watch the movie even if there was nothing else except Kuwait. Though, on the same note, I am highly disappointed. There were very few stills of Kuwait in the movie.

Coming back on the topic; Akshay plays the role of Ranjith, who is successful businessman in Kuwait. He considers himself Kuwaiti until the unfortunate happens. An underage Iraqi soldier killing his driver in the middle of the road was the first wake-up call for Ranjith. Eventually, he not only becomes an Indian, but takes the responsibility of the near 2L Indians who was stuck in the situation.
When he faces some failures, the people around him get upset and bother him further. (To be honest, there is just one character shown - Mr. George, who is really stupid and nagging; though, I can't say much about the character in a public blog like this one... the character spoke Tamil and from the name belonged to Kerala.)
At this point, Ranjith's wife takes charge and says the same sentence. She telling Mr. George that Ranjith could have escaped with just his family and left them all behid. He didnt have to wait for the others, leave the bother part. She tells how people change in difficult times and so did Ranjith. If Ranjith had had been the same old self, he would have set the nagging people straight in a moment.

When she says that sentence, I can't help but think of how limited my thoughts are. If I had heard the sentence in a random situation, I would never interpret that the person changed for the better. Yet, here we see that people do. More importantly, everyone knows that people behave the bravest when they are least expected to.

Another beautiful thing that happened in the movie was - the picturization of the song 'Soch Na Sake'. There is a Kuwaiti women with her new-born baby in the Indian camp. While moving out the camp, people make noise about risking their safety for one lady (only George makes noise!!). Ranjith decides to take the lady all by himself in his car, with his family. He takes the decision and then introduces the lady to his wife. There is a moment there where the two of them look at each other and share a smile.
It is then later portion of the song starts playing -
"Aankhon ki hai yeh khwahishein
Ki chehre se teri na hatein
Neendon mein meri bas tere
Khwabon ne li hai karwatein

Ki teri ore mujhko leke chalein
Ye duniya bhar ke sab raaste
Main tujhko kitna chahta hoon
Ye tu kabhi soch na sake"
 This is a highly romantic song and I would never expect it to be played in a situation like this. Also, the understanding shown between Ranjith and his wife is commendable. In the start, it feels as if the things are not well between the pair but moments like this and many others, define what a real companionship means.
Honestly, truly, Hats Off!!!

Finally, we see where the Tricolor gets hoisted on the Airport in Amman (Jordan) - when all the people finally breath and air of relief. And it is the effort of the several Indian Government officials and the pilots at Air India, Indian Airlines and Indian Army, who make this entire thing possible.

Quite honestly, people keep asking what their country has done for them. But what we don't realize that the country does something for us each and every second.

Akshay and the entire team of the movie - an amazing effort! Thank You!!!

Thursday, January 14, 2016

I never thought that this would be the first post that I would make in this year. I never wish that I would have to write this at all.

There were always posts on facebook and other social networking sites that "One Day, a News Item should come that Jo passed away and my children wouldnt understand why I take out some old books named 'Harry Potter' and read them while crying." I am not ready for that. I am not ready for this either.

I come home from office.. and somewhere I was not feeling very nice today. But it was a good day at work. I had no idea why I had a bad feeling. I slept on my way back and just like that, it was all gone. I felt normal again.
When I reached home, I saw my phone and there were messages that "Snape passed away". I couldnt even make any sense of it. Snape was dead already, almost two decades earlier. Then why are people posting such messages. I couldn't even think, not for even a moment, that it was about Alan.
I just came home and like always, I switched on the television and connected my hard drive. I wanted to see a movie and decided to watch Death Hallows.

When I finally realized what had happened... all I could think of was the post... that when Alan
should be 80, he should read Harry Potter books.

Alan came to me as a person who believed in the goodness in Severus from the start (having been told by Jo himself)... this is something I shared with him. Other than that, he gave face to my passwords... Today when I tried logging in, for a moment I thought I wouldnt be able to, since Snape isnt there anymore. 

The final memory of Alan I treasure is realizing that he is 69. I never knew he was this old. Snape doesnt look that old. And as a joke, I realized that its just 10 years for Alan to read the Harry Potter series again.

Damn You destiny! I still cry everytime I see 'The Prince's Tale' chapter in the movies. How do you expect me to live this in real life ?

But you know something.. I know there is no bringing back from the dead but there certainly is not letting you go. I took out all my Harry Potter books and I am holding them and that is when I realize... you don't need to kill anyone to create a horcrux. Each and Every one associated with Harry Potter, even us - the fans, will never truly leave until even a single copy of these books exist.

You are not going anywhere Snape or Alan. It is a personal loss for your family... Other than that.. you are here... and even though I cry as I type this, I just cant help but this what a global impact would this have caused.

Today there would be millions other than myself who would be in the great sense of despair. Many with me, would wear black, to honor the man who wore the same robes. Many would be posting this and googling the same.

Snape.. (Jo)... look what you have done!! This is the magic of love and ink!!

A Pointed Revenge

The National Capital City of Delhi was in a state of shock. There were six murders in different parts of the city, each seemingly with...