Sunday, July 22, 2007

The End of an Era

It was the day every Potter fan was waiting for - 21st July, release of the seventh and last installment of the series which many in our generation have grown up with. Having read the book now, I would like to issue a warning that this blog entry might turn out to be a bit of a spoiler, so go further if you don’t mind bits and pieces of the story being thrown open to you.

Jo Rowling couldn’t have thought of a better finale than Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. The entire story is so well narrated that you really can’t let go off the book once you begin. Unlike the previous books, this book as expected, is darker and moves at a expeditious pace.

I made my share of predictions in the Potter-o-logy article. Introspecting on where I went right and here I went wrong, here’s a brief summary:
1>Harry is the chosen one and he survives. I was on the spot there..
2>The Horcruxes were pretty much on target, except I missed out on Ravenclaw’s Tiara and Harry himself. As far as the latter goes, things were a lot different in the book because Harry now had the deathly hallows’ stone of resurrection with him.
3>Snape was on the good side all throughout. In fact, he turned out to be one of the best loyalists of Dumbledore himself.
4>Dumbledore was dead. I believed he would come back, but even though he physically did not show up anywhere in the book, he gave help throughout, through Snape and later in the chapter King’s Cross.
5>Grawp and the two-way mirror played important roles, thought not as big as I thought they would be.
6>The invisibility cloak was significant, because it was what got them to believe that the Hallows weren’t pieces of Xenophilius Lovegood’s imagination.

There are parts in the book where there is death and despair unlike any witnessed so far in the series. Nonetheless, all the way along, there is a sense of belief and reader’s kind now begin to understand the whole ‘power of love’ business which Dumbledore kept stressing on time and again.

All in all, a befitting end to a story that I had become obsessed with for quite a few years. As a Potter maniac,I am elated that Harry indeed turned out to be “the-boy-who-lived” at the end of the series but then somewhere down inside, I know that there’ll be no more magic to look forward too.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Wild and Free

“’cause I want to live like animals
Careless and free like animals
I want to live
I want to run through the jungle
The wind in my hair and the sand at my feet”

When Savage Garden came up with this song, I really am not sure what their inspiration was. But yes, the song makes you want to break free. No, unlike my last blog entry, this time I don’t want to be an animal. Through this, I pay a tribute to all those people who epitomise the spirit of this song.

It is a result of efforts of these people that we still have a lot of creatures walking with men into the 21st century in spite of man’s mindless and self-centred growth. Yes, I am talking of the wild-life experts, film-makers and environmentalists.

Personally, I was not as much a nature lover till I got hooked to all the channels which showcase riveting documentaries. A lot of time I spent in front of the idiot box is with the Irwins, Corwins and Attenborroughs. Perhaps, in this case the idiot box proved of a more productive use than otherwise.

There’s so much to learn from them. The situation was quite hopeless when they started off with their efforts. The only reason they have succeeded in their cause is that they were resolute. It is heart warming seeing Irwin’s children continuing to contribute to their dad’s dream, despite the fact that he was killed by an animal himself. The passion that emanated from his work is nothing less than inspiring.

The direct consequence of this is, having educated ignorant people like me and inculcating in me a passion for animals. The fear of animals has been replaced by a new found respect for the species who share our planet.

Nonetheless, I am still appalled to see that so little is being done in our country for animals. Stray dogs are abused on a regular basis, cattle is transported and placed in inhospitable and cruel environments, the big cats are killed for the hide and elephants, rhinos and hippos for the ivory.

Good work is being done in our country by a few individuals and organisations, but until the masses remain passive and unperturbed by what is happening to their environment and habitats of other creatures around them, not much can change!

“Compassion in the jungle
Compassion in your hands yeah
Would you like to make a run for it
Would you like to take my hand yeah”