After reading the latest installment of the Harry Potter series, I’m thinking if “The Prisoner of Azkaban” still remains my favorite Potter book.
Thickly plotted, the book is very gripping. Each line has been carefully written and nothing has been overdone. Even though we stumble on whatever has already told here and there, the repetition enhances the overall effect.
When I read the “Order of the Phoenix”, I felt that my cousin’s hunch that JKR was losing her touch was true. But “The Half-Blood Prince” proves otherwise. Unlike the 5th book this one is not hazy. It has a definite direction. Everyone seem to have more control over themselves. Harry’s love life has been made more subtle. It seems that the main role of the book in the series is to connect old threads and draw new ones.
There is one part in the main plot that intrigues me- the behavior of Snape. Why did Dumbledore trust Snape so much? Is there a more valid reason for Snape to kill Dumbledore other than the Unbreakable vow?
So, what might happen in the next book? Since JKR is indicating that Hogwarts might not open next year, there is a lot of adventure expected in the next book. We might be seeing more of Snape. We will, obviously be seeing Harry trying to protect himself when Lily’s protection lifts and after Dumbledore’s death Voldemort will be very active. “R.A.B” might be a new character who might aid him in finding the remaining Horcruxes.
And we Potter fans might have to wait for a long time to find out what the last book will be called, Harry Potter and “the 4/5/6 Horcruxes” or “the final struggle” or some other name that we cannot figure out, and longer time to read it.
Dude, Chillax Hard!
Watched The [with a capital T] ‘youth-oriented’ ‘yuppie’ chickflick. It was on Hungama TV on a Saturday evening. [and I thought kiddie channels only showed Harry Potter or Madeline or Mowgli…but this channel shows even Jhankaar Beats!]
As for the plot of this film, you have Cooldude Smartasscomments and his buddies Casanovaman Comicreliefman and Deepinprofoundthoughts Mysteriousartist. Cooldude bumps into Badhairday Chirpychick in a disco and tries to act fresh and promptly gets told off by her piece of Arm-Candy.
It turns out that Cooldude doesn’t believe in love and all that comes with it. After capers in [where else but] Goa, where Deepinprofoundthoughts gets his defining moment [he gets to talk about Friendship Forever, and also gets to tell this pushy gal how not to woo Cooldude using the sand on the beach as a metaphor.], Cooldude’s parents decide he’s had enough of a holiday and want to pack him off to work in [Omigod!] Australia.
Next, Deepinprofoundthoughts falls for Drunkendivorcee Olderwoman, dreams of them in some weird Elysium and even invites her to his Art exhibition. Ahh, all we need to spoil true friendship is a woman, right? So there we have Cooldude making smart-ass comments on Drunkendivorcee which leads to the customary slap on his cheek from his look-at-me-I’ve-got-a-pure-mature-mind-not-like-these-losers buddy. Paldom ceases and Cooldude and Deepinprofoundthoughts jet away, the former to Australia, latter heads for the hills where there’s an art school.
Meanwhile, Comicreliefman meets Hepchick Nothingmuchtodo. They fall in love in a cinema hall and have visions of [when was the last time you saw two people have the same dream?] dancing in styles of three different movie eras, which all have a common flappy dance step. Inspiration from the birds and the bees, huh?
Wait, there’s more.
Cooldude bumps into [as fate has it] Chirpychick on the flight to Sydney. And hangs around, not with folders and tenders, but with Chirpychick and her Uncle [Rajat Kapoor who as usual looks wowow, and is pretty understated]. Flexi time Overtime. Opposites gotta attract, so it turns out that Chirpy is in love with love and [inevitably] locks horns with Cooldude over Love in a song, in all her sleeveless splendor. But Cooldude holds his ground. So Chirpy takes him to an opera where the theme is [what else but] Love. [Director seems to be in a desperate attempt to bring back couples to cinema halls.] She swiftly translates the incomprehensible lyrics to Hindi, and explains all about love.
And he discovers that it is Chirpychick who fills his dreams, who is the apple of his eye, the flower in his heart, the light of his life.
But wait. There’s also a thorn in his side in the form of Arm Candy. And boo-hoo, he’s marrying Chirpy. Boo hoo again, she’s going along with it. Both Chirpy and Cooldude can’t hide their feelings too well [maybe they should take lessons from Rachel Green on this].
On the eve of the wedding, Cooldude can’t take it anymore, and proposes to her [on advice from Daddy Dearest and Comicreliefman and…Uncle] before a thousand-strong audience. Arm Candy’s parents Understand and Let Love Be.
Cut to Deepinprofoundthoughts having a dialogue with his mom pestering him to, yawn, get married. And he tells her about Olderwoman. Mom’s just admonishing him for that, when, [coincidentally!] Olderwoman enters and is pissed off that ‘all men, more importantly, of This Generation, are like that only’.
She hits the bottle after that, and since all bad women who drink are supposed to suffer, she’s got to die [and go to hell?]. Friendship flew out of the window as she came in, so she puts things right by going far faraway. Deepinprofoundthoughts and Cooldude are bestfriends again, and Comicreliefman rejoices.
Cut to six months later. Drunkendivorcee’s last words instructed the trio to have fun, so they’re in the middle of the Savannah on a picnic. Deepinprofoundthoughts is one of the heroes and deserves a girl, and so, one magically pops up in that Neverland. Everyone smiles.
Why was this flick a megahit? Why is it the defining standard for yuppie films? Is it just the clothes and hairdos? Is it the very unfunny dialogues?
Why is Akshaye Khanna’s character so poorly etched? Like, why should ‘mature’ guys be silent all the time? Why does he get all the seemingly profound, but empty dialogues? Why is the music wasted on the not-so-deserving scenes? Why did Farah Khan get an award for the choreography? Is it just for that flappy catchy step?
And WHY on earth did I actually watch it for three hours?
All I have to say to Farhan Akhtar after watching this and the lackluster Lakshya [Chirpychick again, with Deepinprofoundthoughts’ determination and ideas about love] is:
DUDE, CHILLAX HARD!!!
All that which is too dumb to be said, is sung for a dime. All that that is too dumb to be written in prose, is put in rhyme.
A cluster of Not-So-Terse Verse.
I walked into the bookstore nearby
To Advance-book that book held so dear by
Then my eyes fell on other tomes
Jeeves, Blandings, Swami, Sherlock Holmes
My nose betwixt the pages
My mind glimpsing images
Of a fictional world that seemed so distant
But only for that precise instant.
It was the world I knew not so long ago
To where I escaped in joyful moment and woe.
Ah! To thumb through Tharoor's tome.
Ah! To saunter through Caesar's Rome.
This was the end of my long vacation
Away from fiction for alien vocation.
No snooty proprietor looked over my shoulder
She didn't, with her gaze, leave me smoldered.
Coz, she understood, and did so jolly well
"This ain't no library, miss!" she didn't yell.
As I took in the Cornucopia.
The minutes ticked away, oh deah!
Soon, 'twas time to go back home.
So I chose the best of those tomes.
The total cost but made me wince
I'd spent twice more'n on the Half-Blood Prince!
I then passed my Card to swipe.
Blame it on the goddamn hype
That HBP costs way more than
Three of some other also-rans!
With armloads of books I made my way
To, beside my bookcase, spend the day.
There've been sleepless nights and headache-d days
But they're no hindrance to devouring Satyajit Rays
Or Wodehouse or Narayan or Ogden Nash.
Well, goodbye now, I need to dash.
Just stopped by to say a bit of thanks.
To her who made me break the ranks
And come back to reading
A hobby that's receding.
She did the same to Playstation kids
But, with me, in an other way than she famously did.
Must just say this before I go,
Merci beaucoup, Thanks, Jo!
This is an essay, I wrote in 6th standard for a competition conducted by the local newspaper, The star of Mysore. I won the second place and it was published in the newspaper.
Born on 22nd of September 1986 in Mysore, I have spent most of the time here. Whenever I get a chance to go out of Mysore, I do not miss it. But my mind will always be thinking of Mysore- My beautiful Mysore.
Why? I ask myself. I find that it is not easy to answer this. God has been very kind and generous in giving my city a nice hill- Chamundi hill-which I am told is older than the Himalayas!! Mysore has beautiful tanks like Karanji tank and the Kukkerahalli tank.
From our history books I have learnt that my city has a grand past. The contribution of the Wodeyars, who ruled over Mysore for a long period, made it their capitol, did so many nice things to my city. They have built palaces, nice wide roads, gardens, temples etc. I also learnt that Sir. Mirza Ismail worked very hard to beautify our city.
When I read the history books, hear things about old Mysore from my grandmother and compare with the city I see now, I often get puzzled. Why does it look so dirty, shabby and sound so noisy now? Then I realize it’s the dirt we throw around, the motor vehicles we ride or drive around, not stopping to think whether we really need it.
Then I start dreaming, dreaming of a beautiful Mysore, may be the Mysore of the days when my grandmother was a young girl like me. In that draem the roads are very clean and tidy, without potholes!! green grass on the pavements on either sides. Shady trees everywhere, lots of birds and no bikes and cars. Only bicycles and Mysore tongas everywhere may be as in China (my mother has told me that in China most of the people use bicycles to go to their workplaces, schools etc.,) The vacant plots with grass and shrubs with lot of flowers and no dust at all. Also no pollution.
Alas! I soon realized it’s a dream, after all a dream.
But then, why can’t we, you and I work to make my dreams- may be also your dreams come true?
D-Day is just around a week away! I am, of course, talking about the sixth instalment of suspense, thrill, amazement, no-holds-barred imagination presented in amazingly good writing by Joanne Rowling.
The gap has been incredibly long between The Order of the Phoenix and The Half-Blood Prince [more than a year and a half!] causing fan sites and popular childrens’ magazines to working overtime over speculations and conspiracy theories.
For me, it is just counting the days until I can grab my copy from the friendly neighborhood bookstore owner. Here are some of my speculations. And all those reading this, add some more!
As for the title, it is as cryptic for me as is figuring out the truth behind the Holy Grail [Forgive the expression, I am not a fan of Dan Brown]. All I feel is, the Prince will be a totally new character [and not Harry or Voldie as was popularly felt before JK quelled the rumours]. Or maybe, it will be the new Minister for Magic, as the title talks of Prince. Or maybe Godric Gryffindor’s descendant. [leads me to think... wasn't Harry's parents' home called Godric's Hollow?] Following is an excerpt from HBP describing the titular character:
(He) looked rather like an old lion. There were streaks of grey in his mane of tawny hair and his bushy eyebrows; he had keen yellowish eyes behind a pair of wire-rimmed spectacles and a certain rangy, loping grace even though he walked with a slight limp.
Hmm… Gryffindor is represented by a lion… so will it be Godric Gryffindor’s true heir? Or something to do with the British Royal Family [a bit too farfetched]?
Will Fudge still be Minister? If not, we’ll probably get an insight into the wizards’ election process.
We’ll learn a lot more about Snape, his boggart and his Patronus, too. Methinks Dumbledore used him as a spy as he’s well-versed in Legilimency and Occlumency, and hence could lie straight to Voldie’s face.
Maybe this book will be one set in troubled times with more Muggle disappearances. Who knows, Dudley might vanish [seems a hard bit of magic to perform] and return[!] all slimmed down.
We might see a lot more of Narcissa Malfoy, now that Lucius is going under. Maybe there’ll be a scene on Sirius’s Memorial Service.
Or maybe, Sirius isn’t dead as yet, and just disappeared behind the veil, for a reason, which Dumbledore knows best.
Now that his family is on the “right” side once more, Percy Weasley might want to patch up with them.
Fleur Delacour might make a reappearance. Maybe she’ll marry Bill Weasley.
Who’s the new Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher? The Ministry’ll want someone strong who’ll be able to teach students to defend themselves against all sorts of creatures [including Dementors, now]. So will Moody make a reappearance?
Or will it be Nymphadora Tonks? And will she show her cousin Draco good and proper? Maybe it’ll be Bill or Charlie Weasley. They were good students in their time, right?
Chances of Lupin coming are still up, as the new Minister might want to break stereotypes. But he dealt with Dark creatures when he taught. We’ll need someone who’ll teach dueling.
For that matter, why not Snape? He’s shown he really Wants the job. Wouldn’t it be easier for Dumbledore to appoint him and get a new Potions teacher? Or is the DADA teacher job really jinxed? Maybe that was Dumbledore’s defence mechanism. [maybe that's why Dumbledore hasn't done the 'easy' thing yet.]
As for who’ll die, maybe McGonagall. She is already in poor health, what with stunners at her heart. What about Trelawney? Voldie might kill her in quest for the entire prediction. Maybe that’s the reason Dumbledore is keeping her at Hogwarts. Some say Hagrid. Will he try to rip the Dementors limb-for-limb? I don’t think so, as there’s still Grawp to take care of. Madame Maxime? Maybe. And then, Fleur will probably teach at Beauxbatons [or Hogwarts]. Karkaroff? He was supposed to be killed by Voldie. Krum? And then Hermione can do a Cho and cry all over Ron….
I sincerely hope it won’t be Ron or Hermione. It probably won’t…. coz isn’t there one more book left?
Talking of Quidditch, Harry will probably be captain and so will Draco [who's going to be highly subdued]. And Cho. And maybe there’ll be a murder attempt in the Gryffindor-Slytherin match. [Now, I'm going overboard]
There must be some reason Peeves is allowed at Hogwarts. Maybe he knows Voldie from his boyhood days.
Maybe the house-elves form one component of the Order. Gives Hermione something to do.
Kreacher might finally croak, maybe clawed to death by Buckbeak.
Maybe Aberforth Dumbledore is the ‘familiar looking bartender’ at the Hog’s Head. Note that the pub smelt strongly of goats… and Aberforth was prosecuted for practicing illegal charms on a goat. [Not that there is that much of a very obvious link there]
We’ll probably see more of Kingsley Shacklebolt .
Divination….will classes be split between Trelawney and Firenze? Firenze has got to remain at Hogwarts, his clan won’t accept him in the forest anymore. Or maybe he will be the Centaur representative at the Ministry of Magic.
And for the romances….. Harry and Ginny? Or Harry and Luna? Ron and Luna? Dudley and Hermione? Neville and Ginny? Neville and Hermione? The last one’s highly unlikely, though.
Ron and Hermione? It seems kind of filmi, their constant fights…. and varied interests and backgrounds. This one’s the most talked about pair. Then what happens to Krum? Killed by Karkaroff? Dies in a well-orchestrated broom-broom collision? Or just plain dumped by Hermione?
What about Crookshanks and Mrs. Norris? [in that case, Crookshanks might be her second husband, she's Mrs., right?] Crookshanks is half Kneazle. Kneazles are highly receptive and intelligent creatures.
What if they have kittens? They’d be nursed by Filch, and they’d be quarter-Kneazle. Which can mean one thing….deep trouble for mischief-makers at Hogwarts!