No, this is not about the latest Potter book that has caused the British-adolescent-bespectacled-wizard-loving-world to collectively orgasm, repeatedly and continuously in anticipation ever since it was announced for release. If you are looking for a review of the latest book, well you're out of luck, instead just go here or here. No, I am one of those quirky few who are still trying to find out what the heck all the hullabaloo is about. Sure, I loved all the three movies, but that don't mean much, just show me a couple of flashy lightning things, guys flying around on mutated horses, reptilian monsters going around devouring unsuspecting humans, British schoolgirls in short skirts and I am satisfied with my investment.
Books are a different ballgame. I am very particular about books. Books give me the freedom to invent my own virtual reality, and books being a long-term investment timewise and me being a lazy bastard, I expect the book to do most of my work for me. Now I enjoy a nice story of magic and enchantment as much as the next guy, God how I loved those Enid Blyton books about the enchanted wood with the magic faraway tree, celebrating homosexuality with the saucepan man, accurately depicting class conflict with the chronically germophobic upper-class woman living on the top branches of the tree, emptying buckets of laundry wastewater on the unsuspecting lowlife below (That just reminded me of a trip to my grandmother's place in Bombay, where some kid living on the floor above me threw his unfinished dinner out his window which landed on me, sleeping obliviously in the balcony). Then, there was the strange and vindictive wishing chair with those tiny wings attached to it's legs that flew to distant lands before electrocuting the people on board. Also, how about them pixies, the fairies, the elves, the leprechauns, the goblins, the gnomes, the brownies and best of all, those tiny trains that steamed around busily transporting the little people to their strange destinations. I remember when I was young, I spent many a day scanning every inch of my garden back home trying to spot one of these elusive trains which Enid Blyton had written so authoritatively and descriptively about.
Now I love bandwagons. I am constantly on the lookout for newer and more interesting and more hip bandwagons to jump on. Hell, I am to bandwagons what Mother Teresa was to suffering. But, the Harry Potter bandwagon I cannot seem to jump on. I initiated my foray into Potter territory this weekend, with the 4th book of the series "The Goblet of Fire", (incidentally, one I bought at the Book Mill some 6 months ago) and try as I might, it just wasn't doing anything to me. It wasn't giving me that familiar feeling in my loins I used to get after reading a good old Enid Blyton. I just couldn't get into it. All the talk about Quidditch and cats running after giggling gnomes and tables fighting each other in mid-air, it just left me cold. Granted, I have only finished about a 113 pages, but I am guessing the rest of the book is probably gonna be more of the same. I found especially odd, anachronistic and vaguely tasteless, the reference, in the very beginning of the story, to a Sony Playstation, which I found strangely out of place in a book that redefined ordinary humans as "muggles", and yet didn't bother to call a Playstation something else that would have sounded less mundane.
Apart from the Playstation goof-up, I don't have a clue as to why I am not getting it. As I said, I loved Enid Blyton. Is it because I'm getting too old for this magic shit? Am I getting dissipated in a "been there done that" kind of way because of all the high technology that has already infilitrated every sphere of my entertainment world in movies, video games, television and the like, thus removing the "magic" from Magic? I don't know. And why do I care if I don't get it? Am I just scared because I fear I am losing the inner child within me and becoming a blase sophisticated adult who has lost the ability to be excited by the Unknown?
Who knows. But I sure hope that is not the case.