Harry Potter. Ok. Long long ago when the hoopla started, I took the stance of a die hard Enid Blyton fan. I said that I would not, under any circumstance, allow my idea of a kiddie book be changed from an Enid Blyton perspective to something else. I refused to allow Jo, Bessie and Fannie of the Enchanted Wood be dethroned by Harry Potter and his exotic name wallah friends. And thus I lived for a very long time. I read no book in the Potter series. Malvika told me scores of times that I must mussssssssssst read Harry Potter. I snobbishly repeated my stance, and she very sweetly, very patiently tried to reason with me, that the two genres were different. I refused to listen, since I was very very contented with my view. My cousins swore by Harry. My nephews never touched a Blyton, but read Harry Potter in 2 nights! My cousin, who is all of 20 years elder to me was a fan. My watchman told me about Hari Puttar, whose books his son used to read - Apparently, his son decided school books were worthless, and he needed to find his own Hogwarts! And yet, I stood my ground
Then many many years later, while I was vacationing in Mumbai, my friend in Hyd, assumed that I would be a Potter fan, and when Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince released, she booked tickets for me as well, when they were going out together as a gang. I got to know from an SMS at 3 am, that I was meeting Harry Potter on such and such date, time blah blah blah. I kept quiet. Upon reaching Hyd, I told her meekly, that I did not know the funda of Harry Potter, and I tried preaching my 'value system' - Kiddie book = Enid Blyton and none else! Sounded more like 'Moochein ho toh Natthulal jaise ho, warna na ho - from Amitabh Bachhan's Sharabi'. She responded with a look that combined one of aghast + disdain + 'Kya pagal ladki hai' etc etc. So I decided not to belabor my point and just go with the flow.
This, turned out to be the turning point in my value system life! So, I was seeing the sixth installment of the Potter franchise. I did not know the names of Harry's friends. I had a vague idea of the premise and I had 2 Potter fans on each side at the theater. The conversion was complete. I fell in love with Potter and Hogwarts, and everything Potteresque. I loved the picturisation, I loved the old old cupboards in the upper stories of Hogwarts - it kinda triggered a new wave of imagination in me. I loved the magic, the characters, the nuances, the premise. I now want to read all of the books!
And that's when I realized that there was a key positioning folly here. Potter is not in direct competition with Jo, Bessie, Fannie, Saucepan, Silky and Moonface. Potter is for another generation, another age group. So my assumptions underlying my 'value system' were flawed on account of the prevalent data then (thanks to flawed advertising... huh), and hence some minor tweaking was desired! So I was justified in holding my view and even more justified now, in changing it. So now, I have my work cut out for my next term break. Harry Potter and the Goblet of fire, Harry Potter and the chamber of secrets, Harry Potter and the order of the phoenix, Harry Potter and the prisoner of Azkaban, Harry Potter and the deathly hallows, Harry Potter and the half blood prince - HERE I COME!!!!!