A Promise to My Best Friend


When I as per my custom refused to take the daily afternoon nap some 8 years ago, my mother enticed me with the promise of a new story. She wanted some sleep and thus began to tell me of a small boy who was tortured by his aunt and uncle and forced to live in a cupboard beneath the stairs. My mother being avid storyteller and an enthusiastic reader of books went ahead to describe the scrawny, tortured boy’s cousin who was far worse. But there was one thing which was very special about him. The boy was a wizard.

Needless to say instead of putting me to sleep, the story delighted me and I got wide awake and buzzed around my mother’s head for more details. What was the boy’s name? Harry Potter. I kept an incessant stream of questions which annoyed my mother enough to gift me the entire four book set of ‘The Harry Potter’ series as a Christmas gift.

The beginning of a new fantastical adventure in my life. A journey consisting of dark villains, mysterious incidents and wonderful characters that stayed with me well into the night even after the lights went out. It was pure inexplicable delight to hold these books in my hand and read them. Harry Potter still endears to many.

A bond developed between me and these hardbound copies which could not be tampered with. Harry Potter became a reason for renewed happiness. Reading and re-reading a page was what occupied my time. This was one book which could be read and enjoyed by everyone. The absolute sense of euphoria which filled me and my mother and my friends’ alike still stands as incomparable.

The book’s absolute joyful presence in my life altered it for the better. There was magic in the air which I breathed. Swirling and visible magic that made me stay up all nights to know the end of the magical tale. The book became an essential part of my growing up and what I am today as for many other people over the globe. The Potter magic was evident in the mass mania that that surrounded the release of a new book. Everyone wanted to be a part of that mania. It was the harbinger of many roller coaster emotional rides. Harry’s growing up seemed like a universal coming off age phenomena for the world around me. The ultimate battle, the final book, the last page and the word that ended the series was something which I could never imagine…

The series had to go on. The last word of Deathly Hallows where the conflict gets resolved was never final. In my eyes, it was still a journey which I undertaken with the teenage Potter. A journey that was cheerfulness manifest with chaos and a Manichean battle. The pure and absolute joy of however holding that book remains unparalleled till this date.

It introduced me to something which tingled my senses. I opened my eyes wide awake to imagination. I could imagine myself to be a witch and I have no shame in admitting that when I turned 11, I did really shed tears thinking that I was not a witch. Harry’s aggression and despair could move me. I could feel. In a way I as an elementary reader had my cathartic vision which satisfied me. Later, I could detach myself but I still could not stop marveling. These books still call out to me in a hypnotic manner seducing me into reading them. The book was a safe sanctuary. I could get lost in it. It’s not just one book but everyone somewhere in their lives has ‘that’ book which fills them with ecstasy and wonder and makes them look forward to a life which filled with the magnificence which the book promised. I looked at the world through the eyes of Harry Potter and enjoyed each and every bit of it. This piece is for all those books which gave us this wonder and made us feel this magic. It is a promise to that one constant best friend, I will never let the magic stop.


Shrehya Taneja

English literature student pursuing masters who likes to view the world through the rose tinted lenses of poetry and wonderful webs of words. still in the process of discovering my identity and a staunch believer in fighting for one's own rights.