Quidd-itchingly Amazing

What could be better than pouring over 56 pages of fun,quirky Quidditch facts to follow up a quick read about the magical beasts in Potter’s world? Admit it now, all Potter fans must have always wanted to own this book since it was first mentioned in the Harry Potter books and Rowling provides all her devoted followers with just the chance(albeit at a high cost which can be forgiven since it contributes to charity like its companion book, ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them’).

So all you crazy, not so crazy, obsessed or normal Muggle witches and wizards, let me present, ‘Quidditch Through The Ages.’ Like its companion book, the proceeds from the purchase of this book go to the charity organization, Comic Relief, and like ‘Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them, ‘ this book too is simply fantastic and definitely worth all the money and good cause.

Quidditch Through The Ages‘ is a comprehensive history lesson of the noble wizarding sport, Quidditch. Everything about Quidditch that all HP readers have ever wondered about is answered in this slim volume. The book describes the emergence of broomsticks as a mode of magical transformation, the other wizarding sports, the development and evolution of Quidditch, the different Quidditch teams and the several racing brooms including Harry’s own Nimbus 1000 and Firebolt etc.. This vast treasure chest of Quidditch knowledge is supplemented by good illustrations as well.

Despite the book having a factual basis, it is very much enjoyable thanks to Rowling’s great presentation and writing skills. The book at no point becomes a boring history lesson. Instead with each chapter, fascinating as well as interesting facts turn up that make one marvel at Rowling’s rich imagination. She thought up not only the intriguing, intricate  plots of the seven books but also an equally enthralling history of the wizarding world’s favorite game. ‘Quidditch Through The Ages‘ is undoubtedly imbued by not only her remarkable imagination but also her quirky sense of humorous writing which also shrouds the way she has written about the development of this game. Some aspects( I would love to elaborate on them but that would spoil the fun for all future readers so I am refraining from it) mentioned in the book are bound to make you laugh and say LOL even if you normally don’t use this much abused SMS word.

Just like the Beasts book was a copy of Harry own edition, ‘Quidditch Through The Ages‘ is a facsimile of the Hogwarts Library edition which according to Dumbledore’s Foreword was very difficult to part from Madam Pince. Thus, in order to add to the authenticity, the first page has the names of students who borrowed them and all keen HP readers will recognize all those students immediately. This teeny book broadens all Muggles’ perception of the Harry Potter world and proffers a lot of trivia about Quidditch(like its many rules and fouls) and other aspects mentioned in the septilogy(is this even an actual word?) but are never elaborated on and also draws on a lot from the personalities of various characters from the main series( Read the section ‘Praise for Quidditch Through the Ages and you will know what I am talking about!). Although written by Kennilworthy Whisp in the wizarding world, ‘Quidditch Through The Ages’ has an overt Rowling style to it.

Quidditch Through The Ages‘ is funny, factual, fascinating, fabulous book that gives a systematic overview of ‘the most glorious of sports.’ Don’t go by its size. Good things can come in small packages and this package packs quite a powerful punch in its 56 pages!

Worth it all the way! Just buy it!

Highly recommended.

Beast Of A Book

Haven’t all Potter fans always craved to know just a bit more about Harry’s world? I am sure we must have all wondered if there are more kinds of dragons other than the four mentioned in Goblet of Fire. Or are pixies really all that nasty as described in Chamber of Secrets? Or what exactly are grindylows and kappas?

Taken from en.wikipedia.org

If these and more such questions pester your Potter obsessed brains every time you read the Potter books,then you will find, ‘Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them‘ an excellent guide to answer those very questions.

Written by J.K. Rowling for the charity organization, Comic Relief, ‘Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them’ is a wonderful companion to the 7 Potter books. The book is a treasure trove for all Potter fans.

It gives wonderful, wholesome descriptions of all the numerous magical beasts which we either encounter in the books, or are mentioned in passing and all the other ones that are not but are an integral part of the Potter world. This book is an actual textbook for the subject ‘Care Of Magical Creatures’ in Hogwarts which is mentioned quite often in the book series. So it is actually written by Rowling but the author of that book in Potter’s world is Newt Scamander which is what we, the Muggles, are led to believe. Moreover, ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them‘ is actually a reproduction of Harry’s own copy complete with torn covers and also the doodles and scribbles that it was subjected to by him and Ron and Hermione when it was in his possession. Both increase the authenticity that it belonged to Harry and make all Potter fans feel as if they are intimately part of Harry’s world once again. The latter are immensely funny when the reader is privy to their context and increases the fun of perusing this Potter companion.

Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them‘ throws light,in a dictionary style,on a myriad number of magical beasts, illustrating their characteristics, peculiarities, uses, habitat, dangers and much more. The book also illustrates Rowling’s witty imagination(not that we didn’t know of it already!). It is written in a (obviously) factual manner. This is balanced by the funny scribbles that it is peppered with which saves it from being completely drab and boring. It is an interesting volume with loads of information. Its like a study lesson in Harry’ world (the effect is expected as it is actually supposed to be a textbook). So all the information may not help you pass your Muggle exam but it sure will increase your knowledge of the wizarding world.

An excellent book, a must read for all Potter fans who are sure to find something to laugh about along with many nuggets of information. Go, buy it and help in a good cause at the same time.

Dreamy Love

Are you tired of watching the same,old,boring, cheesy, Bollywood or Hollywood romantic comedies or chick flicks? Do you absolutely scorn those ridiculous lovey-dovey songs that do nothing to take the plot forward? Or scoff at the, lets face it, stupidity of such films?

Then, Shakespeare comes to your rescue! Now the last thing most people would want is to read the Bard’s plays rather than watch those crappy chick flicks. You agree, don’t you? However, most of the plots of these contemporary rom coms have been inspired by his plays or have elements from many of them. The difference lies in the fact that the plays are far more intricately written than the soppy,mawkish rubbish that film industries churn out regularly.

Hence one simple Shakespeare play that is sure to lighten the scorn and fatigue created by scores of the more or less similar roms coms is the famous, hilarious, ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream.‘ You may have read a summary or watched the film but nothing can beat watching/perusing the actual play with its funny twists and turns, ample confusion and blunders, modicum of magic and loads of love to entertain you thoroughly.

Taken from ebookee.org

Now comes the plot which is rather complicated but I’ll try my best to explain. There are essentially three worlds described in the play-the world of Athenian lovers, the world of the fairies and the world of the Athenian workers. The play starts off in Athens where the Duke Theseus is waiting for his wedding day anxiously. He is to wed Hippolyta who is an Amazonian queen. To his court comes Egeus followed by her daughter, Hermia and two young men, Demetrius and Lysander. Egeus complains to Theseus about Hermia’s wish to marry Lysander which is contradictory to his own desire that Hermia must marry Demetrius instead. Theseus supports Egeus and believes that Hermia must do as her father wishes as that is the law of Athens,disobedience to which will result in death. Seeing that Hermia and Lysander don’t stand a chance against the duke’s or the former’s father, the young couple decide to run away in the forest. Hermia tells of this plan to Helena, her friend who likes Demetrius blindly but the feeling is not mutual. Helena tells Demetrius about Hermia’s plans and so he too goes in the forest in search of them and Helena follows Demetrius. The forest is the realm of the fairies and the King and Queen of the fairy worlds are Oberon and Titania respectively. This royal couple has been quarreling over an Indian boy who Titania has adopted. Oberon wants the boy for himself but Titania refuses to part with him. Meanwhile, when Helena follows Demetrius in the forest, Oberon sees them and hears their conversation. Demetrius is scorning Helena but she is adamant in her love.(One point to note is that the Athenians cannot see the fairies). Oberon summons Puck, an evil cum good spirit who is Oberon’s servant as well, and tells him to get the flower whose love juice when sprinkled on the eyes of a person on waking up falls in love with the first person who he/she sees. The Fairy King wants Puck to do that with Titania and tells him to sprinkle on an Athenian man(he does not specify whom as he has not seen Lysander yet) as well. Puck successfully does his first task. However the latter is messed up-instead of putting it on Demetrius,Puck puts it on Lysander and the first person he sees is Helena (One can imagine all must have broken loose in the forest because of this confusion). Oberon wants Titania to fall in love with some beast or an ugly being. Puck sees a bunch of workers rehearsing for a play which they want to perform at Theseus’ wedding. He transforms a worker’s, Nick Bottom’s, head into an ass and Titania sees this fellow first on waking up. This along with Puck’s mistake lead to comical consequences that have slight dark undertones and it is through these misunderstandings that the Athenian lovers find their love and Oberon is able to get back Titania’s affections and her Indian boy. The play happily ends with the marriage of the Duke to Hippolyta.

You seriously did not expect it to end any other way, did you?

Despite its predictable ending, ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream‘ provides a wonderful take on the notions and idea of love, provides a glimpse into Shakespeare’s mastery of weaving the different strands of the three plots into one fitting conclusion, proffers a peek into certain Elizabethan conventions of life, theater, patriarchy etc.

Now this is only a very short synopsis of a marvellous romantic comedy play that is extremely fun and merry to read. It does not and cannot encompass the play’s beauty,comedy and complexity wholly. There are so many layers to ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream‘ that one is perplexed whether Shakespeare wrote it only for mere entertainment or for other instructional purposes as well. It may not be one of his best plays but still remains a popular one that is sure to make anyone laugh. And if the Shakespearean language daunts you, don’t fret, it isn’t that difficult. Just try reading it aloud, going with the flow of the verse, comprehension will come to you eventually (Plus the notes and the annotations help a lot). And if you can, go watch its performance which will further deepen your understanding of the play and perhaps kindle a love for Shakespeare forever freeing you from the tedious rom coms of today!