I remember when the first Harry Potter book came out. I was in college and quite contemptuous of the media hype and hoopla that surrounded the book. Only after the second one came out did a couple of friends persuade me to give them a read, so I purchased the first one off the pavement in front of the Indian Museum, and gave it a shot.
And I was hooked. I hadn’t been so glued to a new book in a while. What also excited me was that the story kept evolving as we lived our lives, that Wikipedia wouldn’t be able to give a summarization of the whole series. Everyone waited with baited breath for the new book, no one (barring the author herself and a few others I guess) knew how it would pan out for Harry and his friends.
Of course this very phenomenon gave rise to a class of people who got their kicks out of spoiling Harry Potter for others. Have you waited a zillion years for the next installment, then waited in line on the second day after it came out, paid 800 precious rupees for it, savoured the first 40 pages of it, only for a friend to speed read through it so he could torment you with the threat that he knows what happens and will tell?
Well it happened to me. And then he does tell you, even though you clamp your hands to your ears and yell nonsense words to drown out what he said. But it’s of no use. Your perverse human nature reads his lips as he says it…and there you are. That’s how my fifth book was spoilt.
Then for the sixth book, a guy who had never found occasion to message me before, took the trouble just to tell me who dies in the end. I had acquired the book just that morning, after much anticipation and penny pinching, and I remember being so infuriated that I burst into tears of rage.
Let’s see who does it this time…it’s almost as much of a whodunit scenario (‘Which Prize Ass gets gratuitous pleasure out of leaking the story to Ushasi this time?’) as what happens in the actual book.