Transcribed thoughts while reading Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, NOT by J K Rowing

I cannot review Harry Potter and the Cursed Child because I do not want to. So instead,  have a transcript of the WhatsApp conversation between myself and Diptee Raut that went on as I read it last night.

[21.31] Bea: Starting HPCC

[21.35] Bea: 😐 😐 😐

[21.36] Bea: Voldemort’s son wtf

[21.38] Bea: Lolwut

[21.40] Tea: Yeah that. 😀

[21.46] Bea: On the roof. Of Hogwarts Express. This has just turned into a Rajnikanth movie

[21.48] Bea: Trolley witch has turned into Edward Scissorhands

[21.49] Bea: But is still unable to prevent the escape of two juveniles. How has she been doing her work for two centuries. Are these boys more resourceful than Gred and Forge?

[21.49] Bea: Also, I get the luck or love reference now 🙂 We should totes make Felix Felecis-Amortentia charms.

[21.50] Tea: Trolley witch bit was total WTF!

[22.03] Bea: How did they get bits of HRH for the polyjuice?

[22.05] Tea: Albus managed it at the station 😐

[22.05] Bea: Right. Before he knew he would need it

[22.10] Bea: Eurgh eurgh Albus is kissing his mamima and asking her for sex

[22.11] Bea: Eurgh

[22.12] Bea: 😀 😀 😀 you have my chat window open. You like this, bitch, don’t you?

[22.15]Tea: :D:D 😀 😀

[22.15] Tea: And I cannot stop laughing

[22:19] Tea: You will hate all throughout how Ron has been portrayed. Why did Auntie have to do this?

[22:20] Tea: Okay I will start giving spoilers if I stay on this window anymore

[22:23] Bea: No, stay please. This is too much fun.

[22:23] Bea: Like the Cannibal Book of Cannibalism

[22:23] Bea: Like the Cannibal Book of Cannibalism

[22:23] Tea: Books… all of em!

[22:27] Bea: Right. So Hermione’s defence system is basically a party treasure hunt

[22:27] Bea: That 13 year olds can crack no problem

[22:28] Tea: Not any 13 year old, Scorpius

[22:29] Bea: Young Harry had a wet dream. This book is slowly eating me alive

[22:29] Bea: Like the killer library

[22:34] Tea: 😀

[22:34] Bea: Right

[22:34] Bea:  You know what. I bet Amos is Voldemort on Polyjuice

[22:35] Bea: We know Polyjuice ingredients have been stolen

[22:35] Bea: And they had Polyjuice with them

[22:36] Tea: Yeah… I am saying nothing.

[22:37] Bea: Accha, this Hermione is black, right?

[22:37] Bea: So the Weasleys have got two black bahus

[22:38] Bea: And now Bane says there is a black cloud around Albus. Maybe it is Hermione. Whom he has made out with.

[22:39] Bea: Also, whenever I read Bane I imagine him with the weird Tom Hardy face mask

[22:42] Bea: Krazy Krum

[22:42] Bea: Plucky Potter

[22:42] Bea: Delicious Diggory 😐 😐 

[22:43] Bea: Why not Fellatiating Fleur?

[22:47] Bea: Panju???!!!

[22:48] Bea: Alternate reality Padma has named her child after a slur used for Punjabis 😐 😐 😐 😐

[22:48] Bea: You Marathis are such racist bastards

[22:51] Bea: Right. Ron is Panju ka Baap and Harry is Ullu ka Pattha now

[22:51] Bea: Where is Hermione? Is she a stripper in this alternate reality?

[22:52] Tea: After reading Panju, I just laughed insanely nonstop 10 minutes

[22:52] Tea: Yeah… you will hate Hermione in this reality

[22:53] Tea: Aren’t you already hating Harry for being such a tyrant?

[22:53] Tea: The trio is just not like the trio

[22:54] Tea: Ron is reduced to nothing!

[22:54] Bea: Harry is an asshole, Ron is a buffoon

[22:54] Tea: The joke guy!

[22:54] Tea: With bad jokes

[22:54] Bea: Ginny has no role

[22:54] Tea: Redundant

[22:54] Bea: Hermione is in character so far

[22:56] Bea: Right. Scrap that. Hermione is now Harpy from the seventh hell.

[22:56] Tea: I thought she was totally OOC as the Snape-ish prof. Not being with Ron can just not make her mean!

[22:59] Tea: And you want to slap Harry for everything in this reality… especially for bossing around McGonagall

[22:59] Tea: I am really sleepy now.

[23:00] Tea: But will stay awake as long as I can

[23:01] Bea: This bromance though

[23:01] Bea: I wish Albus would just bugger Scorpius already

[23:02] Bea: Maybe that is what happens. They have sex and unleash Voldemort

[23:02] Tea: Awwwwwww the hugs

[23:02] Tea: ❤

[23:03] Bea: There is absolutely no need for Scorpius to have a boner for Rose when it is Albus he is “meant to be together” with

[23:03] Bea: Heteronormativity cop-out

[23:03] Bea: Also, they invented some spells exclusively for that insane duel

[23:03] Tea: Yes

[23:03] Tea: New spells

[23:03] Bea: Rectumsempra

[23:03] Bea: Matlab gaar faar do uski

[23:03] Tea: Exactly

[23:08] Bea: Tee hee

[23:08] Bea: Tee hee                                                              

[23:10] Tea: 😀 😀

[23:10] Bea: I don’t understand how the time travel reduced Ron’s IQ by half

[23:11] Bea: Friend friend funny friend my funny Hermione?

[23:11] Tea: Hermione would have been some influence na

[23:11] Bea: Must be because he is living with a Marathi

[23:11] Tea: Bitch!

[23:11] Bea: Remind me to warn Subhro

[23:12] Tea:  X(

[23:15] Bea: Myrtle sounds like Munmun Sen

[23:15] Bea: Ki duuuushtoooo

[23:16] Tea: I liked this reality

[23:19] Bea: Finally, an interesting reality

[23:19] Bea: Mudblood torture FTW!!!!

[23:22] Bea: Right. Draco is a huge death eater and his son gives him a bit of sentu and he converts immediately

[23:29] Bea: And Snape immediately believes him, as do Hermione and Ron

4.

[23:31] Bea: How can arms be full of dark magic?

[23:31] Bea: How is Umbridge levitating? Why does this remind me of that nun in Conjuring 2?

[23:33] Bea: MacGonagall is telling everyone off.

[23:36] Bea: But that was in alternate reality 1. How does he remember the black cloud conversation when it never happened in this reality?

[23:36] Bea: But that was in alternate reality 1. 

[23:36] How does he remember the black cloud conversation when it never happened in this reality?

[23:49] Bea: Voldemort had a daughter

[23:49] Bea: Voldemort had sex

[23:50] Bea: He took his pecker out and put it in someone

[23:50] Bea: I want to go home now

[23:50] Bea: Tea. Make this stop, please

[23:50] Bea: This is like an alternate reality itself

[23:51] Bea: In which I am left horrified and whimpering by Harry Potter

[23:51] Bea: Why did they have to take this away from me

[23:54] Bea: Though, if you think about it, his noselessness would have made cunnilingus very easy

[00:00] Bea: Again, Dumbledore said this in AR1 so there is no way Harry can remember it in this reality

[00:00] Bea: Again, Dumbledore said this in AR1 so there is no way Harry can remember it in this reality

[00:04] Bea: Right. Deux ex machina with second time turner

[00:04] Bea: And Cedric Diggory was a McGuffin here

[00:05] Bea: I feel so la-di-dah for recognizing literary patterns

[00:16] Bea: Dude. We saw Bellatrix a few weeks before the Battle of Hogwarts. You’d think we would have noticed if she were heavily preggers

[00:17] Bea: Also. He slipped it to Bella. This is awful. Do you think he took her from behind? Like the little bitch she is?

[00:17] Bea: Ralph Fiennes fucked Helena Bonham Carter doggie style. No. No.

[00:18] Bea: I need brain bleach. Urgently.

[00:26] Bea: Right. I am done.

Wheeee.

That was fun.

[07:01] Tea: 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

[07:01] Tea: Wheeeeee

[07:01] Tea: I needed this laugh early in the morning

[07:02] Tea: Tell me if you really hated it… or tell me if it was an enjoyable read

[07:02] Bea: I enjoyed it, mainly because I got to read it with you. I feel broken and dirty now though.

[07:03] Tea: I really really liked Scorpius

[07:04] Tea: With that mush and everything

[07:04] Tea: ❤ ❤ ❤

[07:04] Tea: Let us continue the dissection on Gtalk.

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The Gashlycrumb Tinies by Edward Gorey: A Loving Review

Gashlycrumb_TiniesThe Gashlycrumb Tinies

Edward Gorey

Six Word Summary: 26 Letters, 26 Children, 26 Deaths.

I rate it: I don’t. I can’t. Okay 10.

I have, in the past decade, gifted abecedaries to a multitude of toddling infants begotten by as many or fewer friends. I have never, I am certain, gifted anyone Edward Gorey’s Gashlycrumb Tinies, because, despite appearances, I still wish at some level to continue having friends.

And that is the first thing you should know about The Gashlycrumb Tinies: it is the sort of literature that can only be savoured by a very special type of people.

Would that type include you? Would you enjoy dactylic singsong about 26 privileged, protected young children who are dispatched with nonchalant, economic violence?

If I told you each of the said deaths was accompanied by a black-and-white sketch matter-of-factly describing the incident, would your fingers tingle in anticipation?

Anyway, those questions are rhetorical; you know who you are. You cannot have gone a lifetime being a person who loves rhymes about perishing children without knowing that about yourself. Stop pretending and just get the book.

A few more things I loved about The Tinies: Continue reading

Sherlock Holmes and the Birth of the Ashes by Arunabha Sengupta: A Review

51DI4avPjPL._SX311_BO1,204,203,200_Sherlock Holmes and the Birth of the Ashes

Arunabha Sengupta

Cover art by Austin Coutinho shows a caricature of the characters with our heroes in the foreground and perfectly captures the mood of the novel: precise, intriguing, and subtly funny.

Six word summary: Holmes reveals cricket isn’t actually cricket.

I rate it: 8/10

Arunabha Sengupta’s pastiche on Sherlock Holmes in the backdrop of a historic cricket match caters primarily to two groups of people: Fans of Sherlock Holmes (popularly known as Holmies) like me, and fans of cricket (popularly known as kooks) not like me.

Of course, its dream reader is a Holmie who is also a kook. That said, people in the non-intersection of either sets will also probably enjoy this book to a great degree. I certainly did.

In the close of August, 1882, a legendary match was played in the Oval between Australia and England. It was memorable on many counts. Not only did England fail to chase a fairly chasable target and lose the match, the fabled W G Grace conned a young Australian into losing his wicket by what was widely regarded as a dastardly ploy, and thus triggered a spree of vengeful play by the dreaded Australian bowler Fred Spofforth. The galleries too were not devoid of peculiarities that day; a fan had died of excitement during the course of the match while another had chewed clean though the wooden handle of his umbrella.

This much history tells us.

What we didn’t know, before Arunabha Sengupta told us the story, is the role played by the  gentlemen residents of 221B in the events of this match and in the shaping of English and international cricket. Though we should have figured it out, really, if we fans  had put our heads together. After all, the events described in A Study in Scarlet took place only a year prior to the infamous match. Continue reading

180 Random Observations Made While Re-reading Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Part 3)

This is the last of three parts of the fifth post on the Harry Potter Re-read Project. The first was published here, the second here, the third here, and the fourth here. Be sure, also, to read Part 1 here and Part 2 here.
What I’m doing here is making a record of random thoughts that popped into my mind while reading each book. It’s not a list of loopholes, or a list of questions, or a list of FTW moments, or WTF moments either, though it has a bit of everything. It’s just a random list that I randomly made.

Points 121-180 in this post.

121. Since Harry Potter joined the Gryffindor team in 1991, Gryffindor has suffered four defeats, one to Ravenclaw and THREE to Hufflepuff. The lions, in fact, have won just one match against the badgers, in Harry’s first year. It is a shame the Gryffindor has such a pitying, condescending attitude towards the Huffies despite getting its butt kicked by them 75% of the time on the field. Hufflepuff, and not Slytherin, is Gryffindor’s Quidditch nemesis.

122. Of course, it must be pointed out that in all four instances of defeat, Harry either missed the match altogether, or was unable to stay till the end, or was sabotaged in some way, because of  the following entities: disembodied Voldemort, dementors, Dolores Umbridge, and Cormac MacLaggen.

123. This is the second instance we see a team losing to another by 10 points despite getting the Snitch. The first, of course, was Bulgaria losing to Ireland in the 422nd Quidditch World Cup Final.

124. In Book 1, after Harry catches the Snitch in his mouth, Draco taunts Harry that a wide-mouthed tree frog is going to replace him as Seeker. Four years later, Draco’s pronouncement does come true of sorts: Harry is replaced from the position of Seeker by a wide-mouthed frog. (Yes, I know the word replace is used in two different senses here. Just play along.) Continue reading

180 Random Observations Made While Re-reading Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Part 2)

This is the second of three parts of the fifth post on the Harry Potter Re-read Project. The first was published here, the second here, the third here, and the fourth here. Be sure, also, to read Part 1 here and Part 3 here.
What I’m doing here is making a record of random thoughts that popped into my mind while reading each book. It’s not a list of loopholes, or a list of questions, or a list of FTW moments, or WTF moments either, though it has a bit of everything. It’s just a random list that I randomly made.

Points 61-120 in this post. Watch this space, third part will be out over the weekend.

61. Be honest, Pottheads. how many of you actually read through Umbridge’s speech diligently, and how many of you read the first paragraph like me and just skimmed through the rest? Like Harry and Ron, I preferred to put my trust in Hermione’s summarization in all previous re-reads.

Having been told off for this by Abhishek Mukherjee, I went back today and read the damn thing, and have officially confirmed my suspicion that JKR did not mean for it to be read, otherwise she would not have made it so boring.

62. Harry’s first night at school this year is awful; he has a falling out with someone he had considered a friend. Hermione is not having a pleasant night either. In fact, hers is probably worse, because of the gap in IQ between her and her dorm-mates, and the frustration she must have felt at their gossip-mongering. All the same, Hermione trusts Lavander and Parvati enough to invite them to the DA meeting. Even more importantly, they attend. Which means, though they probably don’t understand her, they respect Hermione’s opinions over those of the Daily Prophet.

63. MacGonagall might be a very hard taskmistress, but she genuinely cares a lot about Harry. She’s not too practised at displaying softer emotions, though, and tries to replace them, as many others do, with an offer of food, in this case a biscuit.

64. Umbridge affects me as a villain in the series much more than Voldemort, who is very much a cartoon supervillain, or his followers who are basically weak. Umbridge is much more relatable; many of us know an Umbridge or a part-Umbridge personally and even if we don’t we can visualise one in our lives: bigoted, unscrupulous, malicious. She is no ordinary bully, she is a control freak who is drunk on power, who can only feel comfortable when others around her are submitting to her, who identifies only with her position (as Undersecretary) and is actually subhuman in other aspects. Continue reading

180 Random Observations Made While Re-reading Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Part 1)

This is the first of three parts of the fifth post on the Harry Potter Re-read Project. The first was published here, the second here, the third here, and the fourth here. Be sure, also, to read Part 2 here.
What I’m doing here is making a record of random thoughts that popped into my mind while reading each book. It’s not a list of loopholes, or a list of questions, or a list of FTW moments, or WTF moments either, though it has a bit of everything. It’s just a random list that I randomly made.

Points 1-60 in this post. Watch this space, second part will be out tomorrow.

ootpee

1. The order of the Phoenix is my least  favourite book vecause it is goddamn dark and depressing, Harry has hormonal rages and talks in capslock for like half the book, and there is that hideous toad Umbridge who still appears in my nightmares sometimes. However, this book builds so much ground for the next two books, that it is worth reading with a magnifying glass. It is also one of the tightest in terms of plot.

2. If the Dursley’s neighbours are “the sort of people who thought scruffiness ought to be punishable by law,” isn’t it strange that Petunia and Vernon, who value  nothing more than normalcy and fitting in, should purposefully have kept Harry shabby and unkempt in Dudley’s clothes?

3. Do you remember the fan community’s excitement (and mine with it) at the mention of a muggle boy called Mark Evans who gets beaten up by Dudley. He was supposed to have been Harry’s muggleborn wizard cousin from his mother’s brother, or his mother’s unwed sister, and he was to have been either Harry’s saviour or his foil. But of course, this passage is the first and last we hear of Mark Evans, which is not at all strange you know. After all, the names in Harry Potter that aren’t completely outlandish, are pretty common, and just because you hear of a boy who has your mum’s very common maiden last name does not mean he has to be related to you. Continue reading

Gaata Rahe Mera Dil: 50 Classic Hindi Film Songs by Anirudha Bhattacharjee and Balaji Vittal

gataGaata Rahe Mera Dil

50 Classic Hindi Film Songs

 Anirudha Bhattacharjee and Balaji Vittal

I rate it: 8/10

I admit, reader, that when I write for you, I generally assume you are somewhat like me. A risky presumption, surely, but it helps me write. So I believe your ideal weekend evening also involves a half-bottle of whiskey, cigarettes being passed around, a few very close friends, one of whom is strumming a guitar, people singing along to the melodies of long ago (me only humming), and a discussion about everything under the blue sky, books, movies, and particularly music.

Gaata Rahe Mera Dil is like your Saturday evening in paperback. All you need to bring along is the booze (optional) and a tab opened to Youtube (recommended). Anirudha Bhattacharjee and Balaji Vittal supply the rest. 50 wonderful songs from 1941 to 1992, complete with anecdotes, gossip (but not the nasty kind), analysis of lyrics and composition, stories about the picturisation and loads of lovely trivia. Really, what more could a fan want? Continue reading