On a magical Saturday when Harry Potter, the spectacled boy wizard created by author JK Rowling, took what could well be his final bow in a 10-year-long saga, the much sought after, mystical number that held sway was none other than 604.
If one dared ask as to what was so special about that number, he ran the risk of being at the receiving a collective scowl of frenzied readers who woke up in the wee hours on Saturday to buy Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Rowling’s seventh and final volume of the series. Upon receiving their prized copies of the book, most of them quickly turned to Page 604 to reassure themselves that all was indeed well with Potter.
The cynosure of all eyes, as it were, was the book published by Bloomsbury and brought to India by Penguin. While the book is priced at Rs 975, customers who had booked it in advance received discounts of between five per cent and 25 percent. To mark the occasion, the Oxford Book Store in Connaught Place held a ‘Hogwarts Carnival,’ while the Full Circle bookstore in Khan market organised a paid breakfast for Potter fans.
Ten-year-old Shivaye Gulati walked into the Oxford Bookstore as early as 4.30 a.m. Soon, he was joined by more than 100 fellow-Potter fans who had trooped in to collect their copies of the Deathly Hallows. “I have read all the six books of the Harry Potter and I’m in awe of the boy wizard,” said the Class V student from Springdales School at Dhaula Kaun.
Also present was seven-year-old Aryan Mathur, who fell in love with Potter ever since he saw the Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. “I haven’t read any of his books, this would be my first book. I am here to grab my own copy of Harry Potter,” said the student of Sriram School.
Among the early birds at the Landmark Bookstore in Grand Mall, Gurgaon, were Vikram and Arvika Bhakri, accompanied by their mother Aradhna Bhakri. “I have taken time off from my business to escort my children to the store for their copy of the book,” she said.
Dressed in a crisp white kurta-pyjama, Aditya Mathur seemed to be in a great hurry. “I just picked up the copy of this book for my son who is sleeping at home. Since he has not bothered me to get the book on the first day, I wish to reward him by getting him the copy just when he awakes,” he said with a broad smile. “I look forward to listening to the story from him over the weekend.”
(Rajiv Arora also contributed to this report)