Happee Birthday, Harry

Twenty two years ago, a scrawny preteen with broken, taped together glasses, messy jet black hair and deep, green eyes along with a bunch of misfit, bullied friends entered my life. And changed it forever.

From dear Harry, I learnt its not our circumstances, upbringing or misfortunes that shape our character. It’s our choices. We can choose to be loyal, to give love, to be brave beyond one’s years and to always, always be kind. Thank you, Harry, for teaching me how to look at life.

From wise Hermione, I learnt that it’s okay to be a nerd and yet care about my appearance, at times. To look beyond books and cleverness, to appreciate friendship and bravery. To be the brightest among my peers and yet not forget to help the less privileged. Thank you, Hermione, for teaching a girl to not hide her intelligence behind a facade of dumbness, to embrace one’s true self and live the motto of nerd and proud.

From Ronald Bilius Weasley, I learnt playing the second fiddle doesn’t have to result in bitterness. Not getting recognition or top billing does not mean one shouldn’t do what’s right. Yes, it’s okay to be selfish at times and yearn for things you’ve always be denied. To not be considered special as a general rule(E.g., not being the only girl in your family or even coming third in this list). Because when push comes to shove, your bravery and sacrifice will outshine all your critics. Till my dying breath I’d declare, Weasley is our King! Thank you, Ron, for your devotion and selflessness, for teaching the importance of all the hard work which goes behind the scenes when the show must go on.

From Luna, I learnt that it’s okay to be different. To fiercely embrace your individuality even if it’s slightly off the beaten path. To know that the things we most desire will come to us, even if not in the way we expected them to. Thank you Luna, for teaching me to believe in my own convictions. To see things beyond what’s readily visible and to empathise.

From Neville, I learnt hard work, strength and resilience. Resilience to face my biggest and deepest fears everyday till I can overcome them. Strength to look adversity in the eye and not let it pull you back. Hard work to make up for any shortcomings I might have. Thank you Neville, for showing me to always do the right thing and have enough bravery to back it up with.

From Dobby, I learnt it’s not our stature but our deeds which live on long after we’re gone. Even a tiny thing can leave a lasting impact. It’s not important how much you can contribute to a cause, it’s important that you do. Thank you Dobby, for freeing my mind from it’s self imposed shackles. You shall forever remain a friend and a free elf.

From the mischievous Marauders, I learnt that heroes come from every walk of life. Theres a time for fun and games and there’s a time to take a stand. We live on in the lives we touch and the legacy we leave behind. Thank you, Moony, Prongs and Padfoot (I probably will never forgive Wormtail for his betrayal) for giving me a safe place and father figures to adore.

From Hagrid, I learnt you can make your own family wherever you are and give them unconditional love, be it mankind or animals. Thank you, Hagrid, for teaching me humanity.

From Dumbledore and McGonagall, I learnt about the positive influence good teachers/educators can have in one’s life. The nobility of this profession is not entirely lost. They are, rightly, our gurus and guardians. Thank you, Professors, for going above and beyond the call of duty.

Twenty two years ago, I opened a book and the rest, as they say, is history. Thank you, Joanne Kathleen Rowling, for helping mould my life. I know Hogwarts will always be there to welcome me home.

P.S. I solemnly swear I’m upto no good.

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