Another two and a half days to go. For what? Oh, it's the weekend, yes. But it is THE Weekend. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince releases this Saturday. Have been waiting for this weekend since I booked the book (bad one, I know) . . . since I pre-ordered the book about a month and a half back. As did another of my colleagues. And a few (many) others in the office.
This week we finally dropped the pretense of serious, responsible adults. Talk during chai-time (or for that matter any time) around the pantry table revolves only around the Boy who lived. We have had serious hour-long discussions (and project deadlines be damned) about which character will Rowling bump off this time - Hagrid and Dumbledore seem to the favorites, though Ron and anyone else from the rest of the Weasley family are also considered to have the requisite bump-off quotient. People have held summit meetings to consider the possibility of Voldemort finally attacking the Dursley household. And we've had a few round tables centered around the new DADA teacher. Harry's love-life has been dissected and analyzed more than we have ever discussed any of our colleagues. Who will Harry hook-up with this time? Ginny? Luna? Hermione? What then happens to Ron and Hermione angle?
People have already planned their weekends and most of us are thinking of little else than being at the bookshop the minute it opens, picking the book and then shutting ourselves off from the world. I will have to come all the way from Ambernath to Andheri to pick up my copy (Don't want to wait till Monday). I figure that I will read a goodish bit on my journey home. And then through the day and the night and the next day if necessary. The cell-phone will be switched off and will be switched on again only after I have read the book (Don't want anyone to call/SMS any spoilers). The Sis-in-law has been told to tell all callers and friends that I am unavailable (A friend who has returned from a long sojourn from the US of A has been told that he can meet me only on the next weekend -- and yes, he did question my friendship. It cut no ice). The brother has been told that he will have to wait for me to finish before he sets his eyes on the book. Project Managers who have (and some who still will) questioned my devotion and dedication (and of other like-minded colleagues) have been firmly told that there will be no work happening this weekend. I have heard that one persistent PM was threatened with violence. And that somebody else shouted expecto patronum at another PM.
On my way back home yesterday I lectured two of my friends on the Potter universe. One tried to change tracks and talk of Dan Brown and The Da Vinci Code, but he was not allowed to succeed.
Any worries over the next two days? Yup! Fear that the monsoon that has taken a break for now might return with a vengeance and halt the trains and the traffic. But that will not stop me.
What am I doing till the weekend then? Have decided not to read any of the earlier Potter books so that no Potter fatigue sets in (Not that it is possible, but why take a risk). Actually need the time to read project documents. Have been sneaking time every few hours to read other blog posts and past reviews on Potter, visit Rowling's site, read stuff like this and this and this and this. Have been visiting various sites to feel the buzz and stumbled across this interesting one: The Alternative Harry Potter Project.
And there's always the chai-break and the pantry table for another round of animated Potter talk.
Two and a half days to go. Suddenly there is much to look forward to in this life.