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Humor: Potty Potter - Who Stole The Harry Potter Books?

Manaswini and Nirmala Garimella

Lord Voldemort is very unhappy. A mere thief had outwitted him and stolen the glory that could have been his. After stealing 7,500 copies of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, the thief vanished in northern England – with a haul worth some $220,000.

My own fears were confirmed when I visited a local bookstore this week and the person at the counter whispered to me furtively, “Would you like to get a preview copy of the darn book? Hee hee hee. Bees Ka Das, Bees Ka Das.(ten for twenty, ten for twenty).” I looked around fearing that I had arrived at an Indian Cinema house. Memories came flooding back of hey days when seeing Don, Sholay or Amar Akbar Anthony would make me part with my precious pocket allowance. Alas, what was pocket allowance for anyway? To buy tickets in black, for the first day first show. But that was Mere Desh Ki Dharti. Here in Pardes, weren’t people rid of the Seven Deadly Sins (notwithstanding Martha Stewart, Enron and BLH)?

“Pooh,” I said, “You must be kidding.” The guy actually didn’t look like a Desi. He had a funny hat on his head, a kind of shroud around his shoulders and a sinister looking face. Should I call 911 and alert the cops? Instinct at high alert, the color of Orange, I wondered if he had weapons of mass destruction. What if I refuse and challenge him? No. I sidled up to him cautiously and whispered in a surreal tone, “Can I see it? Physically? Hold the precious book in my hand? Flip thru the pages?” Maybe read it entirely in the bookstore so I may never have to pay for it? It’s done all the time, after all, isn’t it?

“How many copies?” came the sepulchral answer. “Copies?!? Whaddaya mean?!? I want only one!” I said appalled. “That won’t do, that won’t do, that really won’t do!” sang the man, “Minimum of 10.” Ten copies! Gracious me! Am I running a charity show here? We made a deal: 6 copies and he will throw in one free.

“How do you expect to pay – Should I charge it ?” “Pounds, dollars or euros.” he said. Now he truly had me flummoxed. Don’t each have different values in exchange? Who was he anyway? Maybe he was part of the CIA or FBI trying to catch me on the wrong foot and persecute me under the deadly Patriot Act. Any pretext would do. Well if was smart, I was smartness incarnate. “I need to consult my children first.” I said and pulled out my cell phone.

The minute I looked up from dialing the number to my daughter’s cell phone (a tedious process because of the rather tiny buttons resulting from the ever diminishing size of these ubiquitous objects), I found him gone. Searching desperately for him, I heard my daughter pick up the phone. I quickly explained my predicament, and she answered. I could almost see her roll her eyes as she replied, “Yeah, Mom. I’m sure. Next thing you’re going to tell me he Apparated or something.”

“What does that mean?” I asked worriedly, wondering whether it’s some new-fangled word for something idiotic that teenagers seem to be doing nowadays.

“Geez, Mom, you’re such a Muggle. Apparition is simply a method of magically transporting oneself from one place to another instantaneously.”

“Well, then, you’re right. He did. And speaking of Apparating, I want you home in an hour.”
And saying that, I hung up. What was I to do now? Calling my daughter hadn’t helped one little bit. Sighing exasperatedly, I picked up my umbrella, and walked out of the store. Shielding my eyes from the dazzling sunlight of a cloudless day, all of a sudden, I spotted the same little man that I saw in the bookshop. Ignoring the raised eyebrows of those around me, I started waving my arms frantically and yelling “Hey you! Wait! What about my books?!?” He grinned at me like a crazed hamster and swirling his green cloak about him, he spun three times widdershins on his left heel (I noticed he had purple boots on) and ran off. I instantly followed.

Click here for Part 2

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