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July 31, 2015

A Toast to J.K. Rowling on Her Birthday.

"J. K. Rowling 2010" by Daniel Ogren. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:J._K._Rowling_2010.jpg#/media/File:J._K._Rowling_2010.jpg

This is a tribute to you—your story, your words and your magic.

This is for changing the lives of millions of children (and adults) with your books and for bringing such profound joy into a world that could use more of it.

This is for the time I was 10 and you introduced me to a world of magic, strength, courage, love, grief, joy, patience, goodness, power, humour and inspiration.

This is for your dedication, your vision and for being the narrator of our childhoods.

This is for introducing us to ideas of racism, classism, ethnic cleansing, politics, feminism, bullying and the complicated territory of adolescence. I wouldn’t have chosen anyone else to teach me about these things.

This is for defending Muslims when Rupert Murdoch tweeted about holding them responsible for all terrorist acts.

This is for the train ride from Manchester to London in 1990. This is for all the times your book was rejected by publication houses. This is for the time when Bloomsbury got extremely lucky.

This is for awakening the writers in so many of your readers. I would perhaps never have realized the true potential of my writing, creativity and imagination had it not been for your books.

This is for giving us remarkably developed and in depth characters that we couldn’t help but get attached to.

This is for showing us all the good that exists in the world—through the wisdom of Albus Dumbledore, the loyalty of Sirius Black, the curiosity of Mr. Weasley, the love of Lily Evans and James Potter, the humour of George, the hard work of Fred and the boldness of Ginny.

This is for showing us the dark side too—in the disloyalty of Peter, the greed of Percy and the pure evilness of Umbridge. Because even the worse characters of your story have something to teach us.

This for teaching us the criminal justice system isn’t always just (Azkaban), that bureaucracy and government are sometimes the worse systems to rely on and that anti-government sentiments are nothing to be afraid of, even in times of war.

This is for the countless lessons in your stories. This is for the nights we curled up in bed and read for hours, for the times we lined up at book stores and theatres to buy books and tickets. For the times we dressed up as our favourite characters. This is for all the good Snape vs. evil Snape debates, for the times we argued over who R.A.B was—for the endless mysteries and plot twists in your wonderfully complex story-line.

This is for Robert Calbraith and all other books you wrote or will write. This is for our battered copies of The Philosopher’s Stone.

This is for making us cry and for making us laugh. This is for giving us imagination and magic. This is for creating an era and a legacy.

Your story will live in us forever. No matter which other books break the records. No matter how many new fandoms appear. No matter how many books we love after Harry Potter.

Here’s to hoping I change someone’s life the way you changed mine and so many others. My accolade, my respect and my gratitude goes out to you.

Let’s raise our goblets to this wonderful woman.

Cheerful Birthday!

With love,
Everyone who stuck with Harry until the very end.

 

Relephant:

JK Rowling’s Harvard Commencement Speech.

 

Author: Aqsa Sajjid

Editor: Khara-Jade Warren

Image: Daniel Ogren/ Wikimedia Commons

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