What Quarter Life Crisis Struck Millennials Can Learn from Newt Scamander

Green coat, shy outlook, and his never-ending love for beasts, Newt Scamander (and the very dashing Eddie Redmayne) has won all of our hearts right from the very start of the Fantastic Beasts series. The question is very simple: Can anyone not admire Newt? Not at all.

While the second movie in the Fantastic Beasts series might not have been that great, there’s still hope to believe that the upcoming stories will be better connected and hopefully everything that left us wary now will make sense. And more importantly we will get to see more of Newt Scamander in action.

Accio Spoilers! You have been warned.

Apart from being the very loyal and hardworking Hufflepuff, Newt is a wonderful character in the making.

‘Newt, you’re next,’ says Albus Dumbledore as he stands with his students in the Defense Against The Dark Arts Class. The Boggart suddenly turns into a table filled with piles of paper.
‘That’s an unusual one. What Mr. Scamander fears above everything else is….,’ says Dumbledore.
‘Having to work in an office, Sir,’ Newt immediately answers, a little shaken and confused. The entire class bursts into giggles.

It wouldn’t be wrong to say, a lot of us millennials are like Newt. We fear the cubical and fear the bondage that comes with it. And perhaps we can all, especially us confused, quarter life struck ones learn a few things from the delightfully honest, hilarious and heartwarming Newt Scamander.

Daring to say No
There’s a scene in the second movie when Newt is placed in front of a few officials and his brother Theseus. Apparently it’s his fifth time in that seat. Newt is being offered to work with his brother in an ‘Office’, and he immediately declines and walks away. The price is that his international travel ban continues. And yet, Newt declines. He know’s that’s not what he wants. Well, maybe his complicated status with Leta Lestrange also contributes to it, but either ways, it takes a lot of courage to decline an offer like that. Perhaps we need that to, from time to time.

Appreciating his true self
Okay, Newt is awkward. We all know that, especially when Tina’s around. Not so much of a romantic. But who cares? He’s funny, he is an intelligent wizard, and in the words of Albus Dumbledore, he does not seek power. Newt does what is right because it’s right. And I’ve had the vibes after watching the two movies that Newt does indeed appreciate his true self. He might not be as classy as his brother, he might not have a great job with an office, but he’s okay with it. And that’s already so lovable. (He does end up complimenting Tina with the ‘Eyes like Salamander’ phrase.) Hopefully we can learn to be a little more appreciative of what we have instead of dwelling into comparisons.

Respecting his Dream
‘Newt was expelled from Hogwarts’, says my sister as we sit down to talk about the second movie.
‘But how did he survive then? Financially?’ I ask. A very 20 something year old question at the moment. (Maybe quarter life crisis exists in the magical world too!)
‘He was a researcher! He wrote books,’ exclaims my sister. 
‘But who would buy a book written by an expelled student?’ I ask.
‘It’s probably like engineers working for Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg,’ she says. 

Newt loves his beasts and he follows his passion of knowing and caring for them. And in following his dreams he becomes the best-selling author of Fantastic Beasts, the very title of the series. While Newt did follow his dream, I find it more important that he respected it. He doesn’t think its weird or less than the other fancy jobs wizards and witches take up. We often forget that about our own dreams. Whether we follow it or not is another story, but we should all respect it.

‘You never met a monster you couldn’t love,’ says Leta of Newt.

It’d be a delight to watch Newt’s character develop in the movies further. Since Fantastic Beasts hovers around adult characters, hopefully we’ll see some complex real life decisions to be made and the self discovery process of growing out of ones own shells.

Till then, let this very lovable character remind us that we’ll always be surrounded by great friends, like Jacob, and mentors like Dumbledore, and let Newt remind us of being ourselves!

Hope and Prepare | A Conversation

‘How does one hope for the best and prepare for the worst, Lord Vayu?’ princess Valli asked the Guardian of the Wind.

‘I am not sure, but it is quite an impossible feat I must say.’

‘To be hopeful of the great and still be ready to face the worst, a sting of irony,’ the princess added.

Vayu nodded his head.

‘To be hopeful would mean to let the heart float among the clouds,’ he said as the sky danced in shades of pink. The sun was setting. They were atop a high hill that overlooked the entire valley. ‘And to prepare for the worst would mean to fall straight unto the ground from the clouds.’

‘How can one imagine the two together. To hope for one and to prepare for another?’ Valli questioned as the wind blew her scarf. ‘Doesn’t one prepare for what one hopes?’

‘Indeed,’ replied Vayu. ‘The human life is bogged with the eternal ironies, to have day and night, shadow and light. To have the wind to breathe and to have the same win uproot homes as hurricanes.’

‘Wouldn’t it be better to be able to fly like the birds instead? To soar in the clouds and not have to worry of falling?’ Valli added.

‘But even the birds fear the fall.’

‘Perhaps, they do. And we do too.’

3 Reasons To Read Fiction Even As An Adult

I was a finance major in my final year of undergraduate education. We were learning Financial Markets and Institutions, famously known among students as FMI, during the Fall semester. Our course instructor strongly urged us to use our imagination and logic while dealing with the numerous cases we were up during class discussions and assignments. He said, as I still remember clearly, ‘You might not be able to be so creative in the next semester. It will be more of financial applications and numericals then. I’m not saying you can’t be creative, it’s just that it’s very difficult for anyone to challenge William Sharpe’s ratio. You can, but to be able to do that you must first learn to use your imagination in the current class.’

That’s what I’d like to call the different between fiction and non-fiction reading.

Over the years I’ve seen a lot of my friends and family discover their joy of reading, which is fantastic. More books and ideas to share everywhere. But I’ve also seen a pattern that would certainly make Neil Gaiman, a champion of reading for pleasure and libraries, worry. A lot of adults read a lot of non-fiction (which is great), but they somehow end up turning a blind eye to fiction. Fiction as the word suggests is a lie, it’s untrue; why should anyone waste their time reading it? Why don’t we read more of creativity hacks and technology instead?

I’m definitely not against non fiction reading. It’s necessary. It gives us ideas and perspective we wouldn’t find elsewhere. And with information widely available, cost of printing going down, it has never been a better time to be alive to read.

#1 Fiction is not a trap
I’ve met friends and family who often tell me that fiction is a trap. It has to do with the fact that it is untrue, I presume. I don’t usually end up defending fiction and at times I do feel guilty about it. But it also gives me a chance to ask ‘Why do you feel that way?’ The answers mostly reveal being stuck with a particular genre for a long time. I believe it’s like myopia to the eyes. I’m myopic and without my prescription glasses everything is blurry. If I never wore glasses, I’d perhaps end up thinking the world is exactly as it seems to my eyes: blurry. But of course it is not.

#2 Fiction helps you question
If non fiction hands you knowledge, fiction helps you question. And questioning is just as important as gathering knowledge. Why did Harry choose to fight Voldemort? Why did Parijat wrote what she wrote?

#3 Fiction eases the burden of reality
In line with #2.
It can be extremely difficult to put ourselves into the feet of real people. Even in case of non fiction storytelling, it is at times difficult to narrow down the circumstances people go through. All the while comparison is usually tricky, because everyone is different and circumstances alter cases. But the case is different for fiction. It’s not real, and in this lies a subtle freedom. We can compare, question and demand alternatives that perhaps would have been very difficult otherwise. It’s easier to question fiction, and in return to question reality. And this is how we learn things do not have to be the way they are.

I think what my finance instructor meant when he said use your imagination this semester was that I wasn’t working with just facts, I was working with scenarios and cases where people acted, and thus, anything was possible as long as it made sense (of course financial rules applied). The next semester was equally challenging and interesting, but I realized he was right, I couldn’t use my mind more freely. There were equations I could not challenge, not yet. But the previous semester’s imaginative working helped in a lot of cases, especially in interpretation questions.

Fiction and non fiction reading as some say might go hand-in-hand. One answers, another questions, then a few more answers, a few more questions. Like an eternal dance of light and darkness, that continues to challenge and nourish our intellectual life.

I am extremely lucky to have discovered the joy of reading as a young child. Peter Rabbit was my favorite because there was a long long line of generation in it. It is rare to find a book that mentions Great great great great grand father. The book was bright yellow and it was very attractive. We were made to memorize poems in our Nepali literature class, that I still treasure. The lines might have become blurry in my memory but the learnings are still omnipresent.

The joy of reading, it’s not a big thing, but it’s fulfilling, it’s nourishing, it’s exactly how it is supposed to be- reading.


Do let me know what you thought about this article. It’s still nebulous in parts. The more I read, the more I discover, and thus, a longer path awaits to be seen. Till then, here’s my little part.

Severus-Lily: Was It Only Romantic Love?

I know it is not true, because J.K. Rowling herself told us so, and still I couldn’t stop myself from exploring the angle of platonic friendship in two beloved Harry Potter characters, Severus Snape and Lily Evans. Severus’s complex nature and the final manifestation twisted everything. Severus loved Lily too much to let her go even after she passed away. Some say he was obsessed with her and couldn’t move on, and some other love him dearly for the sacrifices he made. It was all ‘L-O-V-E’.

Of course it was love, but what kind of love? Love remains a central theme in the Harry Potter series. It is the ultimate weapon that destroys Lord Voldemort. Lily’s love for Harry, Harry’s friendship with Ron and Hermione, Dobby’s loyalty to Harry. All the characters on the good side manifest love, including the Malfoy’s despite standing with the Dark Lord. So many different kinds of love have been explored in the series, with one of the major highlights being Severus and Lily.

The question isn’t as much as ‘Were these two characters just friends?’, as much as ‘Would it justify everything if they were just friends?’ Simply saying, would Severus do everything he did if Lily were just a friend?

Here’s a small poll I did on facebook to know what my Harry-Potter-Loving-Friends think. Seems like I might not be alone about the different angle in Severus-Lily’s relationship.

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Family is a strong theme running right from the first page of the first book. Sacrifices have been made for families and by families throughout the series. By the end we see that scarifies have been made for romantic love too, by Severus for Lily. Carrying a mountain for family and for romantic love has been an ongoing theme in literature for thousand of years. But sacrifices have also been made by friends, well wishes and everyone who stood on the good side. We have Tonks and Lupin who died leaving their new born son, Harry’s DA friends-Neville, Ginny, Luna, Seamus, Dean who fought because it was right. Everyone risked their lives. And that is why I wonder if Severus would do what he did, even if Lily were just a friend he deeply cared about.

Never in the books is it explicitly mentioned that Severus loved Lily in a romantic way. Sure there are a lot of metaphors the famous one being the ‘Always’ dialogue between Severus and Dumbledore, but then again aren’t metaphors suppose to mean more than what can be seen?

Severus was loyal to the Dark Lord and spills the prophesy made by Trelawney only to realize that the Dark Lord would now kill Harry, who was Lily’s son. Anyone could have felt the shock, Lily doesn’t have to be his love interest for the shock to run down his veins. The guilt of putting your dear friend in danger (and eventually having her murdered) might take toll on anyone. So Severus’s actions could have been his own path to redemption. There’s no saying it wasn’t love, but there are so many other possibilities, other emotions, other kinds of love, which often run under the shadows of romantic love and family love.

There’s so much more. Wouldn’t you agree?