Meera Goes to Hogwarts: Chapter Three

Take a quick recap: Chapter One and Two.

Meera followed the Prefect to the Hufflepuff dormitory. The entrance to the dormitory was the same as the kitchen. Meera followed quietly trying not to signal a single sound of amazement.  When they reached the entrance with large barrels, the Prefect tapped the second barrel from the bottom four time in a distinct rhythm. Meera was told to memorize the rhythm which is the only way to enter the dormitory.

‘Tap—Tap-Tap———-Tap.’ This was presumably the rhythm of Helga Hufflepuff, the founder of the Hufflepuff house. The barrel opened revealing an entrance to the dormitory. Meera is amazed to see the room. It was cheerful as were the students already inside of it. The common room was decorated with colors of earth, and the house colors black and yellow. The honey colored wooden furnitures and the plants placed neatly on the walls, added to the ambience of the room.

Neal, the boy who Meera had met earlier was already sitting in one of the wooden chairs. He rose as he saw Meera arrive. There was a little girl with him, who seemed a lot younger than him.

‘Meera, meet my sister Benny,’ he said. Benny raised her hand to wave and said, ‘Hello’ in her meek little voice. They were to share the same dormitory.

Neal’s sister was starting her first year in Hogwarts and he was extremely happy that Benny had been sorted into Hufflepuff. He also told Meera that it was not necessary despite being family, that they should be sorted into the same house.

‘How do you come to Hogwarts then?’ he asked Meera.

‘To be honest, I do not know,’ Meera replied.

‘May be Meera’s a great witch…and so,’ Benny was quick to add. But she shyly turned away immediately.

Meera smiled. ‘Thanks,’ she said. May be Hogwarts wasn’t that odd after all.

Meera’s classes were to begin the next day. She was to start with the first years with a couple of extra subjects to be able to cover as much as possible. She looked at the heavy bag Zuck had bought for her. It was filled with books of all kinds. While the topics looked much different from what she had ever seen, the fact that she had to learn all of it made her realize that magic must be studied too. It wasn’t something that was passed down or given without effort.

Meera entered the first class. It was called Charms. A tiny little professor, who was named Zelda was already sitting. The students were ready to begin the class. Meera sat down besides Benny.

‘Wands out!’ Professor Zelda said sharply.

Meera searched her little bag for her wand. She remembered putting everything Benny had told her the night earlier. But she could not find her wand. How could she perform magic without it? She looked left and right. Everyone was ready. Meera felt ashamed for not knowing something so obvious.

‘I don’t have mine,’ she said meekly.

‘Magic without wands!’ yelled a girl from behind, giggling. She was Redna from Ravenclaw.

‘Silence!’ Professor Zelda said. ‘You will have to go and get your wand Meera.’

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Stories and Conversations: The StoryYellers, An Experience

I am an Iron, a little piece of Iron, mixed with alloy. I may never be a sword, drawing kingdoms over maps, held by knights in their shining amours, cutting through another sword in the battlefield. I will never be named like them. I may never be forged into a sword. May be I’d become a key to a lock that guards the treasury, a tiny little dagger that hangs by the side of the pirates, a pot that cooks porridge in it. I am a little Iron and will get rusted someday, but whatever be my part, I shall play it well.

My heart starts beating on my knees and I cough incessantly.

Starry skies with streaks of clouds trailing across, light down over on the tiny stage indoors, wooden chairs, voices that laughed from all sides. I could smell them instead of just hearing. I had been waiting for the moment, but I dreaded the consequences, I dreaded myself of all, for the double edged sword I had put myself over. But who am I kidding? Of course it can be done. There is no perfect time, only now.

****

I’m pretty sure I re-read it over and over again.

“You’re going to be one of the speakers.”

When Prashanta Manandhar, the Founder of The Storytellers and my teacher and mentor wrote to me with these words, I was honored, nervous and excited all at the same time. This was THE invitation to be one of the speakers at The StoryYellers, an event by The Storytellers.

“Its like an invitation to Cinderella’s first ever Royal Ball.” I said.

What am I going to talk about? I did not have a single clue. But I had Jack and Gus and the fairy god mother came as the people who helped me walk this journey. There were evil villains too, inside my head, in my conscious as fear, doubt and worthlessness. But I was reminded every time that I was there for a reason.

As an introvert, yelling out my little story aloud was like peeling my skin off.

“More personal stories.”

I had often wondered if putting my story out under the sun would do any good. But stories are stories and they all have something to tell, I had forgotten the most important line a writer holds to, while I tried to become one myself.

“You can’t inspire 200 people at once. There’s that one person in the audience, your aim is to get that one person.” My teacher often reminded me.

I listened to the chit chats during rainy evening rehearsals in a cozy little room that hummed of ideas and stories at the end of each practice session, as we prepared for the final day. MBA after BBA. MBA after work. SMEs. Universities. Bank overdraft. Theater. Business. The Heat. Rain. Power Cut.

I absorbed each conversation trying to find a story inside, tying to find my story inside. Some answers I had been looking for had begun appearing in blotted patterns.

A couple of weeks before as I watched the class of 2016 leave school, I was gripped by fear and something they call famously infamously the quarter life crisis. It’s more avid and acute with electronic devises and medias raining down our walls everyday. As I stepped into my final year of undergraduate education, I found myself desperately trying to catch the train that’s already left. The next train is coming, I forget again.

There’s something these everyday conversation with everyday people made me realize as I tried to build my story for the final day: There is nothing like crisis, it is crisis all the time. At any point in time, we’re always lost, but that is not an excuse to remain lost. Nobody has everything figured out. I’ll replay myself these words, when I get lost into the pit of comparison or when the anxiety of a perfectly planned future cripples my 20 something brains. It’ll be alright.

When I did the first round up of my story of growing up as a left handed child, it sparked a conversation inside the room. Kashyap Shakya, one of the fellow speakers at the event, shared that my story gave him a newer perspective of his two year old son’s handedness, who hadn’t yet developed a specific dominant hand.

I had no idea that it mattered, that it would generate newer perspective about handedness, especially to parents. I had to put my story under the sun.

****

I stepped up with the lights hitting my eyes over the stage, yelling my left handed story alongside The Ambidextrous Project. I hope I found that one person in the audience who took away something from my little story. May be I already have.

The more I learn about the wonderful personalities living everyday lives like anyone here, I am constantly blown away by their stories that surface inside their tough skins. It’s like gravitation never existed, and even if it did exist, it had no control over the intense feeling surging up inside me.

I am blessed and humbled by this opportunity.


A big thank you to my parents who were in the audience with their support and inspiration, my teacher and mentor Prashanta Manandhar and The entire The Storytellers family for their trust, belief and hard work, my friends who came all the way to watch me, the three impeccable speakers who taught me so much through their stories: Kashyap Shakya, Bilal Ahmed Shah and Deepesh Poudel, and the audience who stayed with us. 

Somebody who loves to read, write, listen and converse,

Alfa

The StoryYellers is a proud presentation of The Storytellers, where everyday stories of everyday people are celebrated. The first series happened on August 17, 2016.

If you do wish for everything, sometime

‘You can’t have everything all the time, Princess Vali.’

The princess nodded her head silently.

‘But if you do wish for everything, sometime,’ added Lord Vadin, ‘Then you must do your best, and then let destiny roll the dice.’

And they watched the night sky fill with stars, the colors of the space engulfed the atmosphere.