There is a certain thing about fandoms that you generally become so loyal to them that you start associating them to reality. Being a part of a fandom is a surreal experience because one tends to be a part of something greater, larger and more pervasive than the spheres of one’s life. Fandoms make you connect to people you have never met, but seen, though not always in person. Fandoms make you believe in fiction like it is reality. They give you courage and emotional strength, but they may also give you pain and trouble like real experiences.
For 11 years now, I have been a Potterhead, and no matter how old I grow or how mature I become, this fandom I will always associate with. I remember reading somewhere “One day, the last surviving member of the cast of Harry Potter will die, and I will find my 7 books, remove the dust off them, hold them to my chest and cry. Then, I will open them and revisit the wizarding world once again. And, when my children will ask me, ‘Mum, after all this time?, I will reply ‘Always.’”
So, on 14th January 2016, when I came across the news of Alan Rickman’s death, I was devastated! First, because I did not know about his cancer and second, I did not know what to do with this news. It was sudden and shocking. I couldn’t help but reconfirm from the news-bearer, and then, cry.
So, when I came across this news, I started writing a eulogy to him. However, what I saw was something that made me smile, despite my tears. My Facebook wall was full of posts thanking Alan. I saw that those people who once made fun of me for being crazy about Potter are now associating themselves with it.
Fandom never ruined me and I was never weak either. I just needed time. I always knew, like many of you that one day would come when all these brilliant actors would breathe their last. Imagine them being more than forty when they played characters you worshipped in your teens. How could they, then survive throughout your life? I think it was meant to happen, it is just that I stuck too literally to the quote I mentioned above, and that too for all the actors from Potterworld.
Harry Potter made me associate with something out-worldly. The force of attraction that overpowered me throughout these years, was from the brilliant array of actors, playing characters we can loathe, love, or never decide what to feel about. And, now that I know Alan Rickman is no more, I recall telling my mother how I recognized him as the antagonist of Die Hard, when she didn’t. The brilliance of the man was phenomenal!
Now, that this month has seen its share of demises, not just from the Potterworld, but also Mr. Bowie and many others, I urge everyone to stay strong. Never stop believing in your fandom. It is because of people like these that we can make them immortal, because of their class acts and well, years of attachment.
There is no mantra to get over this. Trust me, for I have yet not recovered and gathered courage enough to ever watch Fast and the Furious series again (oh, Paul Walker!). All one can do is cry, and pass each day remembering whenever you can the dialogues of those great artists. Whether it be “always” or “turn to page 394” or watching that horrible recollection of Snape’s memories, you will shed a tear on what gift you have received anonymously for the rest of your life; being a part of a fandom.
So, I will await, that time, when one of the last surviving members of the Harry Potter cast go, and I revisit my books, and when someone will ask me, “After all this time?”
Feature Image credits: weheartit.com