A magical day at Diagon Alley

Jul 31, 2018, 08:04 IST | Debjani Paul

For the first time, Harry Potter fans in the city get to try their hand at brewing potions, hunting horcruxes and battling for the House Cup

A magical day at Diagon Alley

Every single Harry Potter fan on the planet has fantasised about getting the coveted Hogwarts acceptance letter, and today is that lucky day for Potterheads in the city. For the first time in Mumbai, fans will get the chance to dive into the magical world of potion brewing, horcrux hunting and battling for the House Cup.

The event has been organised in celebration of Harry Potter and creator JK Rowling's birthday at a popular bar in Lower Parel, in collaboration with pop cult store efgstore.in. The organisers are calling all Potter maniacs to grab a ticket for the Hogwarts Express — no, literally, the event passes are designed like the train ticket — and alight straight at Diagon Alley.

Raachyeta Sharma tries her wand at brewing Potter's potion. Pics/Bipin Kokate
Raachyeta Sharma tries her wand at brewing Potter's potion. Pics/Bipin Kokate

"Nobody has done this in India before. And, the venue is the ideal place to do this at. The lighting and the bricks make for the apt atmosphere; it feels just like you've stepped into Diagon Alley," says Tanisha Fagwani, founder of efgstore.in.

As soon as you pass through Platform 9 3/4, you'll be sorted into one of the four great houses (shout out to all the Slytherins). "When you walk in, you'll have to pick up a house badge in blind — otherwise most people will pick Gryffindor. You'll have to wear the house badge throughout," explains Satyajit Roy, Fagwani's business partner.

Diagon Alley

Potions, OWLs and horcruxes
Participants will be able to take pictures at the 'London' photo booth, hang out with fellow HP fans and even step into Ollivanders to buy an officially licensed wand. Potterheads will also get to brew Potter's potion, a smouldering non-alcoholic drink created for the event.

Testing times
Hard-core fans can test their wits in the OWLs, a trivia contest named after the wizarding exams in the HP canon. "The quiz is the main activity. It's really tough; we're expecting all the geeks to come for this. Winners will get merchandise worth Rs 15,000 (first place) or Rs 7,500 (second place)," say Fagwani and Roy. There will also be a scavenger hunt where fans will search for the seven horcruxes with the help of the Marauder's Map, as well as a cosplay competition. There's plenty of merchandise to win across several contests that have been organised, some of which are specially designed for children.

Diagon Alley

"It's an event for all ages; we've got calls from children as young as 10, who want to come after school. So many people are bunking college or work so that they can come for the experience," says Kimberly Fernandez from Social, adding that they sold over 200 tickets within days of announcing the event.

ON: Today, 3 pm onwards
AT: Todi Social, Lower Parel.
CALL: 7506394240
COST: Rs 800

Take Hogwarts home
Days before Rowling and Harry's birthday, Lego announced that it will release a 6,020-piece Hogwarts Castle set. This will be the largest HP set to date, several times bigger than the now discontinued 1,290-piece model. The new set will include four mini figures, 27 micro figures, as well as feature spaces such as the Chamber of Secrets, Hagrid's hut, Umbridge's pink office and Snape's potions classroom.

Jeet Jhaveri

Fans excited
Jeet Jhaveri, 24
One of the most exciting things for any die-hard fan is the quiz. It's also nice to meet like-minded people. But I'm most excited about being able to hunt for horcruxes, like Harry. I've never done that before.

Raachyeta Sharma

Raachyeta Sharma, 30 Founder,
The Open 
Library Project
From Harry Potter, I have learnt compassion, pure love, empathy and being true to people close to our hearts. I'm most excited about the potion brewing, the photo booth and the quiz. Can't wait to wave a wand, cast spells and bag some merchandise.

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