Fans share interesting theories assuming the Harry Potter series takes place in the city

Ahead of July 31, which marks author JK Rowling and Harry Potter’s birthday, fans of the franchise are sharing their eccentric theories assuming the series is set in Max City.

Imaging/Aparna Chaudhari

The Mumbaikars Cruel Curse

Jayadev Calamur

Jayadev Calamur, 39, communications professional
I CAN think of wizards taking over the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation and solving the pothole problem without the help of contractors. The Mithi River will never be clogged, and with a functioning overhead carport, Aarey will be safe.

Picture This: Arun Weasley [who we have known as Arthur Weasley] just acquired a bewitched Maruti 800. He erases the charm, but wants to tinker with the car to figure out the secret of why muggles love automobiles. It does all the right things, but unlike the original series, it doesn’t use
flying charm.

Meanwhile, Arun’s sons – Ron, Fred and George – fear that Harry hasn’t written to them for three weeks, despite sending several pigeons [pigeons over owls in Mumbai because too many owls will draw suspicion]. They drive the Maruti from Kalyan to Andheri where Harry lives. But Arun approaches them and says since the flying thing needs to be fixed, he will lead them.

Unaware of the traffic situation, the four leave at 9 a.m. After the first smooth ride, they enter Majiwada Junction in Thane at 10am. But at 11 a.m. at Mulund Check Naka they are stuck for two hours as traffic on the Eastern Express Highway moves at snail’s speed to Kanjurmarg. Arun pulls out a bewitched cell phone to open maps, which reveals heavy traffic. “So Muggles have their version of the Cruciatus curse – it’s Mumbai traffic,” he recounts.

Shelters for the soul

Ushnish Das

Ushnish Das, 28, instructional designer
Do you remember the time Harry and Dumbledore visited the sea cave to retrieve the horcrux at the end of Half-Blood Prince? I think the Elephanta caves may well hide the horcruxes; it gives off that vibe. Wizards using a waterway on a boat, especially during monsoons, works well as a subplot in Mumbai. Anyone who has visited the cave temples in the rain knows how dark and gloomy it is. Maybe part of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus can be turned into Gringotts Wizarding Bank. The grandeur of this place and its impressive interiors seem like the perfect setting for the elaborate secret planning that Harry, Hermione and Ron had to go through to steal one of Lord Voldemort’s horcruxes.

An unusual frantic race

Senjuti Das

Senjuti Das, 28, videographer
If fantasy novels had been based in Mumbai, there would have been a rapid increase in brooms. With members of the Ministry of Magic using broomsticks to travel, there would be less traffic on the roads. What a brilliant solution to our incessant traffic problems! In case of potholes, all we would have to say is “fixus repairum”. The roads would smooth out instantly. In addition, air pollution will be controlled.

I think the Indian Institute of Technology in Powai would be our own Hogwarts. To enter the school of sorcery, aspirants would be required to pass its magical entrance tests. And there would also be coaching institutions all over the country preparing muggles for the test. [Kota days are over, move on]. There may be reservations for squibs and muggleborns for a fairer assessment.

Finally, since the series is fiercely political, Voldemort would be a fascist politician and Hermione, a caste activist on campus. Voldemort could form an alliance with Dolores Umbridge leading to them finding an interim magical ministry, which falls midway due to their mutual differences. Cornelius Fudge would also have the deciding vote on this.

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