We all celebrated the birthday of The Chosen One this month. Yes, I’m talking about both Harry Potter and Eesha Ramanujam. You’ve seen Eesha before, as a photographer extraordinaire for some select events and as a friend of mine since our first year of college. Well, since she photographed my birthday, I went ahead and took on the liberty of being her head photographer for her birthday, just a week after mine.
We started out with something most twenty-somethings absolutely love and definitely waited anxiously for: the release of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts 1 +2 by J.K. Rowling. We twenty-somethings grew up in the age of Harry Potter; I distinctly remember the first time I thought I’d read the whole series, age 6, listening to my cousin tell me, “Sneha, it’s not scary, it’s magic.” I’d been terrified of the books after seeing the first movie (only because the movie came out when I was 6 years old, and I didn’t know any better, okay? Books above all!) and his reassurance propelled me into some of the finest years and readings of my life.
Eesha loves Harry Potter. Not only does she share an unplanned birthday with The Chosen One, but Harry Potter has been a huge part of her life since the series first started. I’m not sure I’m friends with people who say otherwise, because Harry Potter truly was such a big part of our lives. What better way to celebrate her twentieth than with a midnight release party in Harvard, I’m sorry, Hogwarts (!) Square? We lined up, excited, nervous, confused (about our houses, which eventually was clarified with a groundbreaking theory that you are in the house that you would’ve been sorted into circa age 11), right outside Harvard Bookstore. Once inside, they’d divided the place into 4 houses and these 2 Ravenclaws went straight for the butterbeer [read: cream soda with personality] and searching for a variety of snitches displayed across the store. There’s also something really great and *magical* about the sheer presence of other Harry Potter fans in the same place. You know they’re good people right off the bat; after all, they have good taste in books.
After spending the night getting the book, we wandered back to Back Bay for a late night session with our friend Neel, deliriously laughing and spending our time in the company of each other. Eesha and I have a truly terrible habit of staying up all night when we’re together, and it disadvantages Neel because he needs his beauty sleep. Oh, he’ll tell you that at around 10 P.M. when he’s ready to crawl into bed. So naturally we overstayed our welcome until 6 A.M., napped for a few hours, and got ready for brunch.
This time, we went to The Met Back Bay for Eesha’s birthday in search of the famed Captain Crunch French Toast. It did not disappoint, let me tell you. French toast coated in Captain Crunch is oddly satisfying, sweet and sugary to offset the deep sweetness of the cinnamon-y toast and maple syrup. Yeah, I know it was sweet, but there was fruit, so it was healthy too?
Then, since it was a Sunday, we went over to SoWa Open Market for a few hours, bringing our friends Aruja and Rushil along for the ride. One sandwich, a few bagels, some thai basil lemonades, and we were pretty tired yet again. Nap time round 2 was very necessary. We did walk home with some great finds from the arts portion of the market, where we found a science jewelry stand. I got a ring with the big dipper on it, and Eesha got a necklace depicting the different phases of the moon.
Post-nap, I introduced Eesha to Symphony Sushi, our local sushi joint at Northeastern. Veggie gyoza are good anytime, anywhere. So we brought them to the Reflection Pool since it was a nice night, and grabbed bubble tea with some more friends who joined us until midnight. Eesha loves bubble tea and almost always offers it to people because she just goes that often. It was nice to catch up, rolling into the 18th hour we’d spent together that weekend, right by the water with some stars out. For some reason, it was a clear night. I guess Eesha really is The Chosen One if she gets some stargazing on her birthday in the big city of Boston.