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The magical world of Harry Potter is indeed quite very magical. And walking around the Harry Potter: The Exhibition at Singapore was a magical journey!

The initial couple of minutes, I was thrilled, ready to squee at every little thing. And after I got over the whole ‘OMG’ phase, I started to take in things, and goodness me, the creativity and detail that goes into everything was astounding. It’s simply breathtaking to see these props and then the realization of how much thought has gone into making these hit me. Simply put : gorgeous!

And the exhibition was organized into different-theme rooms : Gryffindor Common Room, Forbidden Forest, Dark Forces, Great Hall etc.

So, I guess I’ll just talk about some of the lovely things that I saw.

One of the very first things I noticed was the Time Turner Hermione uses in the 3rd in the series. It’s a shiny gold and a miniscule hourglass with sand inside! And it looked quite pretty!  Actually, the first thing that greets you is the Fat Lady trying to break her glass with the operatic voce

There was the Dumbledore’s Army sheet which Hermione makes everyone sign. One of the best about this was that handwriting was different for each sign! Quite interesting! I also got to see Harmione’s Bag from the last book which has the hidden enlargement charm and the book she stored inside.

There was the Quibbler with the Spectrespecs and crazy whoozy colours on that page. There was the Mimbulus Mimbletonia which looked quite ick. And, the cursed necklace which Katie Bell touches looked nice. And! I got to see the coins! The Galleons, Sickles and Knuts! They have these embossed on them in a Gaelic-style-font. The coins are just what I imagined them to be.

There was Harry and Ron’s four-poster beds, a Chudley Cannons (non-moving) poster, Ron’s glasses, the Marauderer’s Map (which is definitely squee-worthy and made up of a number of folds), Harry’s Acceptance Letter to Hogwarts signed by McGonagall, Ron’s sweater with the ‘R’ on it. Oh and there was also the Howler which Ron receives after they flew the Ford Anglia. Complete with a satin tongue!

One of the interesting exhibits was the professor’s room/objects. I got to see Umbridge’s Kitten Plates, the pink everything and the teacup and her quill that craves into the skin. There was Lockhart’s complete bookset, his robes and his duelling robes and Snape’s potions and chemical glassware with stuff boiling. There were also little bottles like those formaldehyde-bio-specimens of various things like Doxycide. Slughorn’s had  a Bezoar. I saw the Half-Blood Prince’s Potions, complete with all the scribblings on the PolyJuice Potion Page. At Herbology, I got to pull out squealing Mandrakes. Ugly little creatures they are. And at Lupin’s there was the Boggart wardrobe, the giant clown that the Boggart turns to. And I saw Beaky/Witherwings! It looks creepymagnificent.

The Quidditch exhibit was fun, and I got to throw the Quaffle into the three hoops. Of course, I scored them all! And the snitc and restrained bludgers in the box that Wood first shows Harry in the 1st movie. There were also the different Quidditch robes present, along with oddments from the world cup like the Omnioculars. I saw a set of “House Captain” boards for each of the four houses which I don’t remember from the movies. I also got to see the Nimbus2000 and Nimbus2001. Alas, no Firebolt.

In Hagrid’s Hut, which is as close to the original that you can get, I got to see Hagrid giant clothes set, his dragon egg which shakes, the pink umberella/wand and the Monster Book of Monsters! Who wouldn’t miss that?!

And in the Forbidden Forest, the Acromantula Aragog was not as creepy as the movie. There was Bane and Magorian who looked a lot like the Avatar folk. Avatar sucked, anyway.  I wish there had been a unicorn.

And there was an artistically beautiful ‘Angel of Death’ statue which was seen in Little Hangleton and Dementor. Which was loose cloth and a bone-network which ended only in a spine. Very, very creepy.  Add to this, the effect of dark windows and lightning. Enough to give you the chills. There were also Voldy’s robes. Again, very creepy. From the first movie, I saw the Philopher’s Stone, the Key used in the obstacle, and the Chess pieces! I wish I could’ve played Wizard’s Chess! And there were creepy looking Death Eater robes and masks. And some old Death Eater ‘wanted’ poster of the Carrows etc. There were also the Horcruxes : The Diadem, Hufflepuff’s Cup, The Ring(which looked unimpressive), The Slytherin Locket, The Diary with Basilisk Fang.

Among the posters, there was one for the ‘Undesirable No.1’, and the Ministry of Magic issue for safety which includes a secret question and the Educational Decrees! I’m positive the artists must have had fun making the decree posters with different fonts, a giant “M” stamp, signed by Dolores. And on close inspection the last line reads something like this : “Bla Hblahbl Ahblah Blahbl Ahbla Hblahb Lah!”

The mugs says “Dobby is a Free Elf”

And there was a marvellous Great Hall door leading to a display of the Great Hall food which looked so delectable! There were displayes of Skiving Snackboxes, Chocolate Frogs made of “100% Croakoa” Fizzing Whizzbees, Bertie Bott’s etc.

And from the 4th movie, I got to see the magnificent TriWizard Cup and the giant thingamajig/casket which held it, the scraps of paper that the cup spews, the uniforms of Durnstrang and Beauxbatons, the Yule Ball Dress Robes of the students and the profs, the green Rita Skeeter Quill, and some of the ice scultpures which were on display during the Yule Ball. Speaking of dresses, there were robes and gowns (from Bill and Fleur’s wedding), the casual clothes, Quidditch robes, Professor’s robes etc on display. And what amazed me even further was that there were so many patterns/layers to each dress which made it look gorgeous in the end. There were so many wands, each customized with their own nadle portion. I particularly like James Potter’s wand.

And oh yes, I saw the Daily Prophet, one talking about Weasley’s trip to Egypt (with Scabbers and his missing paw) and the one about Muggles seeing a flying Anglia!

Standing regally, in its own display case was the Gryffindor Sword. Given how celebrated it is in the novel, it was a marvellous sight to behold, with the ruby encrusted hilt and shining silver. It was truly one of the more beautiful pieces on display.

And there was also Fawkes on display with beady eyes that stare at you and the feathers on it were dyed in hues of yellow-gold and red. With so many feathers, its plumage really looked quite magnificent.

And I probably have gushed enough about this. But honestly,  it’s well worth the visit especially if you’re a huge fan and you grew up with this.

And so, the final words : Nitwit! Oddment!Blubber!Tweak!

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This is it. The last ever time I’ll find myself looking forward to a Harry Potter event. This is something that’s been a constant in my life, since I was nine.

In fact, I never did want to read the first book until a friend of mine decided to show me a couple of pages from her copy of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone – the page where he receives the letter indicating the list of books. And needless to say, that initial glimpse into the world pulled me in and produced another Pottermaniac.

Lucid always says the first she heard us talk (when she crash-landed in our school) was when we were talking about the release (?) of the fifth book and of Snape’s abysmally large nose.

The movies have altered how I perceived the characters, the most of all – Ginny. Somehow the head Ginny differed so much from the movie Ginny or me. But then this isn’t as bad as BWC imaging Voldemort to look like Squidward from Spongebob.

Ten years ahead, here I am, with the realization that I’ve been very lucky to be a part of this cult/phenomenon/Muggle-world.

It feels like finally closing the lid on this box, but I plan to read all the seven again, after the movie. And then, maybe still have this ‘box’ next to me always. Plus, reading it again, isn’t for the story and its interweaving layers, it’s also a trip back to the tiny (okay.. tiny-er) me. It’s always wonderful to the see the complexity she built and how the cogs turned. In fact, Snape is one of my favourite characters, because he’s so well penned down.

It would be wonderful if there was a midnight premiere and we could go dressed as characters. But no, this is Chennai. Joy.

Sure I had complaints, criticisms and all that throughout the reading/watching experience, but just like any old Rajnikant fan, I will always stand by the books. (The movies… maybe to a littler extent, ja?)

All that’s left is to try and convert my brother into an HP-reader.

This would probably best sum it:

Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?

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Harry Potter movies just cannot win.

Being a franchise fueled by rabid fans, they are somewhat doomed to fail from the outset, thanks to the merciless nitpicking that is just part of the rabid-fan package. Of course, this same crazy-ass audience also guarantees that every one of these movies is a box-office hit, if nothing. So of course, I went in to watch the seventh installment with my skeptic’s hat very much in place (albeit tempered by nostalgia and the hope that this one would somehow be Different).

That being said, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part- I was a pleasant surprise.  For once, this fangirl at least was left satisfied with the plot-coverage. Although much like its predecessors (except, perhaps, movies 1 & 2) it will still be at best hard-to-follow for anyone who hasn’t previously read the books, I thought the essence of the story was well captured. The explanation of the Deathly Hallows was well done and the animation that went with, was downright lovely. The same can be said of the locations of shooting. Director David Yates had described the movie as being shot in a ‘road-trip’  (but better: apparition, ha ha!) style, and I think that definitely came through. On the acting-front, I will go so far as to say that Emma Watson may actually be developing some acting skills, Rupert was fun to watch seeing as Ron is not treated as caricature/comic relief this time around, and Daniel is decent, as well. The movie ended at a smart point plot-wise, so I give my approval there, too.

It’s not all good, though. The most obvious disappointment was that Dumbledore’s back-story was missing, except for a reference to Rita Skeeter’s ‘scandalous’ book on the subject. Seeing as it was an important story-thread in the book, I am baffled by their ignoring it completely. It would definitely have added to the plot and will, I think,  leave some gaping plot-holes, come part-2. My second gripe is about the Harry/Hermione “moments” that were obviously designed to add another layer of drama to the mix for those who hadn’t read the books. I wouldn’t complain about this if it weren’t for the fact that it caused them to leave out the great Harry/Ron confrontation scene (Chapter 19, DH) as this would obviously clear up the triangle they’d been projecting through the movie. NOT a good bargain, WB! They also left  out the Lupin/Harry confrontation scene, although I missed this less.

Other things I enjoyed:

* The entire sequence at the Ministry of Magic– the actors playing the trio playing Ministry officials picked up their (trio’s) mannerisms  and were really fun to watch.

*Dobby’s death-This really was painful to watch as it was to read.

Petty ‘hate’s:

*Xenophilius Lovegood: (Short version)Whoever told Rhys Ifans he could act told a blasphemous lie.

* Will Helena Bonham Carter ever tone it down?!

* Neville calling Death Eaters ‘Losers’ ? Yeah, I don’t think so.

All in all, I think it will satisfy fans of the series and is much better than movies 4-6. Bottom-line: 3-stars. And I’ll throw in a recommendation, why not?

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Hi! So, about a month ago, something weird happened. I decided to do something that almost gave my mum a heart attack.

I decided to Clean! Well, sort of. I got out all my books and figured I would rearrange and catalog them in a way that made sense to me. But, once I got them out, I got all nostalgic and the process took a lot longer than it was supposed to. This led to my living room looking like this for about 3 days. Needless to say, my mom was a lot less happy with my new found desire to clean at the end of this period.

My living room floor had my entire childhood on it. My relationship with books began pretty early. There are pictures of me reading my little alphabet book as early as age one-one and a half.  But, my first book that I remember was this big book of Fairy Tales. I read that thing so much, the spine came apart! I remember every little detail about that book. Cinderella, Sindbad The Sailor, Gulliver’s Travels, Snow White and Rose Red!

That was the beginning, what followed was the age of Enid Blyton and Harry Potter, in adjacency with the Scholastic books era. I used to live in a city where there weren’t any decent bookstores, up to age 12. My dad used to bring me books from Chennai every time he went there. We had a deal, during my Enid Blyton phase, 3 books of a series per visit. The Scholastic company would have these book exhibitions and give us this catalog to order books from. Since I was so book starved, I would buy any and every book from the fiction section. Anastasia Krupnik and Ramona Quimby were my heroes when I was 10. My favorite Enid Blyton books were The Five Find-Outers series and The Faraway Tree stories. And I like Malory towers better than St. Clare’s. I remember, I once reread the whole 15 books from the Five Find-Outer series in one sitting. I read a little Nancy drew and Hardy Boys like most kids my age. But, they got predictable, fast. I made the mistake of reading Agatha Christie after reading Arthur Conan Doyle, and well, after you’ve read Holmes, nothing really compares. Hercule Poirot never had a chance.

I read the first 4 Harry Potter books when I was about 8-9. They got me hooked to the genre. I read Artemis Fowl, His Dark Materials, Lots of books by Garth Nix, Ingo, Eragon and the like, ravenously. I had an extensive Fantasy phase. It was the best one and lasted the longest. It also kind of contributed to how the three of us met.

I moved to Chennai from Madurai when I was entering class 8. On my first day of school, as I enter the class, I see lots of groups of people, and for some reason I zone in on these idiots sitting in the last couple of rows and decide, “Hey, I should sit there!”. So I walk over, and ask one of them if I could sit there. They look at me funny, probably wondering why I was asking their permission, but they nod yes, nonetheless. Now, Adzzie claims that she was the one I spoke to, but I don’t really recall.*grin* Anyway, I’m kind of socially awkward and shy, so I just sit there listening to them talk. And the things they were talking about! They were discussing, and I kid you not, how Alan Rickman’s nose was long and that it matched the book’s description perfectly. What you should know is, that where I had come from, people who read anything at all were a scarce commodity, so when I found these bunch of people who read the same kind of things, I was so excited. Then, Fuzzy initiated conversation and the rest, as they say, is history.

Somewhere during the Fantasy phase I read the Maximum Ride series, which I loved, but which got so very crappy later, the Boy Soldier series, which were brilliant, the Magician’s Guild Trilogy, also very, very good, the Bartimaeus Trilogy, the Pendragon books and so many more. The books were so good during this time, we would all read them and discuss them endlessly. We also read Twilight during this time. It was before all the screaming , rabid fangirls and we were 15, so I blame our youth.

Then, as I got older I started reading the kind of stuff I do now. Its a mix of everything, classic literature, contemporary fiction, historical fiction and the occasional young adult novel. I haven’t read a decent fantasy book in so long though!

When I was doing this cleaning, I realized how important books have been in my life. I mean, when I open an old book, I see 10 year old me or 12 year old me. I remember how I was back then, how I used to think and how I’ve changed and grown. I love how the stories you read as a younger version of yourself will change as you mature. These books have been my best friends all my life. There are good ones that I will remember always and some downright terrible ones. But, they all have memories attached to them. Memories of spending all day in bed reading and having my mum yell at me for forgetting to eat, memories of scouring bookstores for that book, memories of staying up till 4 in the morning because I couldn’t put that book down and of getting and reaching for that book first thing in the morning.

Well, that turned out longer than I expected. Anyway, that was my book story. What’s yours?

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So, Lucid was over and we went to the *drumroll* beach. I bet you’re probably tired of us going to the beach, but, well she wanted to eat. And BWC couldn’t come over as she semi-fails.
Anyway, we got to discussing when we started reading. So here goes.


Like any little toddler, I began with a big book of Fairytales. My mom would make me sit in the balcony and she would read them until I fell asleep. And then, I began looking at those giant pictures, telling the story my way. This was followed by a series of graphic stories which unfortunately was lost when we shifted to Chennai.  My fave ever fairytale was Snow White and Rose Red because no one else in my class knew that.

Okay, now, skip a few years and land in fourth grade. I was introduced to Enid Blyton with Mr.Meddle and St.Clare’s. I wasn’t all that thrilled about Mr.Meddle while I absolutely loved the twins in St.Clare’s.  (Ahh,  Mam’zelle!) And since then, I’ve always carried books. Reading became a major part of things that define me.

And in fifth, one of my neighbors forced me to read a page from Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. Up until then, I never wanted to because everyone was talking about it. (See! I was like this even back then. I tend to dissociate myself with these ‘popular’ books.) And I was hooked onto the book after which I forced my parents to get me those books.Of course, I never stopped reading Enid Blyton. Every visit to the library would

And for a while, I was stuck onto a bunch of ‘series.’ The ones I loved the most were probably Chalet School and The Three Investigators. Even now, I still wouldn’t mind curling up with a Chalet School because it had a really fresh voice. I loved how they chronicled Jo’s growth unlike some series where the kids stay the same age forever. I enjoyed the area and its description (especially now that I’ve seen Interlaken and stayed in a chalet,) and a world of adventure unlike the other school series.

In the eighth or so, I started out a few Classics that were my mom’s books. I did switch between the abridged and unabridged versions. I probably read Alice in Wonderland, the unabridged version, around this time. Also, I read Eragon around this time. And by ninth, I was into a lot of YA literature. It was a time when I drowned myself in books that angered my mom, but hey! Who cares? I also started science fiction around this time and I really enjoy science fics that have a solid scientific background. Not those hocus-pocus ‘in-the-future-years’ thing.

Nearing the end of twelve years of school, I started out with Literary Fiction, one of my favourite genres as it combines a great written style and a story. It made me enjoy each page and appreciate the words, as much as I loved devouring it to finish the book. And it also got me critiquing certain parts of the book. I mean, not just rating the book, but actually figuring out the what’s and why’s. A lot of these books would probably fall in the ‘Favourites’ category. Two books that pop into my head are Gift of Rain and Atonement. These stories were beautifully crafted and I sat up late into the night as I finish these. I highly recommend these books.


Now, after a year of college, I can never go for a week without reading something, even if it is some old books of mine.

So, what is your favourite ‘early book?’

EDIT- I just realized our last post was over a month ago. A month! Shows how college can ruin you.

So, Lucid was over and we went to the *drumroll* beach. I bet you’re probably tired of us going to the beach, but, well she wanted to eat. And BWC couldn’t come over as she semi-fails.
Anyway, we got to discussing when we started reading. So here goes.
Like any little toddler, I began with a big book of Fairytales. My mom would make me sit in the balcony and she would read them until I fell asleep. And then, I began looking at those giant pictures, telling the story my way. This was followed by a series of graphic stories which unfortunately was lost when we shifted to Chennai.  My fave ever fairytale was Snow White and Rose Red because no one else in my class knew that.

Okay, now, skip a few years and land in fourth grade. I was introduced to Enid Blyton with Mr.Meddle and St.Clare’s. I wasn’t all that thrilled about Mr.Meddle while I absolutely loved the twins in St.Clare’s.  (Ahh,  Mam’zelle!) And since then, I’ve always carried books. Reading became a major part of things that define me.

And in fifth, one of my neighbors forced me to read a page from Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. Up until then, I never wanted to because everyone was talking about it. (See! I was like this even back then. I tend to dissociate myself with these ‘popular’ books.) And I was hooked onto the book after which I forced my parents to get me those books.Of course, I never stopped reading Enid Blyton. Every visit to the library would

And for a while, I was stuck onto a bunch of ‘series.’ The ones I loved the most were probably Chalet School and The Three Investigators. Even now, I still wouldn’t mind curling up with a Chalet School because it had a really fresh voice. I loved how they chronicled Jo’s growth unlike some series where the kids stay the same age forever. I enjoyed the area and its description (especially now that I’ve seen Interlaken and stayed in a chalet,) and a world of adventure unlike the other school series.

In the eighth or so, I started out a few Classics that were my mom’s books. I did switch between the abridged and unabridged versions. I probably read Alice in Wonderland, the unabridged version, around this time. Also, I read Eragon around this time. And by ninth, I was into a lot of YA literature. It was a time when I drowned myself in books that angered my mom, but hey! Who cares? I also started science fiction around this time and I really enjoy science fics that have a solid scientific background. Not su hocus-pocus ‘in-the-future-years’ thing.

Nearing the end of twelve years of school, I started out with Literary Fiction, one of my favourite genres as it combines a great written style and a story. It made me enjoy each page and appreciate the words, as much as I loved devouring it to finish the book. And it also got me critiquing certain parts of the book. I mean, not just rating the book, but actually figuring out the what’s and why’s. A lot of these books would probably fall in the ‘Favourites’ category. Two books that pop into my head are Gift of Rain and Atonement. These stories were beautifully crafted and I sat up late into the night as I finish these. I highly recommend these books.

Now, after a year of college, I can never go for a week without reading something, even if it is some old books of mine.

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ICONATOR_d7c5aa76368eaba6e98d72f4a5db32a6Hola people! If you read stuff here regularly, you will probably know that we practiacally live on the beach here and if you didn’t, you know now anyway. So. Here are some pictures we took when we went on one of our early morning excursions to the beach.

100_0035

Of course, The Monument!

100_0032

The Sun

More Beach

The Sky...and some buldings

The Sky!

The Sky!

Yup! Its looks a lot nicer without the Others. Its really good weather in the mornings there though,but only till about 7 am before it goes back to its usual boiling hot status.

We went to the beach again today (You may groan) and it was really nice and breezy. That is, before it started raining. So, we ran into the nearest coffee shop and ordered stuff. But then, there was a blackout! Yes, that was an exclamation point because something happened to us! We nearly got stranded!

Can you sense the desperation there?

Anyway, that was our great Adventure of the day.

In other unrelated news, Fuzzy is now an honorary College student, with an ID and everything. Yay for her! Although she has to keep the ID safe for 4 years, which, in her case, is nearly impossible. Good Luck anyway! 😉

BWC and I on the other hand have to still be formally admitted into ours. Yup, soon we’ll be busy, busy college students.

We are doing something now though. We’ve decided to reread the Harry Potter books, which were a major part of our collective childhood(?) and also the thing we all had in common when we first met, and basically talk about and, to use a cliche (Beacuse I Want To :P) relive the magic!

That’s all for now I guess. Catch ya later!

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wakin-dreamYou may heave a sigh of relief, reader(s ?).This is not going to be a transparent attempt at ‘God-just-coming-up-with-something-for-NaBloPoMo-already!’. Funnily enough, I must attribute this to Half Blood Prince. ‘Funnily enough’ because the movie was utterly, utterly crap. In fact the only reason we sat through it at all is because it was so amusingly crap. I’ll give them credit for sticking to the plot for the most part, though. It’s obviously quite a task to condense a 600-ish-page book into a two and a half hour-movie, and everything of consequence has its place.

The flaws, though, are glaringly large and hard to look past. For your amusement (possibly) and mine (most definitely), I shall share some of these Moments:

1. SquintyScrunchy Slughorn.

Horace Slughorn is described as having “prominent, pale gooseberry coloured eyes, a shiny pate, and an enormous, silver, moustache that looked like a walrus”.

What we got: Horace Slughorn

He reminded me of Brenda Blethyn (Mrs. Bennet from Pride and Prejudice).However, while she was absolutely brilliant, the kindest thing I can say for this version of Slughorn is that he was most definitely not (Bold, Italics,Underline!).

2. “I killed Sirius Black, I killed Sirius Black!”

Long story short: Belatrix = Calypso* Wanna Be. Seriously. She spoke funny, she looked positively demented ( ‘positively’ is an unfortunate choice of word, really) , and she was just plain MAD. Belatrix is clearly a twisted hag, but this was just a whole nother character. If you need further proof (although I feel obliged to warn you that this is not for the weak of heart, and I do not actually advice you to watch it), I present:


This leads to my third point- The Burrow:

Now, correct me if I’m mistaken, but I’m fairly sure the Burrow wasn’t located on a crop circle. I mean, really. And also: The burrow’s defences are so weak that Belatrix can just drop in and set fire to it?! While it houses The Chosen One. Seriously?

4. The Death Eaters version 2.0

Fuzzy thought the new-and-improved FLYING (!!!) Death Eaters were missiles. I wont blame her, either, although I chose the more normal explanation of “Dementors??”.

5. The Romance.

They made it a freaking soap opera! Sure, the book held a couple of mentions of snogging but the melodrama just killed me.

Hermione’s permanently tortured expression was just plain exhausting.In fact, the following image sums up her entire role in this movie:

And Lavender.Omg, Lavender. She reminded me of an annoying, squeaky anime girl (you know the kind) what with her bow and just how unimaginably ridiculous she was. I mean, all right, she is a bit mental but what she isn’t is this:

And the hugely exaggerated, nonexistent-in-the-book Harry/Ginny moments? Let’s not even talk of those moments.No, seriously.

Summary: Gladiator-meets-High School Musical-meets-The Ring.

*From POTC.Loved her, though!

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