When Harry is born, his parents, Lily and Ron, move into the house they purchased in an idyllic village called Rameswaram, about 30 miles north of Mumbai.
They had been living there for three years when their landlord died and the couple were given an ultimatum: either move to the more upscale Jindoor in Delhi or spend their final years in the nearby Kedarnath temple.
“We were thinking, Why not go to India?” recalls Ron, who was then 23.
“I had just gone to college and wanted to do a degree.
I didn’t want to be there.
It was hard for us.”
They chose to go to the temple and live there until they were 25.
“They are really kind people,” Harry recalls.
“But they were also the most demanding people.
We weren’t given enough food and clothes and I don’t know if they were allowed to cook for themselves.”
The temple also promised them a comfortable place to stay.
“The most important thing to us was to be in the temple, to be surrounded by the people,” says Ron.
“You have to be the center of attention, and the temple was a place where we could be.
We didn’t know what was going to happen in India, but we thought, It will be a great place.”
The next year, the couple moved to Delhi, where they were welcomed by the Maharaja of Kutch, who had recently become India’s president.
They stayed in a large hotel with an ocean view, where many Indian students and visitors stayed to learn Sanskrit.
“There was an air of sophistication, but at the same time, you could feel like you were not at home,” Ron says.
The couple’s lives were transformed by the experience.
“After the ceremony, we were given food, clothes, books and a new lease on life,” says Harry.
“It was so important to be able to live and learn without anyone knowing about it.”
Harry, who is now 22, describes the experience of moving to Delhi as “one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.”
“We had such a good time.
We were free from all the problems of our life,” he says.
“Now we feel that our parents’ sacrifice was worth it.”
They are the subjects of a documentary that will air on BBC World Service next week.
It will feature interviews with members of the Harry Potter fandom who were there, including the mother of the film’s protagonist, J.K. Rowling, and a host of Indian celebrity friends.