Author J.K. Rowling, best known for writing the Harry Potter fantasy series has sent Kulsum Bano Bhat, 12, a girl from a remote village in Jammu and Kashmir a gift hamper, so impressed was she by the Class VII girl’s words in an essay-writing project.
The hamper includes books Rowling has written, stationery and a handwritten note with a message for the Kashmiri girl, a student of Haji Public School in Jammu’s Chenab valley.
“I have sent some things. I hope you like them. I was so impressed by your English. It will be an honor to meet you one day. With love, J.K. Rowling,” a video shows Kulsum reading from the note, purportedly from Rowling.
A tweet from Rowling revealed how glad the author was that the gift had reached the girl. “I’m so happy it got there! I was getting worried! Xxx,” she tweeted, said a report by The Telegraph.
On April 26, Kulsum’s teacher, Priya, had put up a tweet with a photograph of Kulsum’s essay, in which the 12-year-old had written, “I am not inspired by JK Rowling only because she writes well but also because she has faced many difficulties but didn’t give up.
The director of the school, Sabbah Haji, while retweeting the teacher’s tweet, tagged Rowling and extended her an invitation to visit Doda to meet Kulsum, saying the girl, “a first-generation English learner from the Himalayas would like to meet you someday. So come to visit us at #HajiPublicSchool”.
Later that day, Rowling surprised the school with a reply to Haji’s tweet, asking for Kulsum’s details to be able to “send her something”. The reply from the author of the best-selling series left Kulsum in disbelief, and everyone at school related.
After Rowling’s response to her tweet, Sabbah Haji replied, “Shoutout to the very gracious J K Rowling. This tweet framed forever in our school hallway.
Kulsum, one of four children of a farmer couple in Breswana, attends the non-profit school in Doda with her younger brother. “My brother is in Class III in the same school. I speak in English with him at home… in school, we all have to speak only in English,” she says, speaking from Breswana in Doda on Sabbah Haji’s phone. She speaks in slow, carefully constructed sentences as she goes on to talk of her love for the Harry Potter series, Indian Express reported.
Sabbah Haji, the public school’s director, has invited Rowling to visit Doda and meet Kulsum, saying “a first-generation English learner from the Himalayas would like to meet you someday. So come visit us at #HajiPublicSchool”.
Kulsum’s English teacher summed up the mood in the school. “Gifts from JKR with personalized notes for Kulsum. All of class 7 (along with their director Sabbah Haji) lost their minds,” she tweeted, The Telegraph reported.