We all wish to board train to eternity with confirmed booking!

As in chess so in life the ‘end game’ matters the most; all is well that ends well ! You may not live well, but must die well! ( in peace! ) The good taste must linger on! The end is indeed important; though few care for it, busy as they are to make the ends […]

As in chess so in life the ‘end game’ matters the most; all is well that ends well ! You may not live well, but must die well! ( in peace! ) The good taste must linger on! The end is indeed important; though few care for it, busy as they are to make the ends meet! The philosophy of beginning, middle and end is applicable to so many aspects of life, in addition to life itself !

In our early days we were taught that an ‘essay’ has three parts: introduction, main body and the conclusion. After initiating the topic it is expected that the core issue will be discussed in the main body and finally in the conclusion the issues discussed are reemphasized to make an impact, the reader is expected to form an opinion on the basis of the complete work , but relies on the last  sentences and its impact.

In fact ‘the end’ is the sum total of life. Few cases would only be there who have led a steady-straight life, ‘ copy book’ style . Life is like the oceanic tide – ‹ebb and flow› ; as the moon phase controls the tides it controls the human life;› waxing and waning›; yet few pass out of the night with ‘full moon’ glowing peacefully.

Usually many infirmities and inadequacies strike us as we enter old age; illness of body and mind, lack of love of partner ( companionship)or attention of children and therefore the gains of youth and manhood seem waste. Of what avail is the sweetest fruit if it does not ripen well !Even though it may have flowered and taken perfect shape on the most prosperous tree! But if we achieve solace of mind and heart on own or through help the life spent is successful, but then the Indian view on after life gives chance to all those who do not make to the post ! It is not ‘nirvana’ that most seek though, but all wish to board the train to eternity with confirmed booking !!

A few illustrations from the life of the imminent figures of the past should suffice here to clarify my view: Shah Jahan the 17th century Moghal Emperor was married to the beautiful Mumtaj Mahal ( Arjumand) and sired 14 children; in those times this was one way to show your love!

The Empress died in the battle field whilst delivering their last child. In her memory and to convey to the world her beauty and his love of her he built the famous Taj Mahal – the symbol of beauty. He is known to be the biggest builder of that era and Lal Quila, Juma Masjid are credited to him,but he died a broken man as his son Auranzeb captured him and put him in the Agra Fort in caged condition , he died in very old age and for his living he had to teach children ‘Quran’. He was defeated in the ‘end game’.

We know the story of King Lear as dramatized by Shakespeare: King with three lovely daughters who deceived himself with some bad decisions. Nehru led a life of challenges and glory, he was the man truly loved by the masses. He would have preferred to die in a satisfied manner handing the baton to the generation next; but that was not to be: the Chinese betrayal shattered him , his image also suffered setback and he died a very sad man; the debacle curtailed his life span.

The aspect of ‘end game’ could  be discerned in the field of literature and Art. Sahir Ludhiyanvi the famous Urdu poet who wrote successfully for films was of known leftist leanings, the people remember him for the last few lines he wrote on Taj “ik Shahenshah ne daulat ka sahara lekar hum garibon ki mohabbat ka uraya hai mazak” (The emperor has mocked on the poor on the strength of his wealth). The famous American Poet Robert Frost is known from the last four lines of his poem ‘Stopping by the woods on a snowy evening’:

“The woods are lovely dark and deep
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep
And miles to go before I sleep”.

Cinema is the place where this theory is well defined. Many a famous Director fail at the end ; so often we have witnessed the audience walking out of the cinema as the film  reaches the climax. The ending has a tremendous impact on the feedback which is given by the audience and often decides the fate of the film at Box office. Directors ‘unfold’ the plot well but when the time comes to ‘fold’ the plot and reach the end they falter , in most cases it is evident that the script is weak and not much attention is given to the foundation and therefore they reap what they have sown.

Imminent filmmakers such as Raj Kapoor, Bimal Roy, Mehboob Khan,  Guru Dutt ,Vijay Anand balanced the plot in such a manner that the end was uplifting, the audience experienced catharsis ( purgation of emotion). The last scene of ‘Pyasa’ where Guru Dutt denounces the world and the flimsy fame and walks into the sunset  holding the hand of Waheeda Rehman is imprinted in the minds of the public; that is the way we would like to retreat to our cocoon with our loved one , far from the material world.

The ending of ‘Guide’ as filmed by Vijay Anand is different from the book; the book shows that ‘Raju Guide’ dies in the end after many days of fasting for the rains but in the film it finally rains on the hills and the villagers are overjoyed as Raju passes away . This ending is very rejuvenating as it depicts that Raju has finally purified himself, sort of redeemed himself and the effect is tremendous.

The end of Mahabharata the longest epic poem is with the Pandavas handing over their kingdom to Parikshit the son of Abhimanu and proceeding to the Himalayas to die one after the other, only the truthful Yudhisthir the eldest of them is sent a chariot to be taken to the higher abode. After achieving name , fame , glory, kingdom and victory in the war of ‘principles’ and restoring their honour it was the most appropriate ‘end’ for the Pandavas as well as for the poem; in harmony with the theory of renunciation and temporariness of material happiness. It remains the bestseller to this day.

The Indian concept of the four phases of life- brahmacharya( student age), grihasta ( married life), vanprastha( life in forest) and sanyas( renunciation) teach us to lead a balanced and satisfactory life giving adequate attention and emphasis to each phase . Hardly few attain the concept envisaged by our sages. Though even in such times their seems hope of turnaround.

Life will end one day. But the day must end peacefully as we recede into the night to attend to another day, and each day will count to make our ‘end game’!!