"Something different, you know," she replied, nodding. Usually that's the expression she gives when the movie either confirms to her beliefs and school of thought. "It was good," she added further with the you-should-have-seen-it-too attitude.
"Hmm..so, what happens in the end?" I probe further, getting details out of her.
"You should have seen it!" she quipped. See, I told you. It was coming.
End mein kya hota hai? One of the deepest obsessions film viewers have. What happens in the end? Do they live happily ever after? Do they die? Do they walk into the sunset (without any sunburns) Are they caught by the police? Or on rare occasions... Do they leave room for a Part 2?
We all love listening to stories. Stories about love, victory, heroes, war, adultery, crime... they dissolve into so many genres. Its almost like magic. You enter a dark cinema hall and expect to be told a story on the screen. A story does unfold on most occasions (unlike Dhoom 2, etc) and we're rivetted in our seats.
Till the end.
We're all interested to know, what happens in the end. Or sometimes, we ask ourselves, "What's the point, at the end of it?" Like a senior of my college, who uses the term, "end of the day" in every fourth sentence. It does matter for us to know, the culmination of all efforts which are meant to satisfy a certain 'end'.
However, it pains to know the lack of curiosity of how somebody did it. "Pehle toh gunda tha, chor tha, lekin ab dekho...laakhon mein kama raha hai!"
"Earlier, I was a brat at school, you know! But now..."
"He came to Mumbai with 20 rupees in his pocket. And now see where he is..."
"He used to serve chai before. And now see, he's a laughter champion!"
See? They never tell you HOW they did it. They just tell you the ending. Maybe its because they themselves wouldn't know (the gossip mongrels), how they did it. Maybe they were not curious to know.
Newspapers and magazines, though, sometimes pick up on this curiosity. Journalists are expected to be curious (hello!?) about 'things'. They'll tell you how they did it. It'll take time - they'll tell you every day what Dolly Thakore had for breakfast, what Krsna Mehta is doing today evening, how does Jitesh Kallat manage time effectively, how did Suchitra Pillai manage to hook up with that gora...
They'll tell you... slowly.
Thank God, for magazines, then! A simple extended feature on achievers and how they did it and there you are. You know how they did it, you know how they beat the odds and this precisely could become inspiration for millions of Gajraula ki Madhuris to come try their luck in Bollywood. Their success stories in turn, could inspire a million more.
Nevertheless, it is this very end that everyone's trying to satisfy. The end where life, after being a long, steep, hard climb to the top, suddenly transforms into a plateau. And its at this plateau, you have the mediamen waiting for you. Eager to hear your story. "How did you get here?" "Was it difficult?" "You wanted to be an engineer! You're a super-model now? Why did you take up that engineering seat at all? My nephew who was trying in the same college did not get through!"
But come to think of it, isn't it this very end from where there's a new beginning? We all are persistently try to reach somewhere, achieve a certain status, recognition, fame, glamour...
And in the end it's respect that is all we seek. Kishen Mulchandani may not be interested in putting his nose into your business, but yes, he'll tell this to Pooja Bedi, yelling amidst the Page 3 cacophony: "He's a good hotelier!" All of this, with a certain sense of respect.
Are we trying to work hard to elicit comments from Page 3 people, alone? Nah! We seek respect from the society at large. And they start respecting one fully, only that person has reached that end.
I remember a friend asking me the other day. What kind of ending do you like at the movies - happy, sad, clueless, sequel types... "Kis type ka ending pasand hai tujhe?"
"The sequel one," I reply, primly.
"It leaves room for more. I can come back again. With new hope. Twists and turns to expect."
But most importantly, after I've seen such a film, and anybody asks me, "So, how was it?" I can reply coolly, Mr.A style -
"Game's not over yet!"