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Authors and Movie Directors are in a great position of power over their readers and movie viewers. While we turn the pages with burning excitement or stay glued to the screen unblinkingly, to know if the hero won the heroine or not, the protagonist got justice or not, the guy won or lost the bet he took in the beginning, the mother could save her child or not, or the ultimate whether the hero could save the world single-handed or not, the author/directors pull all the strings and they lead us up false paths, throw liberally red herrings in our way until they are finally ready to reveal the end to us. Did the story have a happy ending or not? Whether in a book or a movie or in our lives what determines whether the ending is happy or not? Apart from the content, there is one crucial element that determines whether the story of our life has a happy or a sad ending. Let me tell you a story.

Vivek, from a small town, picked up a local lottery ticket in which the first prize was a one hour flight in a two-seater aircraft. It was his dream to fly in a plane and here if his luck supported him he could do it for just ten rupees the cost of his ticket. He prayed and kept the ticket under his pillow and went to sleep the day before the draw.

The next day he waited eagerly when the results came. He won the lottery! He was going to go on his joy ride, a dream of his life has been fulfilled. Now is that a happy ending? Yes. But wait.

He got into the plane and the pilot was taking him over the fields of his village when suddenly the door of the plane gave way and Vivek just tumbled out of the plane from a height of few thousand meters. Now that was tragic, wasn't it? Did the story have to end so morbidly? But wait.

As he tumbled towards the earth, cursing his luck and in utter panic and knowing for sure that death was just a few seconds away, he noticed that he was falling towards a huge stack of hay that was stored in one of the large fields. Good luck! Happy Ending! Not so soon hold on.

As he neared the haystack he saw that there was a sharp pitchfork with its teeth pointed upwards straight at him. Oh God, what a horrible death awaited him. He was going to be impaled on the pitchfork. What a tragic end to the story. Why do ends have to be so gory? No, wait.

Fortunately for him, he missed the pitchfork! Oh what a relief and a happy ending

Unfortunately for him, he missed the haystack. Oh, that is really, really, really a tragic ending!

The authors of a story (and we are the authors of our stories), have the power to stop telling the story at any point of time. Whether our life stories are a success/failure, happy ending or sad ending depends not so much on the content of the story so far, but where we want to stop telling the story and say it is THE END. Think about it.

I want to stop telling the story here. But no wait, I can't resist a tailpiece.

Tailpiece: When he hit the ground, Vivek woke up from his dream!

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