Experience So Far: Beginning, Middle and End

Ever since I have moved to London, I have been praising the local transport system. The way they have managed it is quite remarkable considering the pretty small road compared to what we have in Pakistan. And to have bus stops and routing through these and that too without affecting the traffic is a feat in its own sense. The other good thing is you will find a map, timetable and details of the buses stopping over right at the bus stops. But two days ago I happened to travel through train and tube en route to Central London. And the experience I had has only train and tube to the list.

For a confused traveller like me they have all the minute details in place. You will find everything on the station, from the directions to move around, the schedule of the trains, which train or tube goes where and the explanatory maps. The Transport for London authority has ensured that no one gets lost in London. But despite of all that I almost lost the way twice around the station and then could have easily rode the wrong tube, thanks to the gentleman, who guided me, for saving me from the pain. It all happened because of my confusion and I am sure many would find themselves in the same state as I was upon seeing 14 trains at one single station. It was eventful, adventurous and enjoyable experience though.

The 7th Chapter of ‘Literature, Criticism and Theory’ by Andrew Bennett & Nicholas Royle begins with these lines:

“Stories are everywhere: in movies, sitcoms, cartoons, commercials, poems, newspaper articles, novels, computer games and websites. We all make use of stories every day and our lives are shaped by stories – stories about what happened in our dreams or at the dentist, stories about how we fell in love or the origins of the universe, stories about war and peace, stories to commemorate the dead and to confirm who we are.”

Life in itself is a story and we are the writers. Throughout our lives we continue to write and narrate one thing or the other good in various forms, actions and shapes. And this activity begins from the day we are born and the first line of it starts from weeping/crying which ends with the other people crying. We all have a freehand to write whatever we want to in the span of our lives, no questions asked. No one is going to come and tell you that you are doing this right or wrong except for the people in certain conditions and environment. Although most of the times we don’t like people telling us ‘how to do things’ mostly because we like to tell and hate to be told. We have all the rights to direct our life story although with some limitations which are reserved with the Producer who is widely heard but yet unseen.

The limitation is perhaps of the beginning and the end, the rights of which rest with the Producer and the writer has no control over it. But whatever happens between the definite beginning and end is what we all write. Without a beginning there is no concept of the story and certainly there cannot be any end. So it is a fact that for a good story the beginning and end are the most important things. And the same applies to the professional writers, the life in the story depends upon the sound beginning and even sounder end but that does not mean that the middle part has no such importance – it is essential too. The middle part is like what breathing is to us and if we can try taking care of the every breath it will lead to a sound end. I don’t think there is a definite principle of achieving it apart from some of the foundations and boundaries. Every writer has a different methodology and this is what makes him unique but at the same time there are some fundamentals which he must consider like grammar, punctuation, tenses, structure etc.

Every beginning has an end and in the same respect every end has a new beginning. The transition from end to another beginning can be different but there will be one. It might live in something entirely different but it certainly will. This concept is can also be called annihilation and subsistence in the light of Tassawaf (Sufism). Everything which annihilates finds subsistence in one form or the other. Although the grass is annihilated by a goat but it finds subsistence in the body of the goat. And when this goat is eaten by the mankind it finds subsistence in his body, so on and so forth. Similarly a good story might end but it finds the survival in the memory of the reader to live forever. And all the incidents and happenings in our life are memorable because of this, irrespective of them being good or bad. Every end converts in to a new beginning just like the morning leads to night and then night leads to morning. It is a continuous process. All the glimpses and shadows of a day will end with the night but these will find subsistence in our memory on the following day – the new beginning.

While there can be various outcomes from an imaginative stories but in real life there can only be two. Like the two edged swords everything in life has two ways, every plot has two ends and the choice is with the writer. The Producer will only bring us to a certain point of parallel cross over (diversions) only to leave the rest on the writer. While writing a book or a novel the writer has the authority of deciding the beginning and the end but in real life we don’t have such liberty. It is safe to assume that this whole theory of beginning, middle and end is Universal which was established by the Holy Quran.

Is it really possible for the mankind, in general, to structure the thought and imagination process in some form, I don’t think so. But those who achieve that state are the blessed and consecrated people from a particular class.

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