Maulana Wahiduddin Khan | Towards Paradise

Masti Venkatisar Aingar, a veteran writer in Kannada language started life, not as a writer, but as a civil servant in Mysore state. After a distinguished career as an administrator, he was well qualified for ministership, but he was unfairly treated and denied the promotion he deserved. Disillusioned he went into premature retirement. It was then that he took to writing short stories and novels. With approximately 150 works to his credit, he became famous as an outstanding and prolific writer. For one of his books, Chakaweera Rajinder, he received the Gyanpeeth award from the Indian Government, along with a prize of Rs. 1,50,000/-.

In an interview with Sri Dhar, which was published in The Times of India, on August 12, 1984, the 94-year-old Mr. Masti said that although he appreciated the value of his own works and the award he had received, he was “too old to be happy.” A disappointing end, indeed, to a literary career which spanned the greater part of a century. Mr. Masti’s first book had been published in 1912, but it was not until 70 years later that he received the award which should have crowned his endeavours, but somehow, sadly, failed to do so, for the simple reason that old age had dampened his enthusiasm for material things and made him indifferent to success. He was at the climax of his career, but he was no longer in a position to ap­preciate it.

The same is true of most people in this world. Like Mr. Masti, everyone strives to attain something worthwhile. But sometimes it takes too long a time for human efforts to fructify, and sometimes death cuts short one’s efforts, so that there can be no culminating achievement. Far better were it then to expend one’s time and efforts in this world on preparations for the next world, where there is no question of a career being cut short-for life there is eternal, and there is no question of receiving rewards too late or not at all, for reward and punishment are given on the Day of Judgement itself. All of us are inevitably bound for the next world. That is the greatest certainty of all.