A rising writer in London during the World War II falls in love with the wife of a civil servant. She refuses to leave her husband, much to the frustration of her lover. But when their apartment is bombed and her lover is nearly killed, she disappears mysteriously. The writer finds out years later that she had made a bargain with God that she would never see him again if he spared his life.
The plot of 'Jab Tak Hai Jaan' is somewhat similar to that of the 1951 novel 'The End of the Affair' by British author Graham Greene. Though it can't be said that Yash Chopra's swansong is entirely adapted from the novel, but the plot seems to be inspired by it, if only in part.
'The End of the Affair' has also been made into two films - in 1955 and 1999.
The novel protagonist Maurice Bendrix is a writer who falls in love with Sarah Miles, the wife of impotent civil servant Henry Miles. Bendrix takes the help of a private detective to discover Sarah's new lover when she refuses to meet him. He reads her diary and comes to know that when she thought he was dead in bombing, she made a promise to God not to see Bendrix again if he allowed him to live.
In the film version of the novel in 1999, Julianne Moore played Sarah and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress.
Jab Tak Hai Jaan tells the story of Major Samar Anand, a bomb disposal expert in the Indian Army, separated by fate from the love of his life Meera, played by Katrina Kaif who made a promise to God never to see him again after a near-fatal motorcycle accident if he was allowed to live again.