Sanjeevani Chandak

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MAY 2022 // From my midnight notes

Almost a year ago, when I started painting, I got extremely interested in the sky. That all but lasted for two months, but I shot these clips & edited this video back then. The video may seem quite ordinary to you but to me it felt so beautiful – the colours and sometimes the lack of it. I was noticing things for the very first time. I saw it from the perspective of lightness & stillness – something I’d neither done before that, nor do I do it anymore. 

Honestly, I don’t even remember the last time I looked at clouds. I don’t remember the last time I saw a sunrise or a sunset. I’m not a “nature person”. YET. My dad always says your likes & dislikes aren’t set in stone. Give yourself the liberty to be open about it. You do not like that thing YET. 

This video & the song reminded me of something I have been thinking about a lot of late – death. TW >

Every time I hear about the passing of someone I knew, at first I don’t feel much. (It takes me time to process everything in life. Sometimes I even skip it to make things easier for myself.) After a few days it suddenly hits me. The fact that that person just stopped existing. One day they were here, the other day gone. They stopped being who they were. Their body is gone & you can no longer be in their presence. Ofc they will live on in the memories, but they cannot be touched. Someone who built a life for themselves, met various people in their lifetime & built friendships and relationships, had all sorts of experiences & quite a lot of ups and downs. So much they gave & so much they took. A FULL LIFE. Just gone. It has happened four times in the past six months now. All I can think of is how they all just stopped existing. How painful it must be for the ones who lost them. They stopped being who they were; who we & they themselves knew them to be.

I know it is common knowledge. I know this happens with all. It has & will happen with everyone I know. But we don’t really think of it that often, do we? So many things that we deem important turn out to be futile once we’re gone. Why do we get caught up in all that? I’m genuinely curious. Why is it so hard to remember that it’s all so temporary. That at the end of the day, many things are not as important as we make them out to be. The fights, bad feelings, arguments, negative emotions & the good ones too – it’ll be forgotten one day. One day we’ll stop being who we are. I do wonder why I continuously get caught up in inconsequential things then. 

So much importance is given to the concept of “I”. One day this “I” will cease to exist. Do I fear it? Yes – but its the fear of losing and not of being lost. Everyone I love will leave one day. We all will. Don’t know in what order, but we will stop being who we think we are. Our identities, which we’re so high strung about, will be what then? What will happen to this ego that we desperately try to protect all the time? Getting all riled up if someone takes a swing at it, taking things to heart, holding on to unnecessary things & reacting in weird ways.

For a while I’ve been trying to react less. I’m also trying to take things less seriously. Trying to let go of a lot of things. When I fail, I try to figure out what went wrong. Then I explain to myself why I need to do better. Then I fail again. Then I try again. And so it goes. 

I’d read a wonderful line in PYS a while back – “Words are just sounds”. A very simple and obvious fact but it BLEW my mind. 90% of the time I forget to apply this though. I realise now what goes wrong. I recently read in PYS that trying to apply knowledge is futile. You need to ‘become’ it. And then let the truth act from there on. I will not pretend to know how this will happen because I’m as clueless as you probably might be about this line. It makes perfect sense, yet I don’t know how to “apply” it lol. But one day it will click. I’m confident about that. 

I could do a lot better, though. I always know that. Applying these nuggets of wisdom at a particular moment is what is difficult. Consciously changing the way you act in certain situations is difficult. I’ve gotten better at it. Yes. But I have a long way to go.

Today you may not have the patience to watch this entire thing or read what I’ve put down. And that’s alright. It’s been too long since I got vulnerable about my innermost thoughts with anyone. This is more for me than its for you. Maybe you can take something from it and make it for you too. But, today, that’s not my responsibility. What you take and what you leave is up to you. I hope you choose wisely. I hope I will too.