Who we are
I am Amalda.
And I am Gayathri.
I am Amalda.
And I am Gayathri.
I love rainy days, to curl up with a book in hand to escape in to the imaginary world while sipping piping hot coffee, to befriend the ones who lived inside those books, to laugh with them and write about their stories too.
And I always loved the sky, to hang out with wise old trees, to chat with them, talk about my favourite books, and when I dream too much, to paint it on a canvas.
We are the wordsmiths behind Cornucopia. This is an online collage of our musings. It started as an effort to tick off a box in our bucket list, and we’ve come far from that day. Here we share our ideas, thoughts, letters we wrote but never sent, dreams that are yet to be fulfilled and our hopes for the future. You will also find some chapters from the story of our life.
“The creative adult is the child who survived”. ~Ursula LeGuine.
What would you do during an eternity of boring classes? Chat with the next person, of course!
That’s how we met. A slip of paper that said “Hello” was our ticket to friendship. Thus, two introverted random weirdos found each other. It was even more of a surprise when we stayed friends for so long. Sometimes we still wonder why we became friends so fast.
Perhaps it was because we liked the same things.
Perhaps it was because our childhood dream was to receive that Hogwarts letter. Let’s be real, it’s still our dream, any day now!
Perhaps it was because we loved the magical, fictional world and those characters we grew up with.
Perhaps it was because we both had depressing childhoods and found a strange comfort in knowing each other. Maybe misery does like company.
Or maybe it was because we both smelled of books and stories.
One of the things that brought us together was our love for writing. Granted we were still trying to understand and learn the process of writing, in fact we still are. Somewhere in the many chat papers that we passed during those classes were scribbled the words “We should definitely start writing”. Soon we were forced out of classrooms and fictional worlds to the harsh reality of the real world. It was as though someone had set our lives to gray-scale. The colours of our life became duller, dimmer and much darker.
We wanted to read a lot of books, own a library, live in a place where there was snow and learn magic. We found an escape in the fictional world. We always hoped our future would look much brighter than the present. We don’t know what our future will bring. We like to think we can own a library, we like to believe we can live somewhere there’s snow, we like to think we can try to create some magic with our words. We realised that the present is more important than any happy tomorrow. Maybe we haven’t really grown up after all. We were always told to, “be realistic” and “be practical” by almost everyone who knew us. “Grow up”, they’d say. “Why?”, we’d ask.
Over the years we had lost touch with each other, yet we kept finding our way back over and over. Almost like magic, which we firmly believed in. Even though we were far apart, we always managed to read the same books, watch the same movies and even went through the same experiences in life.
After eight years of knowing each other we recently had an epiphany of sorts. When we first met all those years ago we were full of dreams, brimming with hopes for our future and passionate of our interests. Yet we found ourselves with nothing but a bunch of half believable excuses for not chasing our dreams. We have given life to all those dreams and hopes all those thoughts and stories, here. This is just the beginning of our journey to become who we’ve always wanted to be and do our younger selves justice. We invite you to walk this path with us.
Have you ever felt like you are living the same day over and over? That’s how I have been feeling for the past two years or so. Just a few days ago my mom was cleaning out the room, when she found all my drawings, paintings, poems, all those long forgotten chat bits and what not. She handed them to me and left me to ruminate on all my life choices that led me to this point. Reading a those poems, seeing all those paintings and drawings it felt like peeping into a stranger’s life. I realised I had left that person in the past, now I was a mere shadow of my younger self. Those chat bits were like a voice from the past, my voice. And I was reminded of my friend, my partner in crime and our promise to write. So I picked up the phone and dialed her number.
I had been living a lie. A comfortable lie. I had a good job, I was happy or, so I thought, everything seemed to be going good. My day was going as usual, I woke up at the same time, had the food according to the menu, everything was planned out. That’s when I saw that call. I didn’t answer it because that was not in my schedule, I’d have to call back in my free time. When I didn’t pick up the call, I received a series of messages. Curiosity got the better of me and I opened them to see something I had buried deep in my memory. The world we had scribbled painted and written down on pages we had torn from the back of our books. Those damn chat papers! They made me uneasy. And my lie came crumbling down. There is no way I am truly happy when I am not writing. There is no version of myself that would be happy without fulfilling my promises. So I called my friend.
We ended up talking for three hours. We realised that we had become what we had sworn we’d never be. Robots. We had given up all the dreams. What was worse, we had forgotten that we ever had dreams. That call changed everything for us. We decided that enough was enough. We had watched our lives go past us and done nothing. We decided to start writing once and for all. Only this time together. We needed all the help we could get.
Why we write.
“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” ~ Maya Angelou
There’s a story inside each one of us. Just waiting to be told. We try to give a life to those words. Writing has always been a way to express ourselves. A voice when we had none. On the good days it was a way to preserve those wonderful memories. On our bad days it was our emotional support, the one thing that kept us sane. Writing showed us the way when we were lost.
We are more than happy to write and keep ourselves busy. We always felt like we had these thoughts inside our head. When we write, we give them life, and we feel a little alive too. This world can get chaotic and cutthroat, among these atrocities writing provides moments of clarity. And we are more than satisfied with that one moment of clarity.
Everyone has a story, and we are the authors. We owe it to ourselves to fill the pages right before we close the book.
Our art and photographs
“If you hear a voice within you say ‘you cannot paint,’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.” – Vincent van Gogh
We are by no means experts at this. But we want to try. Because some days the words won’t come to us. No matter how hard we try, we won’t be able to write even a single word, about the easiest topics. Those days we try to draw, paint or even try our hand at photography. Some moments have to be captured, after all a picture paints a thousand words.
The quintessence of life is happiness and the satisfaction you feel. It’s that simple. So ask yourself. Are you happy? Are you satisfied? Did you do justice to the hopes and dreams and your younger self? If not, it’s not too late. It’s never too late. We know it’s that easy for everyone. But it wouldn’t hurt to try. If you can’t do it alone, find someone who has the same passion, someone who can inspire you, support you, and criticize you in the healthiest way. Basically we are all damn good procrastinators so just stop thinking and start doing.
We could fill up a book with all the excuses to not follow our dreams. Yet we had just one reason to do so. Just like us, you may have convinced yourself that now is not the time, or that you are not good enough, or that you are too young/old. Sometimes perfection is your enemy. If you wait to start working on something once you’ve learned everything, you will end up never starting. If you keep thinking about following your dreams ‘some day’ you will find that some day never arrives. This some day is a mythical tomorrow, which will forever evade you. Rather, start today. Start now.
Just start right away and perfect it slowly. Take time, Make mistakes and learn from it, make messes and sort it out, enjoy, have fun, and most importantly always go easy on yourself. Don’t compare your growth with anybody else’s. Everyone’s journey is different so be patient with yours. You’ll find yourself in a better place in your life.
From the bottom of our hearts
Even when we had decided on what to do, we were not sure about the how. The one thing that we knew was we couldn’t just keep on writing in our books. We wanted to share our musings, thoughts and ideas with like-minded people. We wanted to know what they thought of it, we wanted to learn to do better. So this is an attempt to thank everyone who has supported us, shown us the way and encouraged us to keep on going when we were at the lowest.
Thanks to our English teachers who had shown genuine interest in whatever little we wrote. We are grateful for teaching us to write in paragraphs and how to write in general. We are also indebted to our friends who have read and re-read our works patiently, helped us with insights and inspired us to write more. We owe you guys a lot. Thanks for taking time out of your busy lives to read our little stories and poems. It means a lot to us that you care. Thank you for never letting us give up.
While we were stumped about the technical aspects of all this Reshma came to our rescue. She had offered to help us out, and we are eternally grateful for that. Thank you Reshma! You are the best. We couldn’t have asked for a more supportive friend.
Finally, but importantly I want to thank Gayathri, for doing this with me. I cannot imagine how different everything would have been if it hadn’t been for you. None of this would be possible. You have been the most encouraging person throughout this journey. You have managed to lift my spirits when I am down, inspire me when I am not motivated and most of all put up with a miserable me. Not an easy feat. Yet you’ve done it all gracefully. These have been wonderful days, working with you, writing with you and learning with you. I hope we continue to grow and learn together. There have been bad days, when not a single word would come out, when I felt like my brain had gone on a strike. You have held my hand through it. I can only hope to be as good a friend as you are.
I want to thank Amalda, for putting up with my lazy ass. I would never have come this far if I was alone in this. Even in the middle of my health problems, you always encouraged me to do better, write more, and paint more. Every single time, coming from a non-English medium school made me feel inferior about my writing, you cheered for me like nobody else. Amalda made me write things that I didn’t think I could write. For the first time ever in a long time l feel like I’m learning a lot and want to learn even more. And for that I cannot thank you enough . You’re the best teacher and critic I can ever have. Thank you so much for making these struggles look like fun. I cannot wait to see where this new journey takes us.