“I don’t have limitations on what I think I could do or be.”
“Think left and think right and think low and think high.
Oh, the thinks you can think up if only you try!”
Use your imagination, create the story, no limitations.
What if I had pulled the breaker harder and found out that the dryer really wasn’t broken before I had purchased another?
What if I had thought of pulling the electrical cord out of the outlet when my electric stove caught fire before I had called the fire department?
What if I had known where the main water shutoff valve was before I called an emergency plumber to stop the flooding?
What if? Just a simple question. Not a regret, just simply a question. Looking into what if can teach us more than we could ever imagine. We can learn from asking the question What if? We can use our imagination. We can use it to someday do something different. Or maybe, someday realize how lucky we are. We can do so many things with our imagination.
- What if? As a young girl I always used my imagination and wondered what if.
- What if I could ride a horse? I imagined riding a beautiful stallion along a white beach.
- What if I could be anyone I wanted to be, who would that be?
- And What if I had followed my parents to Florida when they sold their house on Long Island instead of moving to New England? How would my life have been different? It was a choice that I had made, not a regret, just a what if.
What ifs are still using my imagination, but they are less about the past and more about the present. What if I keep writing, where will that take me? What if I just take a bold step and open the door on the left, what wonders will await me? And the biggest what if for now, what if a vaccine arrives, how quickly can I hug my children?
What if? Did she have a choice?
Alka Joshi’s mother didn’t think she had a choice. Growing up in India, it was the custom for the oldest daughter to get married as quickly as possible so that the younger ones could get married. In order of age, of course. And so she was forced into an arranged marriage at the age of 18. Three children quickly followed. But Alka’s mother made sure that Alka knew she had choices. Alka’s mother never would let Alka, be treated any less of an equal than her brothers.
Over the course often years, Alka explored the what if. What if her mother had chosen not to agree to the arranged marriage? What if her mother had fled before the marriage? What if her mother had made different choices? The result, her debut novel, The Henna Artist, Alka takes us on a journey of a woman who empowers herself and makes a life of her own choosing. She lets the reader vividly live this life through tough choices and growth of her heroine, Lakshmi, The Henna Artist. The choices we make have an effect on what we do with our lives.
Alka has been called ‘a remarkable new writer with the gifts of a seasoned veteran.’ The Historical Novel Society said this: ‘The determination of women to transform their lives and make something of their gifts is a theme that underscores Joshi’s novel.’ And Booklist said this: ‘Joshi has constructed a bewitching glimpse into the not-so-distant past with a tough heroine well worth cheering on.’
Join me on this week’s podcast with Alka Joshi, NY Times bestselling author of The Henna Artist. And actress, producer and book club maven Reese Witherspoon’s selection for her May Book Club. The conversation talks all things ‘what if’, self-discovery, choices and empowerment.
Summer is upon us.
Memorial Day just passed and with that comes the beginning of the summer season. I’ve always looked forward to this beginning. These days, we’re experiencing things a little differently. Be safe, be mindful of those around you and remember, you can stay connected even while social distancing. Keep your mind and body moving. Practice social distancing. Listen to music. Binge on your favorite movies. Take walks. Sing while washing your hands. Feel the sun when it’s shining. Keep that smile, it will come in handy.
You can find us on your favorite podcast platform. And of course, on our website,
Stay safe, stay healthy and stay tuned.