Travel back to India: The Secret Keeper of Jaipur


I absolutely loved The Henna Artist by Alka Joshi and wrote about it for Ms. Magazine and Thrive Global. It is possible that I enjoyed her new book, THE SECRET KEEPER OF JAIPUR, which will be available TOMORROW even more!

In the second book, which is set in 1969, Malik is now twenty, Lakshmi is running the Healing Garden of Shimla and in this excerpt she meets Nimmi:


I love this season, the sharp air in my nostrils, the crunch of snow crystals beneath my boots and the anticipation of a new season ahead. Having lived the majority of my life in the dry heat of Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh, I never thought I’d come to love the cooler weather of the Himalayan foothills.

As I round the last hill on my morning walk, I spot the roof and gables of my Victorian bungalow topped with the last of the snow, like an elaborate pastry decorated with cream. Off to one side of the house is a Himalayan cedar, its branches weighted with white powder. The scene always fills me with joy, and I wonder—as I often do—how I could capture its delicate beauty with a henna design.

Then I spot Nimmi waiting on my doorstep.

On the path, I hesitate.

In full tribal regalia, her slim figure is striking. Her skin is the color of wet bark, so dark that her eyes—small, deep set— shine like those of an energetic black-eyed bulbul. These and her hawkish nose make her seem severe. I chide myself for judging her. Haven’t I taught myself to appear pleasant even when the situation doesn’t call for it? It’s a skill I mastered during a decade of tending to the whims of the ladies of Jaipur as I painted their hands with henna. Perhaps the women of Nimmi’s tribe are raised not to temper their true emotions? 

Want to know more about ALKA JOSHI? Listen to our interview about Passion, Perseverance and Patience:

Alka interviewed me for her show, Reimagine:


Lisa Ellen Niver

Lisa Ellen Niver is an award-winning travel expert who has explored 102 countries and six continents. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, she worked on cruise ships for seven years and backpacked for three years in Asia. She is the founder of the website WeSaidGoTravel which is read in 235 countries and was named #3 on Rise Global’s top 1,000 Travel Blogs. Niver is a speaker at the Los Angeles, New York, Chicago and Dallas Travel and Adventure Shows for 2023. Her podcast, “Make Your Own Map,” has been watched in more than 11 countries on 4 continents. Niver is represented by Chip MacGregor of MacGregor Literary, Inc. Look for her memoir in Fall 2023 from Post Hill Press/Simon and Schuster. You can find Lisa Niver talking travel on broadcast television at KTLA TV Los Angeles, Satellite Media Tours, The Jet Set TV and Orbitz travel webisodes as well as her YouTube channel, where her WeSaidGoTravel videos have nearly 2 million views. With more than 150,000 followers across social media, she has hosted Facebook Live for USA Today 10best, is verified on Twitter and listed on IMDb, and is the Social Media Manager for the Los Angeles Press Club. As a journalist, Niver has interviewed Deepak Chopra, Olympic medalists, and numerous bestselling authors and been invited to both the Oscars and the United Nations. She has been a judge for the Gracie Awards for the Alliance of Women in Media, and has run 15 travel competitions on her website, publishing over 2,500 writers and photographers from 75 countries. For her print and digital stories as well as her television segments, she has been awarded three Southern California Journalism Awards and two National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards and been a finalist twenty times.   Niver has published more than 2000 articles, in more than three dozen magazines and journals including National Geographic, Wired, Teen Vogue, HuffPost Personal, POPSUGAR, Ms. Magazine, Luxury Magazine, Smithsonian, Sierra Club, Saturday Evening Post, AARP, AAA Explorer Magazine, American Airways, Delta Sky, enRoute (Air Canada), Hemispheres, Jewish Journal, Myanmar Times, BuzzFeed, Robb Report, Scuba Diver Life, Ski Utah, Trivago, Undomesticated, USA Today, TODAY, Wharton Magazine, and Yahoo. Awards National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards 2021 Winner: Book Critic: Ms. Magazine “Untamed: Brave Means Living From the Inside Out” 2019 Winner: Soft News Feature for Film/TV: KTLA TV “Oscars Countdown to Gold with Lisa Niver” 2019 Finalist for: Soft News, Business/Music/Tech/Art Southern California Journalism Awards 2022 Finalist: Book Criticism 2021 Winner: Technology Reporting 2021 Finalist: Book Criticism 2020 Winner: Print Magazine Feature: Hemispheres Magazine, “Painter by the Numbers, Rembrandt” 2020 Finalist: Online Journalist of the Year, Activism Journalism, Educational Reporting, Broadcast Lifestyle Feature 2019 Finalist: Broadcast Television Lifestyle Segment for “Ogden Ski Getaway” 2018 Finalist: Science/Technology Reporting, Travel Reporting, Personality Profile 2017 Winner: Print Column “A Journey to Freedom over Three Passovers” Social Media Presence YouTube Channel: We Said Go Travel (1.7 million views) Short form video:TikTok, Instagram Reels, Facebook Reels, YouTube Shorts Twitter: lisaniver (90,000 followers) Instagram: lisaniver (24,000 followers) Pinterest: We Said Go Travel (20,000 followers and over 70,000 monthly views) Facebook: lisa.niver (5,000 followers); We Said Go Travel (3,000 followers) LinkedIn: lisaellenniver (9000 contacts)

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