Ritu Weds Chandni

Written & Illustrated by: Ameya Narvankar

For Ages: 4 years and up

Language: English & Hindi (with glossary in back)

Topics Covered: LGBTQ Rights, Marriage Equality, Family, Love, Protest, Homophobia, Violence.

Summary: This book…this book is so meaningful to the LGBTQ community, and specifically the South Asian LGBTQ community. Our main character Ayesha’s cousin Ritu is getting married to her girlfriend Chandni and Ayesha is beside herself with excitement for them. When they get to Ritu’s for the big baraat parade filled with dancing to the wedding hall, she realizes that not all of her family is there. They’re not all attending the wedding because they don’t support Ritu. Ayesha also learns that some neighbors have vowed to stop the procession, which scares and confuses her.

As a queer woman who is estranged from her father because of her queerness, this book resonates with me like an echo in a canyon. It goes on for miles. Ritu and Chandni are able to celebrate with their supportive family, and so was I. In an author’s note in the back, we learn how author illustrator Ameya Narvankar wrote this story because he never saw same-sex Indian relationships in the media as he was growing up. There is no same-sex marriage recognition in India today either.

This book shows the real threat of violence that we face everyday, especially in places where there are less legal protections in place. Trans women of color are particularly susceptible to violence, and their rate of assault and death is astronomically, horrifically high. We deserve these books that show loving relationships and supportive, celebratory family members. We NEED these books to show others the different ways people love each other and to teach them that hate and homophobia is wrong. I am so, so, emphatically thrilled that this book is out in the world. It will change your life.

This book was kindly sent by Yali Books, but all opinions are my own. Did I cry while writing these opinions? Sure did.

Ameya Narvankar

Ameya Narvankar is a multidisciplinary designer, visual artist, and bookmaker from India. An alumnus of IIT-Bombay, Ameya believes in the power of design to bring about change, which he hopes to achieve through his foray into children’s literature. He loves, in no particular order, cats, bearded men, and BeyoncĂ© (who doesn’t?).

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