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Ayesha is excited to attend her cousin Ritu’s wedding. She can’t wait to dance at the baraat ceremony! But not everyone is happy that Ritu is marrying her girlfriend Chandni. Some have even vowed to stop the celebrations. Will Ayesha be able to save her cousin’s big day?
Centering Ayesha’s love for her cousin as much as it showcases Ritu and Chandni’s love for each other, this warmhearted debut from Ameya Narvankar celebrates the power of young voices to stand up against prejudice and bigotry.
For my graduation project, I explored the subject 'The visibility & representation of LGBT in Indian Society' wherein I looked at various portrayals of the queer community in popular media and art, especially those catered towards younger audiences. I found that the mainstream media had shied away from accurate representation and often the depictions have been cruel and downright homophobic. It is evident, that we, as a society are conditioned since childhood to conform to certain gender roles and sexual identity; and such depictions add to that mindset. As we grow up, this need to 'otherise' ideas we don't understand takes over and homophobia raises its ugly head.
It is the need of the hour to break this cycle and educate our future generations on this much existent reality of our times. The resources available to achieve this are minimal and for children, quite rare. There are also children who are aware of their sexual orientation early on, and who have difficulty fitting in. Or perhaps they know someone who is undergoing the same. For this handful, they need to see these familiar faces and themes in our stories. Every small bit of representation helps. Ritu & Chandni's story in the form of an Illustrated Storybook for Children - Ritu weds Chandi was the outcome of this effort.
IN THE PRESS
Simultaneously confronts homophobia and celebrates child-powered change in Hindu communities: a delight.
KIRKUS STARRED REVIEW