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Ritu Weds Chandini: A Children’s Book On Same-Sex Marriage

Ritu Weds Chandini: A Children’s Book On Same-Sex Marriage

Where did homophobia originate from?  Obviously God did not program this information into our genes. An article from 1990 on the New York Times read that men used violence against gay men to reassure their sexuality. And as per scientists from back then; homophobia originated from the idea that homosexuals are a threat to the moral construct of this society.  The adults passed on this hate from their generation to the next, who repeated this cycle again and so on.

One of the effective ways to put an end to this cycle of hate is – parents having an heart to heart with their kids. How easily this problem could be gone, if kids are taught that LGBTQIA+ are perfectly normal people. For the same reason, Ameya Narvankar wrote a children’s book called ‘Ritu Weds Chandini’. Read on to know what this cute LGBTQIA+ book is all about.

Ritu Weds Chandini:

Ritu and Chandni are in love and wish to get married. But the society and their neighbours oppose this union. However, Little Ayesha (Ritu’s cousin) doesn’t understand what’s the whole fuss is about. She is just super excited to dance at her beloved cousin’s wedding. Will she get to? Do Ritu and Chandni get to have their happy – which is nothing short of a fairytale – ending in this book Ritu Weds Chandni?

“Yes,” says the author Ameya Narvankar. He penned down this beautiful lgbtq story for children.

“This book started as my thesis project, when I was doing my Masters at IIT Bombay. I had explored the topic of visibility and representation of the LGBTQ+ community in the Indian society, wherein I had looked at different portrayals of characters in films and media, especially in literature. I found that none of it existed in an Indian context. And that is where this started,” he explained to the Indian Express.

Narvankar said that he finally decided to pour life into the characters Ritu, Chandni and Ayesha after he graduated in 2016.  “That is when I wrote the story. I approached a few publishing houses over the next few years, and eventually I found Yali Books.”

Some publishing houses denied to open their doors:

“Indian publishing houses did not want to touch a book on such a sensitive topic. A few progressive ones showed interest, but they already had a line-up, or maybe they were too polite to turn it down. This was in 2016, when homosexuality was still criminal. Maybe now if I had sent it across, it would have been different,” Narvankar added.

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Posted @withregram • @yalibooks ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜Join us for the loveliest wedding of the year!💜💙💚💛🧡❤️ . . . RITU WEDS CHANDNI is up for pre-orders and we are inviting you to join us for all the pre-wedding fun! . . . 💙Pre-order your copy today! Books will ship before December 1, 2020. Link in bio. 💚Follow author-illustrator Ameya Narvankar (@ameyazing) for sneak previews. 🧡Share, repost, and help spread the word. This is a desi wedding and absolutely everyone is invited! . . . #pride #pridemonth #lgbtq🌈 #lgbtqbooks #lgtbqi #desiweddings #twobrides #lgbtqwedding #desibrides #loveislove🏳️‍🌈 #desiqueer #brownqueer #🏳️‍🌈

A post shared by Ameya N. | The Little Book Co. (@ameyazing) on

He also said that Yali Books is originally from New York and they publish South East Asian literature. “When I initially wrote the book, it was meant for Indian readers, but now it is more for North American desi people,” he said.

The main reason he wrote this book:

“The book was written keeping in mind eight-year-olds, and above. When I wrote the book, the idea was to address the fact that children are not born homophobic; they are conditioned to believe in certain things. This usually comes from their educators, parents, caregivers, etc. In my book, I am not saying ‘this is right and that is wrong’, it is up to the readers to decide. The book is from the point of view of a child, Ayesha. She observes the stigma and resistance that her cousin’s baraat is facing, and she just wonders why it is happening,” he explained.

Narvankar went on to say that he hopes this book will find a fair market in India, and that the children from our country will show interest in it.

Decriminalizing Section 377 is just the first step in a long journey:

Section 377 was scrapped two years ago, but the social acceptance is still not easy to achieve. Narvankar said it is a great feat that will require years.

“Both the community and allies will have to work together to make sure people from the community have a place in the society, and that they can live with dignity. I hope the other legal hurdles vis-a-vis marriage are crossed first before we move on to changing the mindset of the society,” he said.

“I feel the media is doing its bit now. There have been a few mainstream Bollywood films that have explored the subject. It is definitely a step in the right direction. I am hoping as we go further, it ceases to be such a big topic. When I was writing the book, I looked at two primary ideas — Bollywood and wedding. Children are familiar with both from an early age, and I thought I will take it up from there,” he told the indianexpress.com.

Next Read: Meet India’s First Trans Couple To Ever Adopt A Child

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