My Gay Brother's Wedding

Lalitha Ramanathan posted under Book Review on 2023-07-03

Jagadish Nadanalli’s My Gay Brother’s Wedding is a family drama and entertainer featuring a gay hero as the protagonist. The book deals with the identity crisis and societal pressures that young people face. The story is touching and emotional in parts and hilarious in others. Abhi is the eldest of three siblings and is under pressure to get married. He is gay but hides his orientation from his traditional family. While trying to escape from the hundreds of potential-bride pictures his mother wants him to view, Abhi ends up at a rehearsal for Hamlet. Here, he forms a camaraderie with Varsha, who plays Ophelia. Their banter and friendship do not go unnoticed. To the rest of the world, it appears that Abhi is courting Ophelia, but in Abhi’s own words, he would choose Hamlet over Ophelia any day.   Varsha is fighting her battles too. Her heart lies with theatre and acting, but her conservative family wants her to get married and settle down. To escape her aggressive elder brother’s control, Varsha announces that she is in love with Abhi and will only marry him. The families proceed to get the couple engaged, leaving Abhi guilty about his secret.  Abhi’s dilemma is ‘to come clean or not to come clean.’ Telling the truth would doom him; he would face the wrath of both families combined. But hiding the truth would condemn Varsha to a loveless marriage. How Abhi tries to wriggle out of this mess, and in this process, creates new problems along the way form the rest of the story.  The title is a tad confusing because the story is mostly narrated either through Abhi or Varsha’s point of view, but the last chapter explains the thought behind it. The story is fresh and maintains a fast pace throughout, there are quite a few unexpected twists. The reader will enjoy the bits of Shakespearean dialogues interspersed during the rehearsals and in the riddles that Varsha formulates. The author has captured the pulse of a small town in Karnataka, right from the customs, food, and traditions. The twist at the end takes the reader by surprise, making you feel happy and sad at the same time. I hope to see this book adapted into a full-length film one day; this story is all heart. Go for it! ~*~ Get your copy here: