Unless you’re currently oblivious to the outside world (you’re forgiven if you are, it’s pretty crazy out there!), you must’ve heard or even watched Netflix‘s latest series ‘Indian Matchmaking‘. I rarely watch reality shows, but the buzz around this series made it me very curious.
So, over the weekend I found myself binge-watching what I can now only call a train wreck—it’s horrible but you can’t seem to look away. The series’ protagonist and self-proclaimed ‘God’s Mediator’, Sima Taparia, helps set up rich Indians and Indian-Americans who are looking to find love and get married. What follows is eight episodes of drama and entertainment, and funny glimpses into the conversations happening behind closed doors.
A lot of people seem to have hated this show, worried it would exoticise arranged marriage for non-brown people. As for me, I’m just glad there’s finally a show that places a microscope, if only for a few seconds, on the ridiculousness that is Indian society, its double standards, and its archaic ideas on marriage. So, like it, hate it, meme it—but you can’t ignore it. Here are some honest thoughts I had while watching Indian Matchmaking!
…Or at least a variation of hers. She’s the quintessential ‘Indian aunty’ who when she meets you would most likely say, “It’s late now, get married fast”. She’s the same ‘Aunty’ who freely gives her unsolicited opinions on your weight, skin colour, personality, life choices and the way your parents choose to raise you.
Life is pretty black and white for Sima Aunty. If you don’t like a match she has brought you, you are ‘picky’. As a girl, if you have certain preferences, you are just ‘stubborn’. According to her, girls must be ‘flexible’ and need to ‘compromise’ in a marriage. Her ideal qualities in a girl seem to be ‘fairness’—the skin colour not the synonym of ‘being just’—and the lack of a real personality.
Having personally been through the whole rigmarole of arranged marriage one time too many, I’ve become almost jaded about dating, love and marriage as a whole. “It’s hard being single out there,” said Vyasar, and his honesty hit differently. It’s refreshing to see a person so full of humour and positivity; someone who wears his heart on his sleeve. Watching his awkward nervousness around his dates made me root harder for his happily ever after.
The walk-in wardrobe with a fingerprint lock, the doorknob plastered with his face, the miso paneer—all screamed elite.
Jersey-based Wedding Planner Nadia Jagessar is the girl next door. She is pretty, loveable, and friendly. Her idea of a potential partner is pretty basic, which almost makes you wonder—how is she single?! That moment where she bares soul and says, “I am lonely”, was one of the most real moments on the show!
It was almost uncomfortable to watch 25-year-old Akshay declare that he wants his wife to be exactly like his mother. Ditto for the kind of sway his mum had on his life. She’s worried that she is late in getting him married, so much so that her blood pressure goes high. Poor Akshay, to carry the responsibility of your mum’s health must be traumatising, I imagine.
Much has been spoken and written about Aparna and her personality. True, there were moments I was taken aback by her comments, but I think it’s because it’s sooo rare to see a woman who knows her mind so well. In my own life, I struggle to not shrink myself and own the space I’m taking up. So, it’s lovely to see someone, especially a desi woman, so unapologetically say what she feels, not accept less than what she wants, all while not giving a damn about people and their opinions.
Ankita Bansal is everyone’s hero. Determined, successful and motivated, she shines on screen as she does in her workspace. She teaches us that marriage can wait; one doesn’t need to rush into it. And that it’s okay to find fulfilment and happiness in your work.
Have you seen Indian Matchmaking yet? We would love to hear your thoughts on it! Please share them with us in the comments below!
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