They spoke in the kitchen, her mother pretending to wash dishes in the background and her brother hiding in a cupboard, eavesdropping. Thus, the beginning of her matchmaking experience ended almost as soon as it began. Executive produced by Smriti Mundhra, it follows Sima Taparia, a Mumbai-based matchmaker Mundhra met when her own mother solicited matchmaking services for her a decade ago. Mundhra, who was raised in the U. She made a documentary on the topic in , A Suitable Girl , a broad and bitter portrait of traditional matchmaking in India. It follows three women up until their wedding days, documenting their loss of independence and observing the severe social and familial pressures they face throughout the process. Its success landed Mundhra a meeting at Netflix, where she pitched Indian Matchmaking. The show follows Sima and six of her clients, all middle-and-upper-class Indian-Americans and Indians. Other times, the criteria ventures into the openly discriminatory: Clients want someone fair-skinned or to be from a certain caste.
In Netflix’s ‘Indian Matchmaking,’ Arranged Marriage Is The Anti-Entanglement
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The notion of teaching them to adjust is at the crux of her process, as she works with entire families to find the right partner for their would-be brides and grooms. In some ways, the show is a modern take on arranged marriage, with contemporary dating horrors like ghosting and lacking the skills for a meet-up at an ax-throwing bar. But issues of casteism, colorism and sexism, which have long accompanied the practice of arranged marriage in India and the diaspora, arise throughout, giving viewers insight into more problematic aspects of Indian culture.
As an Indian-American girl growing up in Upstate New York, one part of my culture that was especially easy to brag about was weddings. They were joyful and colorful, and they looked more like a party than a stodgy ceremony. While living under the same roof in quarantine, my mom and I have had a lot of time to watch buzzy Netflix shows together.
But I was hesitant to invite her to watch Indian Matchmaking with me, knowing her marriage to my dad was arranged. Did she like the process?
Upscale Matchmaking for Indian Singles
It follows professional matchmaker Sima Taparia as she tries to connect Indian singles both in India and the United States. Some people are calling it binge-worthy, while others call it offensive. Kalita says the show provides an accurate depiction of matchmaking in Indian society. They want someone who works but who doesn’t work too hard, right?
They want someone who’s ambitious but not too ambitious.
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Matchmaker Sima Taparia guides clients in the U. Sima meets three unlucky-in-love clients: a stubborn Houston lawyer, a picky Mumbai bachelor and a misunderstood Morris Plains, N. Friends and family get honest with Pradhyuman. Sima consults a face reader for clarity on her clients. A setback with Vinay temporarily discourages Nadia. Sima offers two more prospects to Aparna. Feeling the pressure, Pradhyuman finally goes on a date.
The only problem with ‘Indian Matchmaking’ is that it doesn’t live up to your fantasies
Now available to stream, the series follows Mumbai-based matchmaker Sima Taparia as she painstakingly works with singles and their families in India and America to find desirable mates for marriage. One client, New Jersey-based event planner Nadia, wonders if her Indian-ness will come into question because of her Guyanese heritage. With the global reach of Netflix, Mundhra saw an opportunity to present a look at dating and relationships through the very specific lens of the South Asian experience that would reach a wide audience.
That we have all sorts of different backgrounds, different ideals and ideologies. I think you can sort of learn a lot just from the examples and the specific journey of the participants.
Matchmaker Sima Taparia guides clients in the U.S. and India in the arranged marriage process, offering an inside look at the custom in a modern era.
By Naman Ramachandran. Netflix launched in India in , and homegrown commissions became available from in a market that thrives on local fare. They were replaced eventually by Monika Shergill in , who joined existing director of originals Srishti Behl Arya. The same year, the Los Angeles-based Mundhra pitched her idea for an Indian dating show with a global-facing matchmaker to Netflix in the U. Over in India, Netflix — trailing behind turbocharged local streamers and global rival Amazon Prime Video — was trying to grow its customer base by trialling cheap subscriptions.
The clients, all of Indian origin, are based in India or the U. Organised Chaos fixer Ricky Saxena contacted some matchmakers over late and early to shortlist them for the show, but Taparia remained their first preference because Mundhra was already familiar with her. Throughout this process, the Netflix India office was not involved. Inevitably, criticism followed, with the show being accused of not being inclusive enough, and promoting casteism.
We had to be authentic to who she is, but then try to push for as much diversity within that as possible. In fact, it is a telling statement about our hypocrisy.
We Need to Talk About ‘Indian Matchmaking’
You want to share your life with someone special. I had lived my life up until that point thinking that finding a life partner is something that would not take any effort — that it is something that would just happen. After hearing that, I contacted Jasbina myself. I thought she would tell me to be someone I am not. Instead she embraced who I truly am — and helped me show that side to others.
They complain that the series, which follows matchmaker Sima Taparia as she jets between Mumbai and the U.S. to arrange marriages.
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Mixing documentary modes with dating show ridicule, it maintains and masks the most insidious injury arranged by marriage: caste.
Indian Matchmaking is a canny indictment of a fraying institution
Sushmita Pathak. Is it a match? A potential couple meet up courtesy of a matchmaker in the Netflix series Indian Matchmaking. Netflix hide caption.
In the new Netflix docuseries, “Indian Matchmaking,” affluent Indian than Indians living in the U.S. And Indians who have emigrated to the.
Analysis by S. Mitra Kalita , CNN. Chat with us in Facebook Messenger. Find out what’s happening in the world as it unfolds. More Videos Why the Netflix show ‘Indian Matchmaking‘ is causing a stir. Over a dozen dead after stampede at illegal party in Peru. Trump or Biden, which candidate would China prefer? Mother of Christchurch victim to attacker: ‘You thought you could break us’.
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Meet someone for keeps
Netflix Inc. has hit the sweet spot with a controversial reality series on a jet-setting Indian matchmaker helping her picky clients find life partners.
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Now that the world is spoilt for choice on what to watch, it is no small feat that a TV show on arranged marriage has provoked all kinds of reactions. Indian Matchmaking, a reality series, has The New York Times carefully analysing the contradictions in diaspora society. The most revealing criticisms, however, come from long-suffering Indians who have borne the brunt of embarrassing set-ups. Their ire is directed a tad unfairly towards the intrepid matchmaker whose main flaw is to tell it like it is, no holds barred.
Indian Matchmaking follows the fascinatingly opaque Sima Taparia, as she flies between Mumbai and the US, pairing potential partners.
A well-lit, well-produced, empathetic docuseries, it follows matchmaker Sima Taparia as she tries to set up Indians both in India and the US for.
Few people in the Capital can talk about matchmaking as insightfully as Poonam Sachdev. Their catchphrase Rishte Hi Rishte: Ek Baar Mil Toh Lein matches and more matches, meet us at least once used to be scrawled along railway tracks across north India in the s. Sachdev, 53, who has been in the business of matchmaking for 30 years, says Covid has made her job more complicated than ever before. Suddenly, a lot of people seem to believe in a simple marriage. Her sentiments are shared by many other well-known matchmakers in Delhi, who before the pandemic had an estimated 3, matrimonial bureaus.
While a large number of them have had to permanently shut shop in the past three months, as business has nosedived like never before, those that have survived say finding a perfect match has never been so tough. I worked over the phones and have already helped a couple of such as families to find the perfect match without obligations as to how and where the wedding should take place. The loss of offline matchmakers has worked to the advantage of matrimonial websites, which have introduced newer features such as video profiles and video calling.
But a lot will depend on how long the Coronavirus crisis lasts, and also on the experiences of the people who are adopting these alternatives.
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No one in my immediate family has had an arranged marriage, but I have many relatives who have. But I also know they rarely favor brides-to-be, expecting them to meet caste, color and body requirements as well as stereotypical gender roles. The show bills itself as exploring traditional Indian matchmaking practices in a modern world. Taparia characterizes her role as a matchmaker as a conduit for the divine. But Taparia also laments the challenges of being a matchmaker in these modern times.
In Indian Matchmaking, that villain is year-old Aparna Shewakramani, a prospective bride who’s critical of every man she meets and vocal.
If you’re reading this, safe to assume, you’ve watched the cringefest on Netflix that is ‘Indian Matchmaking‘. Ironically, the idea of the show was to dispel myths about the arranged marriage culture in India and break stereotypes about the Big Fat Indian Wedding. Yet, the show does just that – it portrays Indians and Indian families as an elitist, casteist, ageist, sexist and regressive bunch. No, we’re not saying that the arranged marriage system in India is not a cultural practice that is embedded in misogyny and gender equality Remember all those newspaper matrimonial ads about fair, tall and skinny brides which made you feel nauseous?
There’s nothing wrong about showing things as they are on television, but what’s worrying is that the makers fail to acknowledge that there’s a problem. While most of us hopped onto the matchmaking bandwagon just to get our daily dose of cringe and fodder for memes , we knew pretty much what to expect – Sima Taparia asking women to compromise, mothers looking for flexible brides for their sons, sons looking for women to take care of them like their mothers and so on.
Desis knew what they were in for.