Indian Matchmaking: Meet Aunty Sima Taparia

The nosy Sima Taparia is a popular Indian matchmaker who prides herself with extensive experience in arranged marriages, as she entered into one herself over 30 years ago. After trying out the dating apps and shaadi.com there’s only one woman who is capable of finding you and your family’s other half, meet Sima Taparia. You will love to hate-watch as Indian aunty Ji who is a lifesize version of Tinder who, traverses the globe meeting her clients and their families, in order curate, you a potential bride or groom.

‘Indian Matchmaking’ is shockingly open about the criteria that matchmaker, Sima Taparia, works with. Nothing is left untouched in this tragic Indian reality series. Demands from her clients, mainly Indian and Indian Americans, ranges from lightened skin-tone of potential relationship partners to caste-driven choices.

When you fail to engage any of the suggested Taparia-approved candidates, she doesn’t flinch, all you need is a booking with a life-coach to tell you how terrible you are as a person. Then you get booked on the Taparia matchmaking wagon once again and this time you WILL make a decision. The season one hottie clearly was the rather suave and rich, Pradhyuman who tested the limits of Sima Taparia’s matchmaking craft. This guy turned down over 150 dating resumes which led to a flood of social media chatter questioning his sexual preferences. The jury is still out on that decision. Pradhyuman Maloo is a handsome Mumbai-based jewellery designer and longtime bachelor. Maloo eventually selects Rushali as his potential marriage partner. The Delhi-based model and actor, Rushali seemed so romantic, but according to the LA Times, “the two are no longer seeing each other.

“We had different paths in life and we respected that and moved ahead,” Malloo told The Times. “I’m still looking for the right one.”

Akshay Jakhete’s dragon mother

My favourite moment was when Akshay’s mom revealed a small portion of his wedding dowry for his future wife. This scene literally entrenched the stereotype our Indian elders really do keep the ‘money under the mattress’.

Akshay Jakhete, right, in an episode of “Indian Matchmaking.” 
(Netflix)

The woman literally had precious stones tailored onto couture gowns and an elaborate chest of ancestral jewels polished for her future daughter-in-law. The most shocking part was the revelation at the dinner table when she lays into Akshay for delaying the elder son’s plans to have a baby.

The looks on the rest of the family’s faces were priceless as she literally warned the married son to hold off on making a baby until Akshay marries.

Aparna Shewakramani aka bad-luck child

If Aparna was from South Africa, she would be ordered to head to Isipingo Temple to fling a rooster over the temple for her bad luck in man-hunting. Meeting Aparna you would think she would be the easiest to satisfy, but I started to get a headache soon as she started speaking.

Sima Taparia either has some seriously good medication to keep her sane or she is just immune to stupidity.

Sima at one point said, “It will be difficult to find someone who is well-educated, successful, and someone who satisfies both mother and daughter.”.

Sima Taparia, Indian Matchmaking on Netflix

Let’s just say, I died for a few seconds.

In the case of Aparna, Taparia has to job to find a man that will satisfy both mother and daughter’s needs. Literally and figuratively, it sounds like Pornhub search term but seriously, if you think Aparna is bad, watch as the mother weighs in on the match requirement. You would swear Taparia was looking for a man for both mom and daughter.

The Netflix series ‘Indian Matchmaking’ reaffirms the clichéd stereotype of the Indian arranged marriage, bringing to the fore the regressive mindset that applies to the elitist Indian upper-class, when it comes to the selection of a marriage partner.

The jury is still out on the Indian dating show with many pointing out the subject of colourism with its mentions of the desire for “fair” women by Taparia’s clients. “Watching Indian Matchmaking on Netflix and the casualness with which people keep repeating the requirement that matches be “fair” is…disconcerting,” tweeted novelist Ayelet Waldman who is also a writer on the Netflix series “Unbelievable.”

All in all, the Netflix show Indian Matchmaking is a feast of tragic comedy, Zee soapie moments and pure entertainment while raising the conversation around arranged marriages and relationships.

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