What ‘Indian Matchmaking’ gets wrong — and right

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? She shared with me some details of how her skin tone affected her life when she was growing up. She was often told not to play outside as a kid, that the sun would make her skin darker and no one would want to marry her.

Critics question why “Indian Matchmaking” didn’t involve Netflix India

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. Mundhra ultimately met her now-husband in graduate school.

She travels between Mumbai and America to present biodatas to her candidates, sheets of paper which contain a low–quality image of the.

Every reality show has at least one villain. As Sima and the show itself frequently remind us, arranged marriage is not quite the form of social control it used to be; everyone here emphasizes that they have the right to choose or refuse the matches presented to them. But as becomes especially clear when Sima works in India, that choice is frequently and rather roughly pressured by an anvil of social expectations and family duty.

In the most extreme case, a year-old prospective groom named Akshay Jakhete is practically bullied by his mother, Preeti, into choosing a bride. Indian Matchmaking smartly reclaims and updates the arranged marriage myth for the 21st century, demystifying the process and revealing how much romance and heartache is baked into the process even when older adults are meddling every step of the way. Though these families use a matchmaker, the matching process is one the entire community and culture is invested in.

Director Smriti Mundhra told Jezebel that she pitched the show around Sima, who works with an exclusive set of clients. Yet the show merely explains that for many Indian men, bright, bubbly, beautiful Nadia is not a suitable match. The parents task Sima with following multiple stringent expectations. Some are understandably cultural, perhaps: A preference for a certain language or religion, or for astrological compatibility, which remains significant for many Hindus.

Other preferences, though, are little more than discrimination. Divorced clients are also subjected to particularly harsh judgment. Sima bluntly tells one fetching single mom, Rupam, that she would typically never take on a client like her.

‘Indian Matchmaking’ reveals ‘double-edged sword’ of arranged marriages

In the two weeks or four years since Indian Matchmaking debuted on Netflix I just checked: It’s 10 days , I have watched my fellow South Asians do what we do best: Rip it apart. The Netflix reality show follows Mumbai matchmaker Sima Taparia as she takes on various clients looking to settle down. It has been called casteist, colorist, regressive — all the adjectives my generation of allegedly progressive Desis use to describe things we criticize or reject about our culture.

It is being maligned, in short, for doing exactly what it meant to: Presenting a multifaceted depiction of Indians around the world through the lens of our collective obsession: Marriage.

In the new Netflix docuseries, “Indian Matchmaking,” affluent Indian singles of arranged marriage for Indians and Indian Americans in ?

Netflix launched in India in , but it took a while to warm up to homegrown commissions in a market that thrives on local fare. It didn’t help optics that content execs Swati Shetty and Simran Sethi opted to resign rather than be based in Mumbai. They were replaced eventually by Monica Shergill in , who joined existing director of originals Srishti Behl Arya.

Amid all the restructuring, the streamer’s first Indian commission, ‘s “Sacred Games,” a hit for the service, was commissioned by Erik Barmack out of 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. Until, of course, “Indian Matchmaking” came along, aimed squarely at India and the Indian diaspora.

Commissioned by Brandon Riegg, VP of nonfiction series and comedy specials at Netflix, the show revolves around Mumbai-based matchmaker Sima Taparia — who was also featured in “A Suitable Girl,” and was executive producer Mundhra’s own matchmaker — who arranges meetings between her clients with a view to getting them married. The clients, all of Indian origin, are based in India or the U.

Prior to filming, American reality vet Eli Holzman’s The Intellectual Property Corporation hired Indian line-production outfit Organised Chaos to sift through matrimonial advertisements in newspapers and matchmaking sites to select participants. 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.

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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.

Early in Indian Matchmaking, Netflix’s haute-reality TV show about the of young people living both in India and America, traveling back and.

Beside Taparia, her husband laughs. Directed by Oscar-nominated filmmaker Smriti Mundhra , Netflix series Indian Matchmaking offers an unsanitized glance into the nitty-gritty of South Asian arranged marriages. The show follows the day-to-activities of Sima Taparia, who navigates the labyrinthian love lives of Indian and immigrant millennials. Because of Taparia, the end-all of a successful marriage is compromised. Although praised by audiences for its comedic timing, Indian Matchmaking has been subject to widespread criticism for its portrayal of casteism , colorism , elitism, and sexism.

The show reveals deep-seated prejudices that form the bedrock of the arranged matchmaking system. Colorism is a regular facet of the show. Ankita, a surprisingly likable client, is immediately labeled as ugly by Taparia for her darker skin. She prefers the likes of Pradhyuman and Rushali Rai , who are praised for their lighter complexions. Women above the age of 30 case in point: Aparna are treated like slowly rotting vegetables, who must be carted off before they cross the expiry date.

Those are the values we were raised with. I can understand why so many Indian Americans my age despise Indian Matchmaking. As I watched the show for the first time, I found myself deeply uncomfortable. To offer an accurate glimpse into South Asian society, Mundhra has a duty to present its flaws — regardless of how ugly and misguided they may be.

‘Indian Matchmaking’ Has No Self–Awareness

Sushmita Pathak. Is it a match? A potential couple meet up courtesy of a matchmaker in the Netflix series Indian Matchmaking. Netflix hide caption.

Indian Matchmaking. TV 1 SeasonReality TV. Matchmaker Sima Taparia guides clients in the U.S. and India in the arranged marriage.

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Indian Matchmaking

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We use cookies and other tracking technologies to improve your browsing experience on our site, show personalized content and targeted ads, analyze site traffic, and understand where our audiences come from. To learn more or opt-out, read our Cookie Policy. Taparia travels across India and the U. Indian Matchmaking has been controversial in the Indian community, both among people in India, and among the diaspora. But my wife and I were both put off something different: the lack of socioeconomic diversity on display.

Indian Matchmaking is available to stream on Netflix. Dick short story, Doug Quaid Arnold Schwarzenegger is trapped in a mundane life, but dreams of journeying to the Red Planet. With the click of a button, the construction worker can get a week of Mars-hopping adventures as a galactic secret agent burned into his brain, as if it all really happened. He may actually be a secret agent from Mars, whose memory was wiped by government thugs.

Is Quaid actually a Schwarzenegger-esque hero, or is everything past the memory-implant sequence just the dream Rekall has sold him?

10 Questions We Had After Watching ‘Indian Matchmaking’

Instead, I laughed at hilarious scenes between Indian American families redolent of my family. Released on July 16, this Netflix original is produced by the Oscar-nominated documentary filmmaker Smriti Mundhra, who communicates a middle way between arranged marriages and modern dating. I am in the second camp and let me tell you why. Some of my relatives immigrated to the United States. Many of them are still in India.

This chunk of is objectively the worst, but I marvel that we’ve had no less than three new TV shows about Indians or Indian Americans in.

I never expected to see the variety of backgrounds, family structures, religions, and professions that the show put front and center. If we see Sima Auntie as a narrator, she introduces us to a range of Indian and Indian-American experiences. She talks openly about the complexity of identity and how she sees herself as Indian and Guyanese and American.

Throughout the series we are also introduced to family structures that go beyond the traditional nuclear family. Vyasar lives with his extended family, including his grandparents, uncle, and cousin. We get to meet them all through bits and pieces of conversation. While this type of arrangement may be commonplace in India, it is less so in Austin, where he lives. At the end of the series we also meet Rupam, a mother who is looking to get remarried.

Seeing these families, we get a glimpse into the diversity of families that exist in the South Asian community. Then there is the diversity in religion and professions in the series.

Indian Matchmaking