By Chloe Morgan For Mailonline. New Netflix show Indian Matchmaking has faced criticism from viewers for the way in which it portrays arranged marriages. However, while the premise of the show seems straightforward enough, those who tuned in were quick to take to social media to slam the way in which the series glorifies archaic ideas and reinforces stereotypes. This institution needs to die, not be given a Netflix special. Many viewers have slammed new Netflix show Indian Matchmaking for endorsing archaic ideas and reinforcing stereotypes. Some viewers took issue with the fact that rather than fighting prejudices, the dating show glorifies them.
Chicagoan Shekar Jayaraman talks about his experience on new Netflix show ‘Indian Matchmaking’
Aparna Shewakramani, a year-old lawyer from Houston and cast member of Netflix show Indian Matchmaking, is well known for her outspoken views and ideas on the show. Read on to know more about her. They had not expected a TV series to hold a mirror to the many prejudices in our society, where arranged marriages are fixed, based on the lofty and unreasonable expectations of parents and the families.
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Then there was the time my dad told me I was disinvited to his future funeral, because my preference was to date whomever I wanted as opposed to accepting an arranged marriage and that was an embarrassment to the family. He conveniently denies this ever happened, for the record. The reality show follows Sima Taparia, a professional matchmaker from Mumbai who travels around the world helping Indian clients find suitable matches for marriage. Rather, marriage is a transaction between two families.
Some of her clients are parents who are desperate to get their children married, others are marriage seekers themselves who turned to her service after they were unsuccessful meeting people on dating apps and elsewhere.
The show, which has generated a lot of buzz online, follows Sima Taparia, a high-profile matchmaker from Mumbai who sets couples up with prospective matches. While the show has triggered a debate on sexism, colourism and racism, it has managed to throw the spotlight on the age-old Indian custom of arranged marriage. Over the last two decades, several Bollywood films and reality TV shows have explored the concept of arranged marriages in their own way and have done justice to the theme.
The show is about the central figure, Aneela Rahman, a Glasgow based British-Asian marriage arranger, who gets her family and friends to network together and find the perfect partner for the contestants in a four-week period. The episodes end with updates on how the matches are or not getting on. The show lasted only one season and had five episodes. Dimpy from Kolkata went on to win the show and married Mahajan in a televised ceremony. The two, however, split next year and filed for divorce soon after.
Are arranged marriages doomed from the start and bound to end in divorce?
Add to that the unique challenges of matchmaking, for instance, an Indian Guyanese wedding planner and high school counsellor with a criminal father — its not always a straight-forward affair. However, Taparia takes it all in her stride. With the help of a motely crew of agents, including a dubious face reader, astrologer, life coach and even another matchmaker, Taparia meets, assesses and matches singletons in the hope of hearing wedding bells and earning her top end commission.
More interesting perhaps is the darker, real side of Indian culture and matchmaking factors that come into play. Had this series been made with working class urban or rural families under the lens, the actual reality of Indian matchmaking would have been exposed.
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Matchmaker Sima Taparia and her clients represented everything I loathed about the culture I was born into. Of course, I was not blind to my personal triggers and biases, having grown up in a conservative and patriarchal family environment. Despite my reservations, I clicked on the first episode. The characters depicted in the show were largely relatable and familiar.
The show, however, turned out to be a lot more nuanced than I had initially thought. Are these qualities really such a bad thing, I wondered?
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Series Review: Indian Matchmaking
Log in for unlimited access. CARY, N. The new Netflix docuseries followed one of India’s most sought-after matchmakers as she searches for perfect pairs among her potential prospects.
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With his team of relationship managers, counsellors, photographers, chartered accountants and a sophisticated software that helps sort out matches based on location, community, age and height, among other filters, Goswami found a life partner for the year-old that checked all the boxes. I met a lot of people and my family stepped in only when I was sure. Read The evolution of marriage, from strictly arranged to semi-arranged.
But I dated my wife for a year before the wedding. They run background checks, match horoscopes, caste and family wealth, and even discuss prickly subjects like dowry. Many of these stages of Indian matchmaking and the misogyny, casteism and sexism that they sometimes reveal recently found a global audience through an eight-part series on Netflix. The show was panned as regressive, but does it hold a mirror to the modern matchmaker? An MBA, he started the service after struggling to find a partner for himself.
Then, we meet the families in person, take a detailed note of their requirements — parents and children separately. We visit their homes and properties and take pictures. We also talk to their neighbours, friends and colleagues and get written references. The background checks sometimes throw up all kinds of results from drug use to the people already seeing someone else.
The next stage involves parents talking to each other over the phone and then meeting the prospective partners. She now works with him.