Throwing light on the highly controversial Indian (and Pakistani) wedding and matchmaking culture, a replacement Netflix original reality series has stirred a debate online and received mixed reviews about the toxicity ingrained within the country’s age-old process of finding a life partner. The show is currently trending at number four on Netflix Pakistan.
The eight-part series Indian Matchmaking premiered on Netflix on Thursday and is currently among its top-ranked India shows. It features Sima Taparia, a real-life matchmaker from Mumbai, who offers her services to families within India and abroad. because the show gains traction, the one question which is crossing everyone’s mind is ‘Who really in Sima Taparia’?
In a recent interview, Taparia, who hails from alittle town of Gulbarga in Karnataka, opened about herself and revealed that she always wanted to be famous.
“I always had great ambition and wanted to form something of myself so people far and wide would know my name,” she says.
However, her marriage was arranged when she was just 19 and since her in-laws were from an orthodox family of Marwaris, she never really got an opportunity to figure on her dreams.
But as fate would have had it, the small-town girl has become a sensation ever since her series streamed on Netflix.
On how she ended up during this business, Taparia said that she considers herself a natural born matchmaker.
“I am an extrovert then i’m very social and that i love meeting new people, lecture them and checking out little details that I lock in in my brain,” says the 57-year-old.
“When people come to me saying they need a son, daughter, nephew, niece or a grandchild who is looking to urge married, I immediately start thinking of all the people i do know of who might be an honest match,” she explains, adding that she is usually mentally matching people. “I have found matches for people once I was on vacation in Zermatt and in Interlaken and even once we were within the Canadian Rockies, i used to be on duty matching people up. Hell, I even have even matched people up while waiting at the bags carousel at Mumbai airport.”
Ever since Taparia found out her matchmaking bureau ‘Suitable Rishta’, based out of her apartment within the midtown Mumbai neighbourhood of Worli, she has brought many couples together in India also as in diaspora communities round the world.
Taparia follows a tried and tested approach that she has found success with. “I go and meet the boy and therefore the family, see what their house is like, where they work, where they need been to high school ,” she explains. It’s not just the knowledge the family provides but unsaid details she has learned to select up over the years.
“This helps me assess their lifestyles so I can recommend a match that’s on a good keel. this is often where Tinder, Bumble and Shaadi.com can’t compete. i buy to rock bottom of things, checking out all the within stories, the family’s values and other such details you’d never get from watching a person’s online profile,” says Taparia.
She further shared that she only works with “high-profile clients”.
“In India once I meet clients they typically have a working wedding budget in mind. So supported that golden number, I quote my price that I charge as a payment ,” said the match-maker.
Following the series’ success, Taparia’s phone has not stopped ringing.
“Now children who have seen the series are getting into touch with me from all round the world and other people in India are asking their parents to urge in-tuned with me to seek out them partners like Nadia and Aparna,” she says.
Meanwhile, the show has the web divided. The show has become a topic of memes and jokes, and criticism, on how individuals and their parents are picky and have an extended list of demands that centre around factors like caste, height or complexion .
The show “makes very clear how regressive Indian communities are often . Where sexism, casteism, and classism are a prevalent a part of the method of finding a life partner,” wrote Twitter user Maunika Gowardhan.
Thousands of Twitter and Instagram posts echo that view. “The show is just holding a mirror to the ugly society we are a neighborhood of,” Vishaka George, another Twitter user, wrote.
Created by Oscar-nominated director Smriti Mundhra, the show focuses on matchmaker Taparia’s visits to the homes of families who need her assistance. After hearing their demands, she presents résumés of prospective matches then arranges meetings between them.
“The two families have their reputation and lots of many dollars at stake. therefore the parents guide their children,” Taparia says at one point within the show, pertaining to a number of her wealthier clients.
In the first episode titled Slim, Trim and Educated, an Indian mother tells Taparia her son is getting tons of marriage proposals but in most cases, the potential bride’s education or height wasn’t ideal.
Just as Taparia says: “So you would like a sensible , outgoing, height …” the mother interjects, “I won’t even consider (a girl) below 5 feet 3 inches.”
Some have praised the show for its honesty and treating its subjects respectfully.
“The hate against it’s , frankly, baffling … Indian Matchmaking is well on its thanks to becoming a cultural phenomenon,” a column within the Mint newspaper said.