Love it or loathe it, Netflix’s series Indian Matchmaking is a light hearted, addictive, cringe-worthy TV series worth a peek. This series introduces Sima Tapania, Mumbai’s top marriage matchmaker who has made a business from matters of the heart. Sima takes you on her journey as she shares the trials and tribulations faced when helping couples on their quest for love. With clients across the globe, Seema has her work cut out as she showcases lives of couples from India and America as they are screened, matched and connected with prospective partners.
Aparna is a lawyer from Texas with a confident, assertive and no-nonsense attitude. Explicit about exactly what she wants and doesn’t want, she is matched with several prospective partners who simply do not measure up to the bar, keeping Sima very much on her toes as her match suggestions are exasperated. There’s something to be said about not settling when it comes to a life partner and Sima’s attempts at playing cupid shows how much Indian matchmaking is more so about compromising on these standards.
Everybody loves Nadia! Nadia has won the hearts of viewers as she shares her stories of her challenge as a Guyanese Indian to be accepted as a rightful partner into the Indian community in her previous quests for love. Nadia wears her heart on her sleeve as she takes us on her matchmaking experience in the hope of finding Mr. Right. There is heartbreak, there is laughter and during the series, Nadia has gained many fans supporting her in her search for a happily ever after.
Pradhyman is a Bombay based jewellery designer with a high priority for fashion, friends and cooking. He’s had a string of potential marriage matches but none which have allured Pradhyman to be sure enough to pull the matrimony trigger, much to the frustration of his older sister who is itching for his marriage to be done and dusted. Whilst Sima attempts to cook up a romantic storm in Pradhyman’s love life, we see more of a glimpse into Pradhyman’s carefree social lifestyle of sipping cocktails and preparing kitchen culinary delights for friends, leaving viewers questioning exactly how serious Pradhyman really is about Indian matchmaking.
Indian matchmaking considers all family history as an indication of a suitable match, it’s a reminder how marriage is a union between families and not two people. Matchmaking is built on continuing family reputation, and the achievements and misdemeanours of all family members are factors in play with Indian matchmaking. Knowing how family backgrounds are heavily influenced in an Indian matchmaking forum, Vyasar, a teacher and counsellor from Columbia University looking for a long term partner faces the situation where he looks to openly confront and share a painful past in order to be successful with an Indian matchmaking process.
Vyasar, has a natural, easy going nature, an open mind and pragmatic approach to Sima’s matchmaking process. Sharing his story in an eloquent, frank, honest and open dialogue, Vyasar has won many supporters since being on the series which won’t see him single for long. When asked why he chose to publicly share his story, Vyasar explained “if you don’t tell your story, someone else will tell it for you“. A valuable lesson when enlisting a representative to help you in a search for ‘The One’.
Indian Matchmaking: The Lingo Breakdown:
Bio-Data : This is basically a CV. A biodata lists your personal details, occupation and the all important profile picture. Personal details such as height, religion and dietary habits, a biodata gives a snapshot view of a potential partner to eliminate deal breakers. Perhaps the online dating world could grab ideas from this!?
Rishta : This is a term used for marriage proposal. Once two families have agreed upon a suitable match, a ‘rishta’ or proposal can be finalised.
Vedic Reading : Indian culture is centred around astrology. It makes sense then, to call upon astrological guides to help find a perfect suitor. In a Vedic reading, a chart which is made up of the exact positioning of the sun and moon, an exact birth date and exact location is used to draw inferences about your personality and characteristics and karmic tendencies which will include your romantic life.
A good match determined by a Vedic chart is based on commonality and doesn’t take into account the theory of ‘opposites attract’, as in western astrology, and as in all types of astrology, it doesn’t take into account chemistry. But could be used to determine if there is potential for chemistry. Given Indian Marriages are made with love being a hopeful byproduct, it makes sense why Indians would use this technique in matters of the heart.
Face Prediction: also known as physiognomy, it uses minute details of a person’s face to determine personalities. It’s an ancient astrological practice used in matrimonial matchmaking in India, based on the idea of specific face shapes relating to one of the five Vedic elements (fire, water, air, earth and space) in Vedic cosmology and thereby offering insight into a person’s temperament and personality.
Arranged Marriage: Partners have zero choice in the selection of a life partner. Matches are made by either by the parents or wider family influence. Sometimes, these matrimony arrangements are confirmed when suitors are children, with suitors not knowing they are betrothed to each other.
Assisted Marriage: Partners have freedom of choice over the selection of partners chosen by their parents. This type of marriage is most common in Indian culture in western society. There are blurred lines and loop holes around how many times pre-marriage dates are allowed before an agreement of marriage is finalised. It’s a clever technique which can be taken advantage of by prospective suitors…endlessly dating, but not committing – that’s not exactly too far a frustration found in western style dating.
Love Marriage – Think Romeo and Juliet. Partners have complete autonomy over their choice of marriage partner despite what family opinion says. Love comes first, then marriage. This type of marriage is sometimes coupled with disapproving parents and community gossip, which all lasts until the next family or community drama.
Indian Matchmaking has existed throughout the ages in India and continued into western society as Indian communities develop over the world. As Indian culture evolves, so the rules of Indian matchmaking have also had to evolve with Indian matchmakers being seen as the real-life Tinder of the day.