INDIAN MATCHMAKING is the latest craze on Netflix and I’m sure it comes as no surprise that it has taken my tv by storm — I love so much about this show! I already have an appreciation for Indian culture, thanks to the awesome Indian American friends I’ve made over the years (heyyy Annie, Supria, Sejal, and Zarana!) who’ve shared their favorite parts of their culture with me, and this show has helped me learn so much more. Also, the show came out of the gate touching on issues of colorism, class, gender, and age all in the first episode, and it all resonated with me! Even though the show was giving a peek into a completely different ethnicity and culture, there were so many themes I could relate to because we talk about the same issues in my own community. Just another nod to the fact that humans are more alike than we are different.
Plot Gist: Sima Taparia (affectionately known by her clients (and me!) as “Sima Auntie”) is a matchmaker based in Mumbai who travels the world finding viable candidates for arranged marriages. This is like the perfect job. Frankly, it’s a job I’d like to do myself. It’s kind of like having a trusted friend (or auntie!) combing through Tinder to weed out all the weirdos, deviants, and assholes and presenting you with the best options on a platter. Black folk, we need an Auntie like this to help us out… it’s kinda like if Iyanla started a matchmaking service, sans the moments where she forces her clients into her bosom… and without all the annoying catchphrases.
I watched the first four episodes of this show and whew chile, there is so much to unpack! Here’s who we’ve met so far:
Sima Auntie: Man, sis is fabulous! Like I said, she has the perfect job. She believes in what she’s doing and she should… because it worked for her. After a 20-min meeting, she and her husband entered into an arranged marriage and they’ve been rocking together for more than 35 years. (And did you see her wedding photo? Sima Auntie was a bad bish, yo!) So, she’s not only a client, she’s the playa-President (shout out to Biggie). Sima Auntie is kind of quiet but that’s because she’s listening and observing EVERYTHING about her clients. Nothing gets past her. Though she doesn’t say a lot, she dropped so many jewels about the personality traits and the dynamics she picked up in her interactions with her clients.
Once she’s decided to work with a client, she uses her “database” (which is pen and paper, y’all!) to match them with suitors. She presents each client with “proposals” that include bio data — it’s essentially an eHarmony profile converted into a Word document, lol. When clients are difficult to match, she visits a face reader (a guy who literally looks at pics and reads the person’s face… and he was on-point, too!) and consults with an astrologer. Look, I’m here for the old school methods cause this newfangled mess ain’t working for most folks. When her clients acted a fool, Sima Auntie didn’t trip, she just went back to the drawing board. I mean she’s not a magician, so there’s only so much she can do… she can lead a horse to water but she can’t make them stop being a jerk. Her calm but matter-of-fact personality makes her perfectly suited for this work. Yeah, y’all, she’s my auntie now. Hope she’s ready for a Black niece! Lol!
Pradhyuman: He’s a 30-year-old jewelry designer playboy living his best life in Mumbai. He has money, he’s tall, he’s fair (this is a point they kept mentioning = colorism), he cooks amazing fussy foods, crafts amazing fussy cocktails, and – I kid you not – has a fingerprint lock on his closet. His parents are worried about him and so is Sima Auntie because they believe it’s high time for him to get married but so far Sima Auntie has presented him with 150 women and Pradhyuman rejected all of them. In his spare time, he races around Mumbai in a sports car, and he also begs his friends for “boys trips” and makes doll clothes for the statues in his shrines, which he dresses up every day.
Okay, sooo… I feel like the elephant in the room is that Pradhyuman may not be looking for a partner who is a woman. And that is totally okay, of course! But I wish he would just come clean about his desires because I can only imagine how much money his parents are spending on trying to fix him up with women that he clearly has zero interest in. He keeps giving his family signals, like the fact that he’s repeatedly said he’s not attracted to any of the women he’s been presented with. Really?! 150 women and there’s been no attraction? I mean… yeah. There’s our answer, folks. LOL. Not much more to say about Pradhyuman, honestly, except that I love the relationship he has with his sister. In one scene they shared a hookah and smoked from the same tip… in a COVID world that’s concerning and honestly even in a pre-COVID world, that would have worried my germaphobe ass, lol. But that was just a demonstration of their closeness and intimacy. Reflecting on my own relationship with my brother whom I love dearly, I loved to see that. But as much as I love my brother, we won’t be sharing the same hookah anytime soon or ever.
Anyhoo, back to Pradhyuman. Sima Auntie finally presented him with a woman he deemed worthy of pursuing at the end of episode 4 and the face reader Sima Auntie visited did say that he would be married in the next year… so, let’s see how this all unfolds for him.
Nadia: This girl is absolutely gorgeous, y’all and I loved that even though her appearance was elegant, she was goofy and funny. Great combo! Nadia lives in New Jersey with her parents, which I thought was cool. So often, in this country, we are taught to look down on multigenerational households, but I am a fan of the concept. My own dad once told me that I was more than welcome to live at home until I got married and in fact he would prefer it that way. But, I digress. Nadia explained that she’s often not accepted as “Indian” by other Indians, and in fact, as a Guyanese woman, she is seen as an outsider. So that’s why I was so excited when Sima Auntie found a nice half-Guyanese guy to match Nadia with. When they met for their date I had such high hopes. Then, this fool gave her the side eye for ordering a mimosa on their date because he doesn’t drink. I knew right then this date was going nowhere fast. It’s one thing to date a non-drinker who doesn’t care if you indulge, but one who judges you for ordering a cocktail? Nope. That is a red flag. He went on to say he was also trying to cut back on meat and he turned up his nose when Nadia mentioned bacon mac and cheese. Dude… what?! Who doesn’t like bacon mac? A psycho, that’s who. Not to mention that his personality was like a wet blanket. Run girl, run!
Turns out that Nadia had better chemistry with the next guy. Vinny was not Guyanese, but when Nadia remarked that she was “not Indian” because she was from Guyana Vinny was like “um… okay, but you’re still Indian”, lol. Okay, success, right? Wrong! I was quickly disappointed when Vinny stood Nadia up… TWICE! Nah son. The first time Vinny was extremely apologetic and Nadia was willing to give him a second chance. But the second time, he stood her up in front of her friends after giving some bullshit excuse… Dog, how are you going to be “on your way” (as his text stated) and then an hour later be like he’s not coming because he’s arguing with his sister. Sir, shut the hell up. You weren’t on your way anywhere! God, how embarrassing! When Nadia broke down during her recap of the experience, my heart broke for her. I felt her when she said she was lonely, and it was hard to watch all her friends move forward while she was stuck in the same place. It’s heartbreaking to watch your friends be lucky in love while every one of your dates is a flop. And when she said through the tears “I hate being on my period.” CHILE… I cracked the hell up cause I felt that SO HARD. Being a woman sucks sometimes! But anyway! Vinny deserved no more chances after that second transgression, and I was glad she moved on from him.
Aparna: Y’all, this girl is a PIECE OF WORK!! The first time the camera flashed on her resting bitch face, I knew I was over her already… and my instincts were right. Aparna is a lawyer who doesn’t like her job, other lawyers, or really other people period – except her mother and maybe her sister. Her energy was pure-D trash. As Sima Auntie said, Aparna is too negative to date and get married. When Sima Auntie said Aparna’s energy made her tired, I was shouting at the tv like #MeToo! Ger her off my screen! LOL. With her attitude, she’s never going to be happy with anyone because she is not happy PERIOD. The worst part is that the girl gets it honest. Her mother was a hot mess, too!
Aparna claimed she was exhausted by dating and couldn’t stand being on another date where she was forced to spend more than an hour with the person, lol. When relaying her dating criteria, Aparna actually said out of her mouth that she doesn’t care if the dude is interesting nor whether he has a sense of humor. In fact, she said she would prefer not to date the funny guy because she’s done that before and she hated it. Oh okay, girl, lol. Maybe she’d get along with Nadia’s wet blanket, lol. Aparna was most interested in the person’s resume – how he looked on paper was VERY important to her. So, Sima Auntie delivered. She brought her a guy who’s family is from where Aparna’s family is from, he went to more prestigious schools than she did, and he was very successful professionally. When he asked what Aparna does for fun, she mentioned that she is an avid traveler and proceeded to have the most obnoxious travel conversation I’ve ever heard. Now, I’m a traveler (or at least I was pre-COVID) and I love to talk about my travels, but if I ever start to sound like her, somebody please slap the shit out of me, please and thanks! Aparna was already on my list of people I strongly dislike, but then this chick had the nerve to say she hates the beach. MA’AM! WHO HATES THE BEACH?! That’s even WORSE than someone who hates bacon mac and cheese! Then the man innocently asked Aparna what she would do on a “relaxing” vacation and this chick took offense to the word “relaxing”! WHO DOES THAT?! I’m sorry but maybe if she removed that big ass stick from up her butt, she might be able to chiiiiill.
On her date with the next guy, Srini, Aparna actually seemed kind of normal! Srini took her ax throwing (I sooo wanna do this!), and Aparna was actually having fun and letting her proverbial hair down just a little. Professionally, Srini is a creative – he’s an author and a podcast host (ayyye!), and apparently he has been very successful at both. But that wasn’t good enough for Aparna who felt that he wasn’t serious enough and that he would always be struggling for a job (I don’t know what gave her that impression because I didn’t get that from him AT ALL!). She is crazy! Her mother actually had the nerve to call the man a loser on national tv. Just unbelievable. She and her mama deserve each other, lol. And in the end, that’s all they will have… each other cause nobody else will be able to stand them.
Honestly, I don’t even know why Sima Auntie tried to hook Aparna up with anyone else after those first two dates. Sima Auntie was tired and frustrated by this point and she left it up to the heavens to help, saying “My efforts are meaningless if the stars are not aligned.” So she sent Aparna to Dilip Uncle, an astrologer, to get some help from the sky. Dilip Uncle discovered that Aparna’s energies are blocked (by that stick up her ass! LOL). No shocker there. The face reader that Sima Auntie consulted with said that Aparna needed a husband who was going to be so agreeable that he wouldn’t even get mad if she slapped him. LOL! Like I said… she’s a piece of work and everyone knows it! So Sima Auntie tried one mo’ gain and matched Aparna with Shekar. Aparna thought they really hit it off, talked him up to her friends and everything, but Shekar was like “yeah nah”. LOL! He could tell how uptight and tightly wound she was, especially when she started talking about sex tourism in Cuba (not great first-date conversation, lol…). Actually, I hated everything about that Cuba conversation. She was talking about how she felt unsafe in Cuba blah blah blah. I’ve been to Cuba and didn’t feel unsafe at all. Anyway, it was obvious to me that Shekar wasn’t feeling her, but Aparna was really excited that she “didn’t hate him”, which she says is rare. *insert eye roll* So funny that they were on such different pages after that date, but it’s not surprising cause Aparna is clearly self-absorbed and clueless. Her mother, who told her two baby daughters not to bring home fewer than three degrees, has created a monster, y’all. I thought it was funny that Aparna’s mother said she always told her daughters not to embarrass her in front of their community… well, I’m sorry, Ma, but your daughter just embarrassed you in front of the world thanks to her lil stint on Netflix, lol. #fail
Also there was some overlap between Nadia and Aparna because once Shekar rejected Aparna (and Aparna seemed to let that rejection roll off her back cause I’m sure she’s been rejected many, many, MANY times before, lol), Sima Auntie hooked him up with our girl Nadia and they hit it off! I was glad to see that but a bit frustrated that we didn’t get to see whether things worked out for them. There’s still four episodes left, so perhaps I’ll find out before the season ends. Stay tuned!
Vyasar: Just when I thought we would be following Pradhyuman, Nadia, and Aparna for the duration of the season, we get introduced to a new client of Sima Auntie – Vyasar, the gentle giant. He’s a college counselor at a high school and his students, who they interviewed for the show, obviously love him! His family also is smitten with him (except for his deadbeat daddy who lives in the same city but hasn’t seen him in 5-6 years). These are all good signs! Sima Auntie pairs Vyasar with Manisha, a woman who’s 7 year older than him. For their first date, Manisha traveled from North Carolina to Austin where Vyasar lives and her mother came along on their first date where she met Vyasar’s entire family. And you know what? Even though Manisha was a little dry, they actually hit it off. Manisha was in her head about being older than Vyasar and also was concerned about the distance between them, knowing that eventually one of them would have to relocate if they got serious. But Vyasar felt no ways about either of those potential challenges. Episode four ends with him clearly stating to Manisha that he wants to see her again. Communication is so sexy. He was direct and explicit about his interest… that’s the kind of certainty every woman wants to hear from a suitor. Yes, Manisha, you hit the jackpot, girl! Anyway… call me crazy but something tells me they won’t work out. LOL.
Okay, so I’m officially hooked on this show! Looking forward to bingeing the second half of the season this weekend and I’ll be back with a recap of episodes 5-8. Until then, be safe and stay well!