Everyone is talking about Netflix’s latest presentation Indian Matchmaking and definitely not in the best way. A meme fest has engulfed social media about several statements from the show and it continues to multiply.
I watched the show and even though the whole upper-class matchmaking credentials aren’t relatable to me but having gone through the ordeal of usual matchmaking staples myself, there are several things I could relate to, however, not agree with. Here’s my take on it.
“Straight off the bat” (as one aspirant in the show calls it), almost everything is problematic with the show – be it the casual casteism, misogyny, sexism, colorism, and whatnot. But while the entire process most definitely will enrage an independent and liberal person, it kills me to say this but it is the truth. The casual remarks made on how girls (even boys at times) need to be “flexible”, “adjustable”, and/or frowned upon for prioritizing their careers is as real a thing even in today’s times. Hell, even if you meet the millennials who you might expect to have a broad approach to these things still “expect” their partner (female) to know cooking because that’s what is the most important thing, isn’t it? It all sounds so clichéd and repetitively been talked about but patriarchy is so deeply rooted in our lives that everything surrounding it is still considered ‘normal’. That is how brainwashed some of us are.
The funny thing about Indian Matchmaking is the conflicting ideology that the title suggests and what it actually shows. Unlike it being titled as “Indian”, the show actually caters to candidates who constantly classify themselves as Americans. However, thanks to their ‘Indian’ ancestry in one way or another, their homeland connect gets them to believe in things which probably not even resident Indians might believe in.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not against the idea of having a matchmaker involved. As I mentioned above how, as a 29-year old, I have gone through the ordeal myself. But Sima Taparia, the seemingly spot-on and successful matchmaker seems to only be dealing with a filthy rich clientele (I mean why would she have a Netflix show otherwise), which is where you as a viewer will disconnect.
There are several moments where the mentioned aspirants in the show say things that might challenge your views and at times and even just piss you off. But it is another representation of how pretension exists more actively than we can imagine. This is where Indian Matchmaking hits it out of the park (because it real people). It is rather ironic that the level of pretension that we humans have is only aptly depicted by real people in the show. The whole gamut of meeting marriage aspirants and their families, interacting with matchmakers, dealing with your own families is a rather tricky space to be in. Believe me.
In the end, the show might easily have you question your sensibilities, especially the ones who are actively looking to get married. However, let me assure and remind you that no matter what, don’t let any of this scare you! There will always be those orthodox aunties, nagging relatives and dominating people willing to pressurize you and so much that you have to ‘change.’ But none of that should have you believe that you need to be more ‘flexible’ about anything.
I know it all sounds like ‘easier said than done.’ But even being realistic, the whole idea of ‘adjustment’ happens in the case where two people respect each other’s opposing views, professions, and approach; and still, love them and make their peace with it. That is the only adjustment you need to make.
I know, this has turned out to be more of a personal piece than about the show itself but that is what Indian Matchmaking on Netflix will have you feeling. As a show, it is one of those that you might cringe and immensely hate but will still want to watch it. Why? Because come on, everyone has a guilty pleasure. Only in this case, the pleasure is more about observing people and probably even judging them. One thing is for certain, and that is I would not want to hire Sima aunty to be your matchmaker. Would you?