Okay. Now let’s address the elephant in the room.
Indian Matchmaking, ladies and gentlemen.
The first thing that comes to my mind when I think about this Netflix original series, is the matchmaker Sima’s introduction, “Hi, I am Sima, from Mumbai.”
I did not have the intention to watch this show at all, to be honest. But the rave that it created, my goodness! How can you miss a show which is not only binge worthy but will also make you cringe with irritation, all at the same time, only to realise how true those things are!
The very Indian culture of celebrating the concept of marriages, be it an arranged marriage or a love marriage, for that matter, is indeed very intriguing. All of a sudden, people are bombarded with 101 rules, which makes me question my own dire existence at times. The show has received criticisms and have also become a source of content for memes, flooding all over social media. All the statements made by Sima from Mumbai or her clients or the parents of the clients may make you twitch your nose in anger, but let’s admit, these are all facts, which most of us refuse to digest, for the fear of dying from diarrhoea of stupid and baseless thoughts. Okay, that was gross.
Take for example, Akshay’s mother, Preeti, who wanted a bride for her son, said that the girl should be flexible. Hello there, Preeti Aunty, are you looking for a bride or a flexible yoga band? On top of that, the lad, Akshay, aankhon ka taara of Preeti, wants his bride to be exactly like his mother figure. I mean, mate, you got to be kidding, right? The most shocking moment for me came when after all those lovely couples who dated like Nadia-Shekhar or Vyasar-Rashi, it was Akshay who actually got engaged in the show! And even on the episode of the Roka ceremony, Preeti commented that it is called Roka because the bride is now stopped from going into anyone else’s house. Okay. Okay. Preeti Aunty, your thoughts are not pretty at all, it seems!
Moving on, let us talk about Aparna. She did earn the wrath of our beloved Sima from Mumbai, as she constantly called her stubborn and rigid. It would not be wrong perhaps to say that Aparna did seem like a typical ambitious bitch that boys should be careful of while dating! Let’s be honest. How many of you thought Aparna went too overboard in being choosy when it came to settling down? At one point of time, I did. But as the show progressed, I realised how wrong I was or many more like me was, in our judgement. After all, she’s successful, educated and most importantly, she is bloody independent. What more can one’s parents ask for if they have a daughter doing so well in life? And I am sure no parent would want to make her settle for anything or anyone less than what she is. And she deserves all of it. Success doesn’t come anyone’s way just like a box of pizza. Even the pizza delivery person needs thirty goddamn minutes! And Aparna has worked her ass off to be where she is right now.
Sima from Mumbai also stressed repeatedly that a marriage is all about adjustment, compromise and being flexible. Yeah, we know that. We keep hearing these things like a zillion times every single day. But wouldn’t it be better if the show was shown exactly the opposite way, where probably we could have witnessed people looking for brides who are successful, independent and who would be treated like a daughter, more than stereotyping the already not so progressive mindset of a population pf 1.3 billion people? But then, things like these will probably exist in some parallel universe, which is also again a Utopian concept, which many fail to understand. Even me.
While writing down this piece, I also came across some random articles in social media, where people have vowed to ban this show. The ones who are shouting slogans in social media to get this show banned, you need to think twice how is it anyway going to help? Is it because you are ashamed of how the concept of marriage is far more beyond the celebration of roka, sangeet, mehendi and shaadi? Will banning the show change the mindset of the bride hunters? If yes, count me in on the first row of protesters, who will be more than happy to shout, scream and even breathe out slogans! If not, I suggest, you should STFU. Period.
I have got nothing against this show. It was indeed a good time pass which kept me thinking about the kind of progression our society needs to undergo and how the entire concept of marriage is so much beyond the girl adjusting, compromising and nodding her head for every yes or no, as dictated by others. Our society is so fucked up that it needs a time to time reminder on how to function. After all we live in a country where the safety of women is also put on a priority basis only after a brutal rape and murder takes place in any corner of the country! Pardon my language, but that is the bitter truth, ladies and gentlemen. And if all these were not enough already, we have shows like Indian Matchmaking, which acts as a mirror to our very own fucked up expectations and rules.
That’s all I can say. I can only express what I feel and you probably won’t understand if your stars aren’t aligned!
Urshita from Assam.