It was hard to miss articles / memes on this show. Even before I had watched it, words such as ‘cringe’, ‘casteism’, ‘sexism’, ‘elitist’, ‘fair’ , ‘regressive’ etc. used in the context of the show made me skeptical about watching it.
In the first five minutes of the show, I was wondering if the show was a satire. I then realized it was not, and I was a little shocked. Next thing, I know I binge watched and finished it in two days. Some thoughts:
- It is tough to find a partner
Not everybody gets married at 25. Not everybody meets someone organically and falls in love AND marries the same person.
There are elderly couples shown in the beginning of each episode who have been married forever. I found them really cute. As one of those ladies rightly said, ‘Someone has to introduce you. A friend, Parents…’
I agree. The matchmaker is also just a source. In the time of Tinder, why should we frown upon the idea of a matchmaker! It is just a personalized, customized and super expensive or Premium Tinder as someone said on the show!
- The show is not the problem. Our hypocrisy is
Until a generation ago in India, people believed that a partner is someone chosen for you, just like you don’t choose your mother, father, brother, sister. People accepted their spouse as destiny and lived with it. We don’t anymore, of course! We have options. Men and women both reject each other. Since the show was about arranged marriages, critics have labelled it as regressive.
Rejecting based on looks or social status is not something specific to an arranged marriage. We reject people every day because we don’t like them. In school, college, tuition classes, gym, office dating app or any place else where men and women meet physically or virtually. We may not spell it out for them directly:
I want someone who is above 5’3 and you are clearly not!
I want someone with minimum this much salary and you are below my standards!
I think I can do much better!
We reject people even without knowing it. Like the guy staring at the girl, but the girl does not find him interesting enough to even acknowledge.
We do this. It has been done to us. This is how it works.
“The girl should be taller than 5’3”
This line made me laugh. I am not 5’3. I remember so many people telling me since the time I was 12-13 that I should do monkey bars so that I become “at least 5’3″! Even if I don’t grow beyond that, it is fine!
- My partner. My choice!
When we are young, we are shallow. We want our partner to be someone who makes us look good. Often the superficial qualities we look for in our partner is a manifestation of our own insecurities. I was told I will not find a tall guy because I was short! I have heard dark-skinned guys say that they only care that the girl should be fair, because they have been told they will never get one!
I have rejected guys at 24-25, because their English was not good. Looking back, I feel that should not have been the criteria. Elders do the job of counseling marriageable children, and tell them that these things do not matter. They may be right. But the point is, as much as we should not let certain things bother us, if it still does, then marrying someone who we don’t find attractive (physically, intellectually) is also not fair, to either person.
It is not at all easy! All said and done, if anyone reading this is single and searching let me tell you that marriage is a lot of work, no matter who you marry!! There is no right person or right choice. You take a decision, and live with it (or not!)!
- Characters on the show
I don’t know how much of the show was scripted but certainly the characters were real people. My favourite person was Nadia. I found her very pleasant and felt bad for her when she got stood up. Initially I found Aparna and her mother difficult until I saw Akshay and his mother!
I found Aparna and her mother entertaining. I would like to say a lot about Akshay and his mother, Preeti but I would refrain since these are real people and not actors! I have some views on “Pretty, rich boy” also but I guess it would not be nice to share it!
I know a lot of people liked Vyasar and Ankita but I don’t have any opinion on them. I was shocked that someone like Ankita said that she could understand that the man she met (forgetting his name) did not mention that he was divorced to her because it was their first meeting, and she may tell people about it! As if being divorced is a crime that should be hidden!
Pradyuman’s sister was sensible . I liked how she told her brother when he said that the girl was not for him, ‘Why should she be for you!’
She made another interesting point. At the initial matchmaking stage, most people give a lot of importance to ‘being able to have a conversation’ with someone. I did too. This may again be a very overrated thing. If you are having a great conversation with someone in the first meeting, please be aware it may just be superficial!! People pretend!!
- Sima Aunty! The viral sensation!
I found her hilarious! Long time back, one of my friends had asked me to watch ‘A Suitable Girl’ on Netflix in which Sima Aunty’s daughter gets married, (and two other girls). I watched it after watching ‘Indian Matchmaking’. It is a nice documentary. Very realistic, non-glamourous and emotional. Sima Aunty is more of an anxious mother than a matchmaker in that one.
- Filmein Sirf Teen Cheezon Se Chalti Hain, Entertainment, Entertainment, Entertainment!
Netflix bhi entertainment se hi chalta hai! All said and done, the show is very entertaining. I enjoyed watching it. I am not the kind of person who would binge watch anything as I find watching television for more than two hours a day irritating. But for some shows, I make an exception.
This was one of them!