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India Currents gave me a voice in days I was very lost. Having my articles selected for publishing was very validating – Shailaja Dixit, Executive Director, Narika, Fremont

Sima Aunty is back again in the second season of Indian Matchmaker, looking confident and savvy as ever. She has designer outfits, real kundan jewelry and hairstyles. But her patronizing looks and judgmental remarks have not changed. 

The show is an Indian version of the Bachelor where real-life people go on dates, but with a difference; the dates are set up by Sima aunty, a matchmaker who matches men and women by aligning their birth charts, family backgrounds, horoscopes, face reading, etc.

A still from season 2 of Indian Matchmaking.

Sima really does not have decades of experience, insight, and time-tested techniques. She just knows how to carry herself. She is also nosey and tries to introduce people by increasing her social connections. To Sima aunty, matchmaking is a numbers game. And she is not wrong in that assumption.

When I think of her, old-time nais who went from house to house proffering hair services, and also exchanging details about young ones of marriageable age, comes to mind.

If you have seen the 1968 movie Padosan, with Om Prakash and Sunil Dutt, you will comprehend where I am going with this train of thought.Only Sima aunty looks so much better than the match-maker in Padosan. 

The second season of Indian Matchmaking is just as divisive and reactionary as the first season, but there are a few new phrases. Some are scandalously hollow but the frustrated words of young ones caught in the web of dating apps do ring true!

A still from season 2 of Indian Matchmaking.

Arranged marriages don’t afford the couple a chance to understand each other. But then it was customary in India for the wife to accommodate the husband’s every wish and command. Or that’s what I thought. But when I look at so many married couples in America, the women who claimed to have married the “love of their lives” don’t exactly have a rosy life. But marriage, arranged or otherwise, is not easy. But that’s another story…

To get back to the premise of this show, Indian Matchmaking exists simply because there is a need for some singles in America and overseas to find spouses with similar cultural backgrounds. Dating apps have limited choices of Indian matches, and alliances in India are difficult to match with because of a difference in mindset and upbringing.

Sima aunty does provide value to those who are frustrated on the social dating apps. She eliminates effort for young people and their families trying to find a good match. But I wish Sima aunty would stop telling the girls: 

Sab kuch nahi milega!” (You won’t get everything you want in a match.)
Thoda compromise karna toh padta hai!” (You’ll need to compromise a bit.)

The happily married couples who come on Sima’s show look happy and color coordinated, and very chatty! But Sima does not show couples who are trapped in unhappy arranged marriages, or spend years in family courts trying to get a divorce. 

Ms. Taparia (aka Sima aunty) does provide a good matchmaking service for the more traditional families who want to find a cookie-cutter wife or husband to blend well with their extended families. There is room for Sima aunty in arranging marriages for some folks, but not everyone is willing to have their horoscopes matched, faces read, rituals performed to remove the doshas (flaws) in their kundalis (horoscopes).

Aparna from Season 1 of Indian Matchmaking.

Participants from Season 1, Aparna, Nadia, and Pradhyuman, are back in the second season of the show. The unattached girls are progressing in their professional lives but are still not finding their Prince Charming.

Pradhyuman on the other hand, after rejecting a hundred and fifty suitable matches proffered by Sima Taparia, has advanced in leaps and bounds in his career. Designed high-end jewelry, has an enviable closet with designer clothes and is also making bespoke cocktails. More than that, he has also found an equally attractive girl of his dreams, Aashima (on his own!) To wow the American viewers, there is a luxurious wedding at the Lake Palace hotel in Udaipur!

Aparna is no longer a client of Sima aunty, but she is still in the second season. She consults Korean astrologers and hangs out with her girlfriends. Sima aunty may not like her attitude, but Netflix likes Aparna because her presence increases the show’s ratings!

I felt really bad for the lovely Guyanese-American girl, Nadia, because Sima aunty pooh-poohed her when she was attracted to a younger man Vishaal rather than the soft-spoken Shekhar from Season 1.

Sima aunty comments that the celebrity couple, Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas, are not well suited. According to her, Nick Jonas looks small and petite compared to Priyanka Chopra! How judgmental and catty!

After watching both seasons of Indian Matchmaking my humble suggestions for “eligible hopefuls” is simple. Keep trying, with or without Sima Aunty! Just make a real effort if you really want to settle down into marriage! Good luck and tathastu!

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Monita Soni

Monita Soni grew up in Mumbai and works as a pathologist in Alabama. She is well known for her creative nonfiction and poetry pieces inspired by family, faith, food, home, and art. She has written two...