Spoiler alert: None of the potential couples in Indian Matchmaking, a new reality TV series on Netflix, lasted. The show has been drawing criticism since its Friday release, for reinforcing cultural stereotypes about India, celebrating casteism and colourism, and for being a prime example of a phenomenon known as ‘aunty gaze’.
The show introduces a diverse cast of characters, all looking to get hitched. They’re united by a common matchmaker — “Sima Taparia, from Mumbai,” which is how she introduces herself to her clients, as she hobnobs with the rich and doles out questionable advice. “Compromise, adjust, be flexible,” Sima says to her clients, as she reduces them to a string of adjectives and visits face-readers and pandits for suggestions.
“I have found matches for people when I was on vacation in Zermatt and in Interlaken and even when we were in the Canadian Rockies, I was on duty matching people up. Hell, I have even matched people up while waiting at the luggage carousel at Mumbai airport,” she told Conde Nast Traveller in an interview.
Some of them, like Vyasar (a public school teacher from Austin, Texas) Sima seems to like, while others like Aparna (a lawyer) Sima openly expresses her irritation with. Like Sima, the audience has also developed clear favourites among the cast. Here’s an update of where they stand in their quests to get married.
Aparna, the lawyer from Houston, told Oprah Magazine that she’s single, but still in touch with the three men she was set up with on the show. “We’re actually good friends. That’s a positive experience that came out of the show. To walk away with three people you can relate to, and who are good and kind and grounded, is a success in my book,” she said.
The jewellery designer from Mumbai ended his arc on the show with a date. Things seemed to be going well for him and Delhi-based model Rushali. But Pradhyuman, who had turned down over 150 girls before giving his nod to Rushali, told the Los Angeles Times that they weren’t together. “We had different paths in life and we respected that and moved ahead. I’m still looking for the right one,” he said.
Nadia, a wedding planner from New Jersey, gave Sima quite the challenge when she informed her that while she was of Indian origin, she is actually Guyanese. Over the course of the show, Nadia dated Vinay, with whom she had an abrupt falling out, but later seemed to really like the lawyer Sekhar, but it apparently didn’t work out once the cameras stopped rolling.
“Being off camera definitely changed the dynamic between myself and the matches that I had continued talking to, and obviously, the change was not positive,” she told the LA Times. “But it helped me learn more about myself and what I’m looking for in a future partner.”
Vyasar was by far the most likable person on the show, and easily the audience’s favourite. Even Sima seemed to have nothing but nice things to say about him. But as promising as things looked for him towards the end of the show, he told the LA Times that he is still single.
“It’s no one’s fault. Matchmaking really is tough. Both people I was matched with were truly wonderful, inspiring individuals who I’m proud to call friends,” Vyasar said.
The only person who seemed to be well and truly on his way to get hitched is Akshay, the 25-year-old from Mumbai who said he wants his wife to be like his mother. At the end of the show, he got engaged to a girl from Udaipur, but he cryptically told the LA Times, “A few days later, there were some things which we found out that did not go down well with us, and eventually I called it off.”