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Indian Matchmaking season 3 is here, and with it, Sima Aunty is back, in an outwardly polished avatar but the same old same old.
You know that relentless aunty at weddings who makes it her life’s mission to ensure all eligible men and women no longer wear a ‘single’ status tag? Now imagine this aunty is a professional matchmaker and gets her show, which generates three seasons of meme-worthy content.
Welcome to Sima Thaparia and season three of Netflix’s Indian Matchmaking, also called the 60-70% show.
Avid cringe-bingers will be familiar with the concept. Move over 80-20. 60-70 is now in vogue. Aunty advocates vehemently that one must not look for a complete match; look for 60-70% and the rest is all compromise and adjustment. Flexibility is the key mantra; everything else will fall in place.
*Mild spoilers alert*
Every season I look forward to the show with hopes that the same old patriarchal philosophy will not be peddled. Sadly, season three is not very different. These are the nuggets of wisdom that made me cringe:
A girl states that she would like her future partner to have nice hair.
Aunty: Why is she giving importance to hair? She should open a hair salon and be surrounded by hair.
Girl: I like tall guys.
Aunty: Height doesn’t matter. We should not give importance to height.
Girl: I write poetry, he should enjoy poetry
Aunty: Just read a book instead.
What does matter, then? You can’t assess qualities like loyalty or kindness when the person is a stranger, and you are talking to them for the first time. And most importantly, a matchmaker should be open to her client’s preferences.
Aunty: Trust Sima Aunty. I know best.
If the qualities match on paper, it means you must like him. If you like him, he is the one. Why can’t you like him?
I’m sure Aunty has loads of matchmaking experience. But what people say on paper and what they are, can be two different things. A computer matches people based on criteria. But gut feeling, chemistry, instinct…all these are human emotions. Matchmaking isn’t a mechanical process!
Women are becoming more independent and have less tolerance for violence and nonsense. Why should divorce be a black mark, or have a stigma associated with it? A woman dared to walk away from a failed relationship and look for love again. Let’s support her instead of branding her as a failure.
The show is peppered with examples of arranged marriage success stories. Elderly couples sit on the couch and reminisce about how they met for fifteen minutes under parental supervision and then agreed to get married.
What the show doesn’t show are the marriages that didn’t work. Women of a different generation did not necessarily have access to financial independence or higher education. It wasn’t easy for them to walk out of unhappy marriages. But does dependence and being forced to stay equate to a happy marriage?
Aunty keeps telling everyone not to be picky. But guess who is the pickiest in the show? An American Indian doctor called Vikash claims to love Indian culture and Hindi. He rejects a girl after three meetings. The reason: she can’t speak Hindi.
Dude. You barely speak two sentences in Hindi and your accent sounds like English actors delivering Hindi dialogues in RRR.
Even more outrageous, Aunty finds another girl for him who speaks Hindi. He finds her too ‘Indian’ and rejects her on the spot. Is being too Indian even a thing?
Aunty, why didn’t you give him a piece of your mind? Or did Netflix decide to cut out that part?
Aunty’s daughters make a special appearance in this season where they remark that the average age of marriage has moved up from 25 to 30. Aunty expresses her displeasure and exclaims that thirty is too old.
In what universe, Aunty?
Women are focusing on education, traveling, personal development, and careers. And these things take time. Thirty is the new twenty. Embrace change, Aunty. It’s the only constant.
There is a participant named Rushali. She is very attached to her parents and wants to settle near them after marriage. Aunty advises her to focus on a new home, and not to be too much of a Mama’s girl. She also recommends consulting with a relationship advisor.
This segment freaked me out. If people started seeking help for excessive attachment, I’m sure therapists would have a roaring business. Their biggest client? The average Indian male. Is it clinginess only when a woman does it?
Of all the cringy dialogues, this one takes the cherry and the cake. Aunty wonders why people look for similarities in their future partners.
“You both are born from different mothers’ wombs, so you will be different.”
I don’t even want to comment on this.
This is one of the good things about the show. Sima Aunty recollects how she was married into an orthodox Marwadi family, where women weren’t allowed to work, but her husband was her pillar of strength and supported her through and through.
Aunty, after listening to how you rose even though the odds were stacked against you, I am filled with hope. You can be the torchbearer and show these regressive thoughts their rightful place: the trash bin. We are still waiting.
I plowed through this season with pure journalistic intent, viewing at 1.5X speed (Thank you, Netflix. Any chance you could add a 5X feature?) Overall, I’m disappointed that Indian matchmaking is not evolving; perhaps it is still reflective of societal mindsets and mentalities.
Lalitha is a blogger and a dreamer. Her career is in finance, but writing is her way to unwind! Her little one is the center of her Universe. read more...
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Bubbl.us is an interesting tool which is useful to take notes, brainstorm and organize new ideas, collaborate, and capture thoughts. It allows you to avoid distraction by focusing on task, to collaborate and share with friends, families, team and social media. Essentially no hassle of downloading any app, works on mobile and desktop. You can use the basic plan to explore and later subscribe for at $4.91/month, $59 billed annually.
Miro offers the quickest, easiest way for teams to capture, organize and visualize thoughts, solutions, ideas across the team. Other than brainstorming, it can be used for project planning, creating organizational charts and sales strategies. It runs on all devices: mobile, tablet, desktop or interactive display.
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