I sipped my lassi and it was lovely. And now I’m back – hello there!
Following on from my last blog post: Indian Matchmaking – the Good, the Bad and the Ugly, I’m airing my thoughts on the show once again, this time in a more light-hearted fashion. In this post I’ll be addressing: Indian Matchmaking – the show’s winners and losers.
One of the most controversial characters to appear on the show was 35-year-old, Aparna Shewakramani. The Houston-based Lawyer was…different. And by different, I mean she comes across as being very particular, pessimistic and obnoxious. She doesn’t like comedy, beaches, the outdoors or relaxing for that matter, and God forbid that her date should not know that Bolivia has salt flats!
While Twitter took to annihilating Aparna, I won’t be following suit.
And that’s for one reason and one reason only: I give credit where credit is due. Aparna, despite her initial pessimism did show signs of growth throughout her dating experience while on the show. I think she evolved throughout the process, loosening up a little and showing signs of a slightly more open mind.
Between Aparna and Sima, who inevitably got a lot of flak for the problematic comments she made throughout the series, I think Netflix were trying to portray a villain. But for me, the real villain of the show was clearly Preeti, the mother of 25-year-old Akshay, who has been looking (without success) for a bride for her son since his early twenties and who was now adamant on bullying a hasty marriage upon Akshay.
She, like many South Asians unfortunately put an expiry date on her child and appeared convinced that her son was a disappointment to his family for having failed to get married by a certain age, which in Akshay’s case is the ripe old age of 25.
If I could speak to Preeti Aunty, I’d say “Aunty please, wrap it up. Wrap all of your toxic behaviour up and give Akshay a break. I’ve had enough of you revelling in your pushy parent galore”.
“Zayn Malik was preaching in ‘Still Got Time’ but you just weren’t listening. Also, Akshay isn’t a carton of milk. It’s alright Aunty. He can’t go off”.
And as for Akshay?
“Akshay, Akshay, Akshay…
…bechara. Ooof, we took a trip with you. A guilt-trip”.
If there’s someone that I had to say a quick prayer for after watching the show, it was Akshay.
Anyone outside of the manipulative family dynamics that Akshay is in, which sees his Mother blaming him for her high blood pressure and dictating that ‘This year you get married, next year, they (his brother and sister-in-law) have a baby’, can only look on in absolute horror and sympathise.
Akshay can’t see how toxic his reality is because he’s a Mommy’s boy and sadly this means that he is constantly berated for causing his Mother stress. Ultimately, this means that he ends up getting emotionally blackmailed into an engagement-esque Roka ceremony.
Ugh. What a pitiful situation. Akshay really was Indian Matchmaking’s victim.
But what of the show’s winners? Were there any and what were their wins?
We had three winners actually.
Coming in at No. 1 was one of my favourites…
Ankita really wasn’t here to be a victim.
Sima Aunty might have tried to whittle Ankita down for, amongst other harsh criticisms “not being photogenic enough”, but Ankita, a Dehli-based entrepreneur, was shrewd enough to turn a bad matchmaking experience on it’s head.
She knew the show would air on Netflix and so she came, used the platform to promote her new denim-ware brand and business, and left. Simple as that.
What a way to make the best of a bad situation!
Our second winner, (though she didn’t get much air-time), was single mother and divorcee Rupam.
She was told from the outset that because she was divorced “It’s a fact of life, you have less options”. Sima Aunty, a voice echoing the divorce-related stigma in the Asian community (which disappointingly, was only very briefly alluded to in the show), told us that because Rupam was divorced, there was essentially a big fat cross on Rupam’s bio-data. And on her as a person.
Indian society really said: “Sorry not sorry Rupam, you didn’t get to experience a lasting happiness with your first marriage and we aren’t giving you a chance at future happiness as a consequence of this”.
However, the show featured little moments of victory. One such moment was when Rupam for want of a better word, shat, on a whole Indian arranged marriage system that tried to write her off and told her she was less desirable and deserving of love because of her divorce.
“How did she shit on the system?”, I hear you ask.
She only came back to Sima Aunty and said “Sorry Aunty ji, I’ve found a partner on Bumble”!
I laughed a lot at that bit. I was happy for Rupam and I’m hoping that she got a second chance at love – a lasting love – and is out there living her life as a testament to beautiful new beginnings.
And finally, at third place, our final and unsuspecting winner…
drum roll please someone bang a dhol!
Although the show ended with Radhika and Akshay’s Roka, post-production – just a day later in fact – Akshay called the whole marriage off.
Some might feel second-hand embarrassment for Radhika to have gone through such a public and televised Roka ceremony and to have come out of it without being wed.
But I’ll tell you why Radhika is our unsuspecting winner.
Preeti is insufferable. Askhay is hapless. And her marriage (to both of them, because let’s be real she’s marrying Preeti too as Akshay can’t think for himself) would have been pitiful. I’m telling you now, that wedding breaking off is a big blessing in disguise for Radhika and not marrying Akshay and Preeti was Radhika’s biggest win.