It is a truth digitally acknowledged, that any single Indian in possession of a long history of rishta meetings, must be in want of a discussion on Netflix’s all-new reality show Indian Matchmaking right now.
Reminds you of Jane Austen? Hold up right there ladies, for there’s no Mr. Darcy to be found here. Indian Matchmaking, is a wedding and romantic reality show, and, as we have already introduced to you, it explores the concept of arranged marriages in India. The show follows matchmaker Sima Taparia (or 'Sima from Mumbai’ as she calls herself) while she travels across India and the US, finding “suitable” matches for her clients.
But that doesn’t really describe the show. Think of it as a quagmire of problematic ideologies pertaining to the Indian concept of marriage and the disapproving aunty gaze that any person (read woman) of "marriageable age" has been constantly trying to dodge. But there’s more. Among Sima aunty’s illustrious clientele, the show features two extremely conceited young men who are confused AF about almost anything that connotes the idea of marriage. Well, except for the fact that they want to get married. Yup, it’s as confusing as it sounds.
Basically, these men are heirs of huge business empires and are filthy rich. Then again, as far as I can see these perhaps are the only two “distinctions” that make both their family and Sima aunty think that they are entitled enough to reject one girl after the other. That said, I’d like to confess here that I may or may not have taken up a passionate dislike for 25-year-old Akshay Jakhete, the reasons for which will soon unfold. But before you continue reading please be warned that this story contains spoilers and I suggest you watch Episode 5 of Indian Matchmaking to share the special brand of organic rage that I am about to unleash in 3..2...1...
If Akshay's family were ever to release a matrimonial ad for him (going by their desperation they soon will if they haven't already), this is exactly what it SHOULD read like: "Looking for a slim, trim, flexible, and above 5'3'' baby sitter for a sissy man child who clearly isn't ready to get married!"
There's a sequence in Episode 5 where Akshay asks his mom to cook something for him or he'd have to order food to which his mom nonchalantly replies something on the lines of 'go get married. She will pack tiffin for you.' I mean given that I am in my late 20s and properly unmarried, I am no authority on marriage and matchmaking market. But I'd still say with absolute surety that getting a tiffin packed is no reason to get married, especially when you have a house full of servants who can easily do that for you.
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While Akshay seems mostly clueless about what sort of a life partner he really seeks or even basic understanding of the entire womankind, he is pretty sure that she has to be "just like my [his] mother." After casually rejecting some 100 girls there finally comes a point when he helps us with a little understanding and says, that he is actually looking for someone that he can intellectually connect with. Honestly, fair enough. You should definitely look for an intellectual connection with your prospective partner. If only Akshay actually has the ability to make up his mind though!
He is later sent a 'biodata' of this Udaipur girl Radhika and when his cousin Mansa asks him about the girl, all that he manages to say is that "she is really tall" with a sheepish smile. Mind you, all of this when Radhika has an MBA degree and already appearing for her CA exams. Upon being asked if the girl is intelligent, he casually replies, "she is yet to give the exam so we don't know." However, he very quickly changes that statement as he says that this girl might actually be the one for him given she is "intelligent" and all!
But don't lose your patience with Akshay just yet because there's more. He can hardly hold up a conversation when they meet for the first time. He clearly says he has no idea what he should be talking about. And he is also alarmed the instant Radhika says she wants to work and does not want to sit at home. "And if she's busy with her work, who's gonna take care of the kids and all," he asks.
That "foreign degree" is looking real good Akshay!
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Okay so let me state two facts here: a.) Akshay needs to make up his mind & b.) I hate Preeti aunty (Akshay's mother) with a vengeance! Not only is Akshay's mother downright manipulative but also pretty dictatorial. She is legit losing sleep because her son is 25 and unmarried. She takes great pride in saying that she married off her elder son at the "right age" i.e. 23 and does not even flinch before telling him and her daughter-in-law that they need to positively conceive by next year. And amid it all we have Akshay, literally worshipping his darling mother even after she tells him that her blood pressure is high because he is not getting married!?!?!
Okay so don't get me wrong here. Love your parents, give them the life of their dreams, love them to bits and pieces really (I do too) but have a say of your own while you are at it. Akshay seriously wants to get married because he has been told “now you’re back, and everything is good, so now you can get married." How is this fair? And even if Akshay is okay with this, how is this okay with the person who'd be getting involved in this after marrying Akshay?
Also, let’s be clear, here’s a man who has seen the world. He finished his education from Boston and now he "wants" to get married because his parents want him to. I mean what's even happening here?
Just FYI, a recent report by LA Times shared that he in fact broke up with Radhika soon after their roka. "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. Trust is something [that] once broken cannot be regained in a matter of days—it takes a really long time. I’d rather wait and be with the correct person than be stuck with the wrong person. So I am single right now and still looking for the right one," he was reported saying.
Honestly, all matches are a bit of a gamble and I'd refrain from blaming anyone here. Just hoping that this time he takes it slow and uses his own head! Rest assured, both Preeti aunty and Akshay can do with a little chilling. Also, he is not "25!" he is "just 25!"
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