As no stranger to Netflix over the past few months, it was a quick right swipe on Indian Matchmaking. Not only as a dating expert, but just fascinated to see what it was all about. (Disclaimer: I watched this 3 weeks ago – pre-judgment/controversy era). And I fell right down Sima Taparia’s rabbit hole and finished the series in 2 days, still hungering for more!
So, here’s the short story. Sima is from a wealthy Mumbai family with loads of contacts. She also had an arranged marriage. Her client base is primarily 20-30 something aged single Indians – and their families! That is what makes viewing so much fun – the parents are just as involved in their adult child’s love life (maybe even more so!) than the single child is.
The philosophy goes something like this: In India, arranged marriages still occur and wealthy families are happy to have Sima search India (and the world) for their marriage match. Families hiring Sima view the matchmaking as not two young singles falling in love – but the real drama here is the families are basically marrying each other!
Sima uses biodata on each candidate and shares the information with matches she deems worthy. Biodata, which we simply would call Online Dating Profiles here at 33000Dates.com, checks the normal boxes – interests, looks, values, etc.
So, what do I like about Sima?
As one who loves matchmaking and finding the right person for my clients via helping navigate online dating, she is PATIENT! Wow, is she patient. The Netflix docu-series focused on 6-8 singles she was working with to find their love match/marriage. Aparna is a single attorney in her 30’s who needs a bit of positivity training on her dates. Her date likes the beach, Aparna hates sand. Her date likes a relaxing vacay, Aparna tells him that is a waste of time. But, over time, we see Sima gently guiding Aparna and see an improvement in her attitude. At 33000Dates, that is why we feel the female empowerment/dating coaching portion is soooo important! Sometimes we just do not realize how we come across on a date and having a dating coach or a Sima can turn things around quickly.
Yes, Sima may already have picked her client’s matches for first dates prior to meeting the client, but when she meets the client and the family she listens!
On to Akshay, a shy 24-year-old man still attached to his mother’s umbilical cord. Preti, the mother is quite a controlling matriarch who insists Akshay must marry by the end of the year. Why? To keep her sons on schedule. The older brother, married, is not permitted
by Preti to have a child until the younger brother marries. The sister-in-law just sits smiling at the family table. Sima, privy to all these crazy nuances in this home, just listens intently.
Ok, here is where we get some of the press/media hype but hey they need this stuff to write a story. Colorism and Caste come up in Sima’s search for matches. Guess what? This is REAL LIFE! We hear Sima discussing with someone that she is “very attractive” or a family asks about a potentials date’s region, class, caste, occupation – and the media says this is racist/classist/casteist, etc.
A good matchmaker needs to know the physical types her clients may be attracted to. With that knowledge, it only helps choose better dates for clients. While I always asked my clients many questions and wanted them to be honest with me, did I adhere 100% to what they wanted? No. Just impossible. After about 4200 marriages later for me, I had happy marriages with bald men (the women always wanted a lot of hair!), short men, tall and short women, every color of man and woman, different religions, occupations that would have never crossed paths.
"The key to a happy marriage? Compromise, adjustment and love." - Sima Taparia
To me, this seems sage and sound advice around the world, whether you are a 38-year-old single New Yorker or a 55-year-old divorced Texan.
Want to watch the show trailer? Warning, this can be addictive: CLICK HERE.
Want to learn more about Sima, read this article.