Indian Matchmaking: Why Indians Need to Marry at the Right Age and Right Time
Let’s admit it - we all binge watched Indian Matchmaking. We cringed over it, criticized the actors, laughed at some of the absurdities and judged the matchmaker Sima Taparia and her process of matchmaking. But let’s take a step back and think: why are we, as a culture, so obsessed with finding someone? Why do we need to get married by a certain age and ‘settle down’? Sure, we all looked down upon Sima aunty’s face readers and astrologers. But when the time comes for us to find The One, aren’t we going to do the same thing with just as much desire and desperation? If not through a matchmaker, then through a dating app. If not through a dating app, then through references from friends and family. Even the most liberal minds (including myself) find themselves following a certain timeline of events as we progress with our lives. This pre-defined timeline ingrained heavily in our minds give us an ideal date and time when we need to fall in love, get married, and raise a family. This mindset also found its way in those featured in Indian Matchmaking.
The typically traditional process of matchmaking for arranged marriages found its arena in the young, modern Indians from India and the US. Sima aunty viewed them with her traditional value sets, judging them for being too stubborn, for having too many requirements, or for not being flexible enough. She criticised some of them for being too picky in selecting a partner. Many of us found ourselves consciously or subconsciously agreeing with her. The 34-year old successful and outspoken lawyer from Houston, Aparna Shewakramani was shown as “too picky and will not decide”, which led Sima aunty to take up the decision for Aparna and show her only one match to meet, instead of multiple matches like she showed Nadia. Nadia Christina Jagessar, the 33-year old event planner from New Jersey, felt pressure internally to get married because everyone around her is married. One of the first things Nadia says in her introductory scenes are, “I fill my time so that I don’t sit and realise how single I am.” On the other side of the world, a young 25-year old Akshay Jakhete sitting in Mumbai, was constantly pressurized into getting married or else his older brother and sister-in-law can’t make a baby. Throughout the episodes, we saw his mother repeatedly nag him about getting married. The other Mumbai-based 30-year old Pradhyuman Maloo was continuously chided by both Sima aunty and his family for taking too long to select his life partner.
The question is: why are we pressuring our sons, daughters, friends into getting married and settling down FAST? These are young, modern Indians from India and overseas, who despite their liberal outlooks find themselves needing to check the traditional requirements of their families, societies and internal desires. They want to and need to GET MARRIED. The Hindu culture has long regarded marriage as an essential rite of passage as one becomes an adult. The Vedas proclaim that “Dharma must be practiced by man together with his wife and offspring.”
Don’t get us wrong – love is the most wonderful feeling in the world and the idea of living together or getting married to your soulmate sounds even more wonderful. Rather we have an issue with the familial and peer pressure some people have to face as they get older and need to cross off the task of getting married to please others.