Sima Taparia opens up on her matchmaking process, Netflix show, and why dating apps can't 'compete' with her
Sima Taparia, the host of Indian Matchmaking, defends her approach to arrange marriages, “But who doesn’t want a fair, beautiful wife, you tell me?”
"I am Sima Taparia. I’m Mumbai’s top matchmaker,” is how Indian Matchmaking scene-stealer Sima Taparia first introduces herself to viewers. Since its premiere, the Netflix show has managed to grab a fan base with memes, oped pieces, and long Twitter threads. However, the one person who has become the talk of the town owing to her 'unique' skill and personality is Sima “aunty” Taparia.
For the unversed, Indian Matchmaking follows Taparia as she matches hopeful singles in the US and India, and ultimately guides them through the arranged marriage process. The show has been at receiving end of criticism for blatantly endorsing notions of casteism, colourism, and classism. Taparia, in an interview to Conde Nast Traveller, opened up on her procedure of finding a match, how she turned her hobby into a profession, and why none of the dating apps can 'compete' with her process.
Taparia was born in Gulbarga, Karnataka, and had an arranged marriage to Mumbai-based industrialist Anup Taparia at the age of 19. As both families are well-connected, she began setting high-profile Indian couples up for marriage as a hobby, until she became so good at it that people suggested she do it professionally. Soon, she set up Suitable Rishta, her matchmaking bureau based out of her apartment in the midtown Mumbai neighbourhood of Worli.
She claims to be a 'natural-born matchmaker,' and a very social person who loves meeting new people. Sima adds she is thinking about matchmaking even while vacationing. She claims to have found matches for people while holidaying in Zermatt, Interlaken, Canadian Rockies, and even at the Mumbai airport luggage carousel.
The matchmaking method
Taparia says she follows a tried and tested method to achieve successful matches. As observed in the series, she visits the families, sees what their home is like, where they work, where they have been to school, tries to pick up the 'unsaid information' that has not been disclosed yet. She adds this exercise helps her assess their lifestyles to recommend a match.
She claims this is where Tinder, Bumble, and Shaadi.com cannot compete. "I get to the bottom of things, finding out all the inside stories, the family’s values and other such details you would never get from looking at a person’s online profile,” Taparia says.
However, she also has a strict filter policy. Taparia says if she senses that the family is not committed to the process, she would not bother, and they are immediately 'removed from her priority list.'
The criticism on 'Fair, tall, slim'
When pressed about issues such as colourism and sexism in her methods, she responds, “But who doesn’t want a fair, beautiful wife?"
Though she claims that things have changed in the recent past, she mentions that no one gets a complete 100 percent on their checklist. She says that many of the women she has been trying to match up have rejected the matches because they do not want to settle. She adds that women are 'educated and empowered' enough to have a say in who they marry.
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