Sajeer Shaikh from MangoBaaz was able to interview Aparna from ‘Indian Matchmaking’ over Instagram live and here’s all that transpired.
Truth to be told, Netflix has been our survival pack this quarantine. While Pakistanis have been binge-watching their favorite shows, recently a reality show called “Indian Matchmaking” has been the hottest watch for South Asians. Sima Aunty from Mumbai has been the trending talk of the town. Along with the matchmaker from the show, Aparna Shewakramani has been a controversial subject for the viewers.
Sajeer Shaikh from MangoBaaz was able to interview Aparna from ‘Indian Matchmaking’ over Instagram live and here’s all that transpired in the rather interesting conversation.
Aparna was really excited to be there talking about her journey on Indian Matchmaking.
While working full-time as a lawyer, Aparna is now also managing to talk about her experiences and journey on the show. She shared how she liked talking about it to people, and made time for it – even if it was her lunch break or sacrificing sleep.
She shared how getting on the show wasn’t planned or thoroughly thought of
While talking to Sajeer Shaikh, Aparna shared how after the delay of her flight, she was scrolling through her Facebook when she found the post for the show; and, without giving it much thought, applied for it. A week later, she heard from them and after a few Skype calls, the casting began. Aparna also shared that the show wasn’t an entirely true depiction of what went down and how the crew flew to the cast members every two or three days at a time to shoot.
“The show was heavily edited,” shared Aparna from Indian Matchmaking.
Aparna mentioned how she did not know while signing up for it that the show would be part of reality TV. She also shared how the show is heavily edited and portrayed in a certain way to create various narratives. She revealed how the Aparna on the show and the one that exists in reality, are very far apart.
“Real life is everything that happens when the viewers aren’t watching,” said Aparna.
While answering a question of what part of the show is not shown to the viewers, Aparna spoke about the first episode of the show where it was presented as if Aparna and her mother had a problem with Srini’s podcast. She shared how it was out of context and that she would never have a problem with someone’s small business as she herself has a side tour business for her creative side. She was sad about how the background and all the events that led up to that moment, could not and would never make it to the show.
Aparna shared how women were portrayed differently in this process.
Upon asking if she was happy to see herself on the show, Aparna shared how there were many emotions involved. She shared how she never imagined this and it came as a shock first, and soon she accepted it and focused on all the positive feedback that she received from the show.
She began to say how women were labelled “stubborn” and “opinionated” for knowing what they want, whereas men are appreciated for doing the same. Sima Aunty spoke about how she did not like Aparna’s talking pattern which Aparna thought was hurtful.
She also pointed out that she was hurt by such an outlook and was criticized for standing up for her own self. She further added how she receives thousands of messages daily from women who resonate with her and how she has inspired them to come up with their own criteria of what they want, rather than passively submitting to the typical idea of how it is supposed to be.
Aparna further began to say that while women were being taught to be strong, society forgot to train men to be accepting and supportive. Strong and confident women are vilified on media which is why men are not accepting of such women.
Aparna Shewakramani shared what people thought was her being “flexible,” was in fact her giving up on Sima Aunty.
Aparna disclosed what people assumed to be stubborn, was her being eager and hopeful about the process. However, after time when she realized she was not being heard, she took her expectations out of the process. So, towards the end, when people thought Aparna was being flexible and positive, she accepted that it was fine if the process did not work out. “By the end, it was whatever,” stated Aparna.
While talking about her portrayal on show, Aparna brought to light how she was hurt to see Sima Aunty’s opinions about her. She shared how she viewed matchmaking as a service-based industry and how as a part of this industry, she would never speak about her clients the way Sima Aunty spoke about Aparna. She pointed out that it was Sima Aunty’s job to listen and to accommodate each person accordingly instead of generalizing her own traditional views on everyone.
Aparna did reveal that it was a once in a lifetime opportunity for Aparna to be a part of ‘Indian Matchmaking’.
When Aparna signed up for this show three years ago, it was never presented to her as a reality show. However, Aparna mentioned that it was worth it. She feels grateful that women resonate with her and take inspiration from her. She also mentioned how she found amazing friends through the show and how they are in contact. Despite all the virality and fame, Aparna says that it is just a part of her routine as she is caught up with her job and career.
Aparna shared that her ideal spouse looks today exactly what it looked like on the show.
As mentioned on the show, Aparna was not looking for the funniest guy in the room. She said her criteria for her spouse is the same as it was three years back when the show was shot. She is looking for someone who is very intelligent and involved his own world on learning and keeps sharing it with Aparna. Apart from being really intelligent, Aparna wants someone who is laid back and introverted. She isn’t looking for the life of the party – in fact, someone who is chill and laid back. However, she mentioned, that she failed to explain herself to Sima Aunty who insisted on finding someone fun-loving for her.
Aparna expressed her desire to visit Sindh as soon as she gets a visa.
Aparna shared how her family left Sindh in the ’40s. She said she’d love to come to Sindh with her mother and it would be a very special visit for her. “It’s high on my list. It’s one of the places I really wanna go,” mentioned Aparna.
Lastly, Aparna revealed her greatest learning from the show and three lessons women can take from her.
Upon asking what has been the greatest learning for Aparna after this show, she responded that it has been to not take things personally and that everyone has a different opinion of you. What mattered, she thought, was to have an opinion of yourself and keep that in focus. She pointed out that one should stay true to their own values and become who they want to be. Aparna mentioned that one should ask themselves if they like who they are, and work on it, rather than listening to the opinions of other people in the world.
Aparna shared three important lessons that women can take from her. Firstly, she urged women to like themselves; self-love is the first lesson towards becoming a confident person. Secondly, she said that women should say what they want and feel like they deserve it – that is, mean what you say and feel like you do deserve what you are demanding. The last lesson was to be true to yourself; no matter what people tell you to change about yourself, stay authentic to your own journey.
You can watch the whole interview here:
View this post on Instagram
@aparnashewakramani joins @sajeershaikh for a conversation around the viral show, #IndianMatchmaking, talking about stuff that happened behind the scenes, important conversations that the show started about being a strong woman who knows what she wants, her equation with #SimaTaparia from the show, and much more!
What do you think about the interview? Let us know in the comments below.
Cover image via: @mangobaaz via Instagram and Netflix