It turns out the outspoken, and “stubborn,” breakout star of Netflix’s controversial new reality dating show ‘Indian Matchmaker’ is a romantic after all.
“I’m still open to anything, every opportunity and availability to meet someone new and it can be anything from my network or being on a dating app, or using a matchmaker, or a blind date,” says 34-year-old Houston-based lawyer Aparna Shewakramani.
The show itself is about a matchmaker named Sima who helps arrange a marriage–a traditional form of courtship and matrimony in India– for clients all over the world. Every episode follows a mix of Indians and Indian-Americans as they share their romantic hopes and dreams with Sima. They’re then matched up with other hopefuls and go out on dates.
The show ping-pongs between Houston, New Jersey, and Mumbai. Aparna is, without a doubt, the stand-out.
She’s a feisty, successful woman who loves traveling and does not suffer fools. Perhaps what’s most admirable about watching Aparna on Indian Matchmaker was that she’s not the average woman looking for a companion– she has a full understanding of who she is and what she wants and doesn’t want just anybody.
“I’ve definitely found some great guys. But it’s been fun exploring with them and checking out places in Houston,” Aparna said. “Some of the dates on the show were so out of my comfort zone and such fun. I was terrible at throwing axes, but it was actually a lot of fun. The goat yoga was great as well.”
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While family members and the matchmaker told her she should be a bit more flexible, she had specifics for exactly what she had in mind. According to Sima, she’s a stubborn, picky woman who’s expectations can leave her lonely. But that same picky-ness, described as “stubborn” by Sima, is exactly what drew her to me.
Aparna’s mother was in an arranged marriage, and it resulted in divorce. But, she doesn’t let her mother’s divorce skew her view on dating and relationships. Aparna was determined to find someone she really admires, (who isn’t funny).
“My sister and her husband are an amazing example of people who are married, who compromise and love each other so much,” Aparna said. “I definitely think that my family is a good example of following what’s right for you, making the right choices for you and your partnership, and then, you know, really growing.:
The show, ‘Indian Matchmaker,’ places an emphasis on the importance of arranged marriages in the Indian community and shows how traditional matchmaking can be pertinent even in today’s digital dating age. For Aparna, she had to separate her flexibility from her non-negotiables.
“I don’t expect my partner to change for me. And when I say I don’t want to change I mean I don’t want to change my political leanings and I change the way I view family and I don’t want to change the things that are so inherent in who I am at this age,” Aparna said. “I want them to respect and love me for that.”