Indian Matchmaking’s Sima Mami Has Left Our Mind Blown. You Can Watch More of Her in A Suitable Girl

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Indian Matchmaking’s Sima Mami Has Left Our Mind Blown. You Can Watch More of Her in A Suitable Girl

Illustration: Reynold Mascarenhas

Young people of what is known as “the marriageable age” have a new reason to explain to their elders why they haven’t gotten hitched yet – the Netflix show Indian Matchmaking. The documentary series follows the clients of a professional matchmaker from Mumbai on its surface, but really, it is a rollercoaster ride through the idiosyncrasies and prejudices that dominate the practice of arranged marriage in India. At its heart is the extremely quotable and meme-worthy “Sima Mami”, or “Sima from Mumbai”, or just plain Sima Thaparia. The runaway success of the show has also brought another documentary to public attention. A Suitable Girl covers the same subject; it is directed by Smriti Mundhra, who was also the executive producer of Indian Matchmaking.

If you couldn’t look away from the chaotic energy of Indian Matchmaking, you will be happy to know that Sima Mami features in A Suitable Girl as well. In this, Thaparia is looking for a rishta for her daughter.

Unlike the circus that is Indian Matchmaking, Mundhra’s lesser-known directorial venture is supposedly more balanced, favouring an insightful look at the institution of arranged marriage rather than the reality of show zaniness of Indian Matchmaking.

Vyasar, one of Sima Thaparia’s clients featured on Indian Matchmaking, validates this claim, saying that A Suitable Girl addresses the issues that are played up for cringe value on Indian Matchmaking head on.

Some commenters have claimed that Indian Matchmaking is a problematic take on the same topics covered in A Suitable Girl, lending more credence to the theory that it might be a more balanced show.

Though arranged marriages in India are a time-honoured tradition, their many problematic aspects often fall into a blind spot for many families. Whether it is through the almost-parody levels of Indian Matchmaking, or the more nuanced lens of A Suitable Girl, bringing them to the fore is long overdue.

Just like its viral cousin, A Suitable Girl is also available on Netflix. So in case you were worrying about what to watch after Indian Matchmaking, consider that problem solved.