Marriages in India – Two Shows: One Concept.

We must find a Suitable Boy for Lata!

For those belonging to Indian families, we’re accustomed to the concept of Marriages in India. It’s a celebration, considered even bigger than the birth of a child. Whether in India or overseas, Indian parents have only ‘one’ wish for their children – find a ‘suitable’ partner for their child. Most marriages in India are based on the system of arranged marriages. These matches are either decided by the parents, relatives, and friends, or sometimes even a matchmaker. While a majority of Indian families are firm believers of arranged marriages, some are gradually inching towards the concept of love marriages. There can never be an Indian Wedding without a grand celebration. So imagine when Netflix released two shows – Indian Matchmaking and A Suitable Boy, it got the Indian community and the world talking.

In Indian Matchmaking, Sima Taparia a Mumbai-based matchmaker guides her clients based in India and the U.S. on the nitty-gritty of arranged marriages. The show touched on the lives of real people trying to find potential life partners and highlighted the traditional Indian family mindset when selecting a potential member of the family. Based on a novel by Vikram Seth, A Suitable Boy is set in the 1950s. The show majorly highlights the obsession of an Indian widowed determined to find ‘A Suitable Boy’ for her daughter.

Although Indian Matching and A Suitable Boy are two separate shows, created by different directors, the shows highlight one concept – Marriages in India. Though both shows are separated over 60 years in time, the concept of finding a suitable partner continues to remain the same. In Indian Matchmaking, Aparna Shewakramani, Nadia Jagessar, and Ankita Bansal, three strong independent women were asked to ‘compromise’ when it came to choosing a partner. While in A Suitable Boy, although Lata hailed from the Post-Independence free India, she was given a choice to meet, interact, and choose the man of her choice.

In Indian Matchmaking, Akshay Jakhete’s mother went to the extent of manipulating her son to get married in the pretext of highlighting her health issues. In A Suitable Boy, Mrs. Rupa Mehra pestered her daughter to marry but also allowed her daughter to make her own choice. In the end, Lata finds her Suitable Boy, while the clients in Indian Matchmaking, continue to remain single.

The path leading to the destination of an ideal match in both shows as well as in our current societal setup remains somewhat similar apart from few aberrations which our elders deem as exceptions. Both the shows beautifully depicts the concern and enthusiasm of Indian parents to see their children settled and the lengths they are ready to go to achieve that. When we try to understand the cause of the desperation behind the parent’s undying urge to get their children settled, we can explore a few ideas. First and foremost is the age-old habit of fitting into the set norms of the society. Second is the fact that the success of a family is also measured in the kind of family they choose to form relations with.

marriages in India

Although Indian Matchmaking and A Suitable Boy are connected in one concept, the show highlights two varying aspects of Marriages in India – one based in the 21 st century yet conservative and the other based in the Post-Independence era, but progressive in its approach.

Have you watched either?


All images sourced from IMBD

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