Matchmaker, Matchmaker………..

I was scrolling through Netflix and found myself pulled into a series called “Indian Matchmaker”. I was fascinated by the continuing practice of arranged marriage. The people on the show weren’t rural folk or people who could be considered old fashioned. This was not “Fiddler on the Roof” material. The participants who had hired the matchmaker were wealthy, educated, professional people in their thirties who had an Indian background. A few still lived in that country, some lived in the United States, some were in England. All had hired “Auntie Sima”, an affluent matchmaker from Mumbai. She traveled the world in search of perfect matches for her clients. In cases that proved difficult, she occasionally employed the help of a life coach, a “face reader” or an astrologer. Not only was the person looking to be “matched” involved. The whole family, most particularly the parents, were active members of the search. To some, it was important to find someone who shared their Hindu, Sikh, Jain, or other religion. One of the women had a long list of criteria, including looks, height, and profession. The person had to be fun, had to enjoy certain sports, and more. The matchmaker stressed that she was only going to get between 60 and 70 percent of her wish list and her advice to another woman was to “stop looking for a boyfriend and look for a husband”. A couple of weeks ago I was in a waiting room and had a delightful conversation with a couple from Pakistan. They appeared to be in their thirties. They had lived here for quite a few years and owned a convenience store in the area. I don’t remember how it came up but they told me theirs had been an arranged marriage. They seemed compatible and happy, chatting away about their background, and were in total agreement. They had not met until the day of their wedding, the woman laughingly told me, adding they had been married for several years and it was wonderful. “After all,” she said in perfect but heavily accented English, “who better than my family to have chosen a partner for me? Who could know me better?” This doesn’t fit my usual mindset but, to quote something I heard that Pope Francis said, “Who am I to judge?”


Photo courtesy qimono at

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