Netflix's reality show, Indian Matchmaking, has given birth to peak cringe content and memes but done little to improve anyone's idea of marriage, especially if you are a 'non-flexible' girl. 

But, almost a decade ago, there was a comedy-drama that talked about matchmaking in India in a believable, yet progressive manner. I am talking about the Shruti Seth and Kavi Shastri starrer Rishta.com. 

Rishta.com
Source: onnetflix

Released in 2010, Rishta.com showed the story of four business partners and friends who run a matrimonial agency and help find life partners for their clients. 

Rishta.com
Source: YouTube

It focused not just on the stories of their clients, but also on how a matrimonial agency works - and yes, there's more to it than video calls and astrologers' predictions. 

Vijay Varma
Source: YouTube

Moreover, unlike real-life Sima Taparia's constant advise to compromise, adjust, and be flexible, Rishta.com at least made an attempt to help the clients find 'love'. 

Rishta.com
Source: justwatch

Also, Rishta.com was far less discriminatory when it came to picking the clientele. Of course, as business partners, and following the show's premise, the two leads were often at loggerheads on how to help a client. 

Rishta.com
Source: YouTube

But, what the show never compromised on, was the message it was sending across - that everyone, irrespective of age, sex, or their past, deserved to find a life partner and build a marriage based on love, not compromise. 

Rishta.com
Source: New on netflix

The show was progressive in its messaging, humorous without being crass, and boasted of commendable performances by both, the main starcast and the guest appearances. 

Vijay Varma
Source: YouTube

It may have shown a fictional storyline, but its characters and settings were far more realistic, believable, and enjoyable than a reality-show.