Indian Matchmaking is known for a lot of things, Pradhyuman Maloo rejecting 150 women is one of them. The infamous contestant who married Ashima Chauhaan in season 2, has been alleged with domestic violence by her wife. Ashima filed an FIR, reporting mental and physical abuse by Pradhyuman and his family. Maloo, on the other hand, is referring to these claims as ‘marital issues’. And THAT, along with his demeanor in season 1 of the show, raises too many concerns.
The contestant was called out by people on the internet, because of his narcissistic and superficial comments. There were too many red flags that we were able to observe with his short presence on Indian Matchmaking. That’s from a viewer’s perspective – one could only imagine what knowing him closely would unravel. So, we would also assume that the matchmaker, here, Sima Taparia did a proper background check to UNDERSTAND her clients. Matchmaking is a profession that involves people’s personal lives that affects them permanently. Choosing to marry someone is a serious decision. So if that involves a mediator, there should be some guarantee of the person’s character that they can offer.
For the entirety of the show, we see Pradhyuman Maloo as someone who likes himself too much to like anybody else. After blatantly rejecting potential women, he’s sent to a life coach where he asks what women want. He’s later asked if he would offer his partner what she wants, where his reaction was a long silence with a blank face. In his first appearance, he’s asked what HE wants from her ‘future wife’. He mentions characteristics like physical attraction, being able to adapt in his family and more.
Through the rest of the season, he’s portrayed as an alpha male who’s too cool to like a woman. It’s so funny that marriage, in our society is seen as something women WANT and men run away from. When it mostly benefits men.
What bothers me about the process and the general mindset here is that there’s clearly no background check involved. Sure, we cannot always know a person for who they truly are. But why are men not asked important questions that do not just revolve around what THEY want? We do not live in a perfect world, the crime rates and the general treatment around women in our country is proof that women hardly have choices. The least we can do is make sure that they are not forced or put into a setup, where the man is clearly a red flag. Especially if we have control, like a mediator (here: matchmaker).
In the first episode, titled, Slim, Trim and Educated, Sima Taparia mentions that she has known Pradhyuman and his family for years. The issue is – she should have put enough effort to know what the man was capable of. Shouldn’t there be a basic questionnaire, interview or even a background check of sorts, to understand the mindset of the clients? We cannot entirely blame Sima for not knowing, because then it’s like putting responsibility of a man’s action on everyone, but the man. However, in this case, she was involved with the family as a professional – where her basic responsibility is to understand her clients.
The issue is not only Sima, but our society and collective mindset in general. When it comes to marriage, especially an arranged marriage setup, families are more focused on superficial factors. No one cares about who the person really is, beyond their looks, job profiles, caste and religion. That is also what Sima Taparia did – from what we were shown on the series.
For men, it’s easier because power is handed to them with the gender stereotypes. We don’t say it, but marriage is still an adjustment for women because it is seen as a favour to them. So of course, it comes to what men WANT, who THEY choose. And hence, the criteria on the show.