Indian Matchmaking’s Sima Taparia on her Priyanka Chopra-Nick Jonas comment and the importance of background checks

She’s back. Everyone’s favourite meme-inspiring internet sensation, Sima Taparia from Mumbai, is back to serve up more of our favourite guilty pleasure with season 2 of Netflix’s Indian Matchmaking. The new season, which released last week, gives us more delicious generational and ideological clashes as Sima aunty dishes out her old-fashioned approach to matrimony to a new roster of clients looking for love. Also read: Sima Taparia says Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas aren’t ‘good match’

Aside from a string of new clients (contestants? characters?) – the chicken-obsessed Akshay, headstrong Viral, manbun-enthusiast Shital and the immensely huggable Harshneel – this season of Indian Matchmaking also sees the return of season 1 favourites. So, we get to pick up where we left off on the dating journeys of Aparna, Pradhyuman and Nadia despite the fact that they’re no longer working with Sima aunty.

Following the release of season 2, Sima Taparia spoke to Hindustan Times about that Priyanka Chopra-Nick Jonas moment, the show’s poor matchmaking track record so far, and the importance of background checks. Edited Excerpts:

Do you get a say on the people who make it to the how? How are they picked? And how can people apply to be on it?

I suggest the names to Netflix and then they have to do their processes and background checks, and only then can they take a client on the show. If someone wants to be on the show they just need to email me with their biodata, picture and all.

Do people ever come up to you in public and say “Sima Ji, I want to be on the show?”

Yeah, I get a few emails and messages saying “I want to be in season 3”. I send them to the production company who takes it ahead. They take a call and conduct the background checks. The background checks are very important. Without that we never take them on the show.

When you’re considering someone for the show what are you looking for? Is it someone who’s entertaining or who’s matchmaking journey is relatable?

See, it’s very strict. Only those who actually want to get married can come on the show. Whether it’s my clients or others, we only take those who actually want to get married, not those who just want to be there for entertainment or timepass. It has to be people who are serious about settling down.

This season we saw the return of Pradhyuman, Nadia and Aparna, even though they’re no longer working with you. Was it strange to have them on even though they’re doing their own thing?

Because they were there last season, they’re a part of the show now, so that’s why we’ve taken them for this season. They’re a part of this show and they have every right to be here this time. And I’m still guiding them, like I did with Nadia. I feel they shouldn’t go on the wrong path.

Were you surprised how much your thoughts on Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas became a talking point?

That was just a casual discussion. I was discussing something with Nadia and I said that. Everyone’s entitled to do what they want, and if they’re happy then I’m happy for them and wish them the best. It was just something I said casually, but everyone’s entitled to what they want to do and I wish good luck to them.

Based on how it ended, it’s clear Season 3 will be partly set in the UK. And you’ve also said it’s expanding to new places like Dubai?

That’s not decided yet, so I cannot comment on that. But we want to go to new places. We have already rocked the world in 180 countries, the show has already gone everywhere and people are loving it. So, we ‘d love to go everywhere. Love and respect is all I wanted from the show and for two days I’ve got thousands of emails and phone calls about season 2.

When people email and call you, what do they say?

They write such nice things that I become so happy. “Sima Aunty we love you, we ‘ve seen the show and the way you are. You’re simple at heart and the show has really shown our family values”. That’s all we’ve done on the show. We have shown our traditional Indian values.

The other thing people have spoken about a lot is how not a single couple across both seasons has actually ended up together. Does that surprise you?

It’s a surprise. Just wait and watch what happens in Season 3.

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