She is the creator of the hit Netflix series, which gives an inside look into the work of Sima Taparia, a matchmaker in Mumbai who travels the world to help her client find a “life partner”.
A recent debut social media following the series was filled with complaints of everything from the privileged lifestyle of some contestants to the desire expressed by some to coincide with a “fair” potential spouse.
Mundra said that CNN’s complaints were completely legitimate.
“I completely understand why people think ‘you’re exposing, some of them problematic things that are in our culture,” she said. “But where we are. I would never want to make a show that acknowledges that because I think we need those conversations and to push us to do better as a community and a culture the wanted.”
Mundra is well versed in the issues raised.
She met Taparia years ago, when 20-year-old Mundra hired Taparia to help find a husband.
“Sima Aunty,” as she is known, later appeared in Mundra’s 2017 documentary, “A Suitable Girl.” The film was co-directed by Sarita Khurana and traced the experiences of the three Indian women searching for husbands.
Mundra would later be nominated for an Academy Award in the Best Documentary Short Subject category for his 2019 film “St. Louis Manman”.
The story of “Sima Aunty” was a Mundra that wanted to be expanded and shared.
The filmmaker said that the inclusion of participants in “Indian matchmaking” proved challenging.
“It’s hard to explain to people who are very private about a process and private about their lives, such as going through the cameras for a dating show,” he said. “But there were some people who got up for the adventure and they were the ones who were more eager to work with us.”
“Through the casting process we pushed for as much diversity as possible,” she said. “Geographically, ideologically, expatriately. We really tried to show, to some extent what was understood and authentic to the world, as we could see.”
This authenticity greatly favors meme-worthy moments and “characters”, such as Aparna Shewakaramani, a Houston-based lawyer with high selective criteria for a future husband (she is not a fan of men who are funny or whom Don’t know)) There are salt flats in Bolivia.
Mundra said that like all the participants, Shevakaramani was also encouraged to be herself.
She said, “She was amazingly forthright and she says something that might upset people the wrong way, but she owns it and is very specific about what she wants.”
“She puts herself at a really high level, so she keeps other people at a high level as well, whether she’s a matchmaker or a potential spouse,” Mundra said. “Lose all of us, he’s working in progress. I think he’s learning more about himself through this process, like I just loved, we all do, when we’re dating. And trying to navigate, then try to know how much we compromise ourselves. “
Such representation is very important for Mundra, who said that there was nothing on screen that reflected his life as a South Asian man who grew up in the 90s.
This is why she took her work on “Indian matchmaking” so seriously, even admitting that the series is “a very narrow piece” of South Asian life.
She explains that this is also one of the reasons that the show has become a light rod for criticism, as people are too hungry for such representation.
“there are very few [shows] Mundra said that I think South Asians represent the experience, so I think we are looking at each one of them to represent the South Asian experience when we are actually one billion and a half people. There is no way to fully tell the story of a highly diverse culture and South Asians and any of their relationships, be it religion or family. “
Now 40 and married to a man who met her in college (not a match made by Tapadia), Mundra said that she is adjusting to the attention brought by her hit Netflix series and is expected as an audience That would be season 2.
She is also grateful, she said, for the conversations around her show that can help change the spark.
“Even as a producer and producer, I need to push and push to do better.” “Hopefully, the show kicked off a Hornets’ nest and got people talking within themselves, within their families, and on social media. I think it brings a lot of diverse experiences and even more accountability. The path will open. “