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Pradhyuman Maloo and Akshay Jakhete get candid about Indian Matchmaking

by Ashima

An exclusive behind the scenes look at the Netflix hit show. 

By Ashima Sethi

Love it or hate it, you’ve probably seen Indian Matchmaking on Netflix. Since its release the ‘docu-series’ has become somewhat of a social media phenomenon, with many attributing its success to its cringe-worthy, tell-it-like-it-is approach and tough talking aunty figure at its centre, which are a match made for TV. But what goes on behind the scenes? Masala had the pleasure of talking to two of the show’s cast members about whether or not ‘reality TV’ is as real as we think.


How has life changed since you’ve appeared  on the show?
I’m taking each day as it comes. Life has changed because people now recognise me from Indian Matchmaking. I’ve since been exploring a few brand collaborations that interest me and just enjoying everything that comes my way with positivity and gratitude (keep updated on Instagram @pradhyum.m).

Since the show, have your thoughts about matchmaking changed?
My perception about the matchmaking process hasn’t changed after being on the show. However, it has made me push my boundaries to better understand the partner I want and vice versa. The show has given me the courage to put myself out of my comfort zone, and it’s helped me clear the mind so I can undergo the intense process of matchmaking.

Do you feel like you were portrayed accurately  on the show?

The docu-reality-series was highly edited and I feel like my personality wasn’t accurately portrayed because it was diluted to suit the show and the storyline. Amidst these edits, my true self did not reflect correctly and people became presumptuous and judgemental.

People have made comments about how your standards may be too high. What are your thoughts?

I strongly disagree. A lot of people misinterpreted that I had met 150 matches. However, in reality I only met at most six of the matches I was presented. Finding the right person that you will spend the rest of your life with is not something that can happen overnight. I remember reading an article that described 50 lessons from an 80-year-old man, in which his 12th lesson stated that this one decision will equate to 90 percent of all your happiness and misery in life. I’ve always known what I want from my partner, so it’s unfortunate that I could not meet a match who was compatible.

What are the top three characteristics you would find irresistible?

Passion for whatever they want to pursue and a desire to live a meaningful life; kindness to herself, others, and the environment; someone dedicated to self-improvement, who is willing to motivate herself and her partner to become the best versions of themselves.

You culinary talents have caught the attention of many, is this something you would consider pursuing? Any cooking tips?

I believe food brings everyone together. I really enjoy experimental cooking and making mocktails and cocktails for my family and friends, and I’ve been doing many exciting collaborations in the culinary space. I recommend trying to engage the different senses with your recipes, and definitely put your heart and soul into everything that you create. That makes a recipe magical.

Although the show has gained many fans, there has been some backlash. How are you coping and is there anything you want to clarify?

There are negative and positive views for every situation, but I’m lucky enough to have way more positivity over negativity. People will speak either good or bad, if I want to do anything I just go and do it.

Do you think it’s important to have more Indian representation on mainstream streaming platforms?
The show has become a success because audiences across the globe have been able to resonate with its content. I’d be very happy to explore associations with mainstream platforms that fall in my purview of interest.


How has life changed since you’ve appeared  on the show?

Life has changed completely since the show has aired. Suddenly everyone wants to know, ‘Who is Akshay? What does he do? What is he up to?’ The attention is overwhelming! Since being on the show, people feel like they know everything about me, which is funny because who I really am is very different.

Can you tell us what the filming process was like?

The shoot went on for almost eight months and we had a schedule we had to prepare for in advance. The schedules were so erratic; we’d shoot different scenes at weird times, like lunch scenes were shot at 5pm. But the crew were so supportive and made us very comfortable as it was initially so weird to have all these cameras around with about 15 people behind them, all just focusing on your conversation. It was actually a lot of fun and a great experience. I don’t think any of us thought it would blow up so much, but people already can’t wait for season 2.

Since the show, have your thoughts about matchmaking changed?

I still believe the matchmaking process is a beautiful path to finding love. The entire family is looking out for your best interest, they’re helping you with decisions, and are there for you no matter what. Families also meet beforehand and do a much more in-depth analysis before getting into anything else, but ultimately the decision lies with the two people getting married. However, for me, it’s not the only way. I’m also meeting people socially like I did before the show. Matchmaking is not a sure shot way to find love, all roads can lead to finding your better half.

Do you feel like you were portrayed accurately on the show?

It was totally wrong! I’m a completely different person in real life. Not only me, but the other cast members too. I’m not a shy, introverted person who doesn’t speak at all. In fact, I’m quite the opposite, I’m quite straightforward, I speak my mind, and I can go on talking about just about anything! At the end of the day, the show is about creating a buzz so it was highly edited. We shot hundreds of hours of footage and a lot didn’t make it, which changes the narrative.

You and your mum have a very close relationship. Moving forward, how much say will she have in your future life partner?

I do have a close relationship with my mother, but isn’t that the same for all guys? They say girls have special relationships with their fathers. A father will always protect their daughters and do anything to make them happy, it’s just human nature! As for my mum having a say in my partner, she’s always said, “we’ve lived our life the way we wanted to, but your life is just starting out and now it’s time for you to make your decisions and find the one that makes you happy.” Of course she might have opinions, but what parent doesn’t? Also fun fact: my parents had a love marriage, so they’re actually open to a lot!

What are you looking for in a future partner now that things have been called off with Radhika?

It’s always been very simple: someone who is like a best friend, where we support each other in whatever we do, where we can talk for hours and not get bored, but also be in complete silence and still enjoy each other’s company. Those are the best kinds of relationship, where you can just explore life together.

Although the show has gained many fans, there has been some backlash. How are you coping and is there anything you want to clarify?

At this point, I find it funny reading the comments. People think what they see is real, when in fact there’s much more to all of it. For example, my date went on for five hours but on the show you saw 10 minutes of it and made a decision that it went bad because it seemed like no one spoke. As for clarification, I would suggest people follow my Instagram (@akshayjakheteofficial) . I’m doing live interviews that give insight into who I am, unfiltered and unedited.

Do you think it’s important to have more Indian representation on mainstream streaming platforms?

I’m grateful for all the love and support (the hate too) that has made the show an overnight success. It’s allowed for important questions to be addressed and has sparked many debates at the dinner table. It’s also a wonderful thing if with this platform, we can remove negative thought processes and allow people to be comfortable with who they are. I do feel it’s a great thing to have people know more about Indian culture. Our country has so much to off er, and not only does it have a massive population, but Indians live all over the world, so we definitely need more Indian representation.

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