Reality shows have heroes, villains, and those who split the viewer base. There’s also always that one contestant who speaks up about how what you saw wasn’t really what happened, how their words were edited and twisted, and so on. On Indian Matchmaking seasons 1 and 2, Aparna Shewakramani is that controversial person.
Nobody can ever accuse Aparna of being quiet or compliant. For two seasons, and (according to her) despite the best efforts of the show, she has refused to settle. This applies to her love life and her personal life. She also rivals matchmaker and host Sima Taparia for her meme-ability. Like her or hate her, she always does things her own way. Here’s all you need to know about the 35-year old ex-attorney and current author.
Aparna’s Upfront About Her Dislikes
Possibly the biggest source of comedy and controversy comes from Aparna bluntly shooting down things that don’t appeal to her. These include:
- always having to see her husband
- people being obsessed with football
- lying on beaches for longer than two hours
- relaxing for long periods of time
- countries like Dubai, Norway, Cuba and South Africa
- cities like L.A. and Chicago
- being outdoors
- being a lawyer (which is probably why she quit)
Entire articles have been written with more things Aparna doesn’t like, such as this one. If you ask Aparna, however, she says that she has an equally long list of things she likes, but the show didn’t focus on any of that.
Aparna’s A Restless Traveller & Grew Up Worldly
Born in London, Aparna spent time in Dubai before growing up in Houston and now calls NYC her home. She mentions her love of travel many times during the show, and has recently founded My Golden Balloon, a tour planning agency that specializes in small group trips.
Aparna Applied To Be On Indian Matchmaking After Clicking On A Facebook Post
After a disastrous date, Aparna was sitting in an airport in LA waiting to go home and she saw a posting on social media looking for single South Asian people looking for love. They got back to her within 5 minutes of filling out the application and she says that she never expected the show to get as much traction as it did. You can hear her tell the story at about 5 minutes into this video.
She Didn’t Get Along With Sima
Aparna has gone on the record about how Sima pushed her to meet men she wasn’t interested in, and told her she needed to change her “talking pattern” and that she was too negative. If you listen to enough of the interviews she’s done during and since the show, she will even imply that Sima raised the skin colour (!!!) of her potential matches as an issue. So, when she came back for the second season, she had very little if any contact with Sima Aunty and even refused to speak to her at the mixer that we see early on in Season 2. She discusses the issue further in this TikTok.
Aparna Cried After A Season 1 Date Went Wrong
Viewers criticized Arpana for rejecting podcaster Srinivas in Season 1 for technicalities, but she has her own side of the story where she felt hurt and disrespected by comments he made off-screen. She goes into her emotional reaction at 2:45 of this video.
Aparna Insisted on Returning To Indian Matchmaking On Her Own Terms
Many people have asked why Aparna, age 37, returned for season 2 if her season 1 appearance was such a negative experience. In another TikTok, Aparna says that she wanted to share her story, her way. This is why she was clear about her boundaries and made use of Sophie the astrologer instead of Sima in season 2, and that even if she ended up alone, she wanted it to be up to her. She also wanted to show other women of color that it was possible to start over and star on a show on her terms alone. Pretty brave!
She Survived A Hurricane, Dealt With Death Threats and Suffers From An Autoimmune Condition
In her book, She’s Unlikeable: And Other Lies That Bring Women Down, Aparna goes through the toughest moments of her life. These include living through Hurricane Harvey (which ripped across Texas in 2017) and receiving horrifying death threats from gun-toting overweight men who want to put her in an orange jumpsuit.
She’s Collaborated With Comedian Lilly Singh
Loud and funny guys are very high on Aparna’s long list of dislikes, but she never said anything bad about funny women. Aparna has cameoed in online skits where Canadian YouTuber Lilly Singh parodies Sima Taparia and tries to break up Aparna and her onscreen “dates.”
She Stays Friends With (Some) Dates From The Show
Aparna remains good friends with nice guy lawyer Shekar and smooth-talking countertop installation expert Jay, two of the men she dated in season 1. Some viewers hoped that she and Jay would reconnect. However, Jay recently announced his engagement to girlfriend Stephanie Robbins last month. Aparna was quick to congratulate him, so that ship has sailed!
Her Cousin Appeared In Season 2
Season 2 participant Shital Patel’s second suitor was Aparna’s cousin Avinash Shingwani, who had an undeniably kind presence but unfortunately didn’t connect with Shital in a physical way. Aparna shouts her supportive cousin out as always being there for her throughout the second season on Instagram.
Her Inspiration Is Her Mom And Her Female Friends
Aparna’s mom Jyoti left her husband and raised her daughter on her own, and we see Aparna supported by her friends and Jyoti throughout the two seasons. Aparna has talked about the strength of her peer group as the one thing that helped her survive everything that has happened since her life turned upside down.
Her Best Friend Is….Herself?
If you have a problem with Aparna, she’ll be very quick to tell you that that’s your problem. And whatever you think of her, you can’t deny her self-confidence.
Considering everything that’s happened to Aparna since signing onto the Indian Matchmaking experience, it’s understandable if she doesn’t return for season 3. Some cast members remain couples while others broke up, but Aparna continues to hold out for her soulmate, which may be herself. Let’s hope that we haven’t seen the last of Aparna, and that she finally finds true happiness.