Social media is abuzz with memes and discussions on Indian Matchmaking. The Netflix series gives a glimpse of the arranged marriage culture in India. But before the eight-episode series surprised the world, Indian television had already been there and done that. Long before the world woke up to the charm of Sima Taparia and her superpower of finding a suitable match for marriage, Madhuri Dixit had done the same job. We know it’s hard to believe, but the Bollywood actor started her television stint with Kahin Na Kahin Koi Hai, the Sony TV show that helped girls find their match. And that’s not all, even Amrita Rao has also been a face of a reality series that promised to find the ‘perfect bride’.
So while you must have already binge-watched Indian Matchmaking, here’s a list of similar Hindi TV shows.
Kahin Na Kahin Koi Hai
The Sony TV show launched in 2002 with Madhuri Dixit as its host. Unlike the Netflix series, the probable bride and groom were completely desi. Also, while at it, Dixit had a fun time interacting with these youngsters, who were serious about finding a match rather than being starstruck by the actor. The families too looked happy that a superstar was helping their kids find partners. Sima mami from Mumbai might be the no-nonsense professional matchmaker, but the Bollywood actor had loads of charm. She did not shy away from teasing youngsters and also had serious conversations with the seniors. Kahin Na Kahin Koi Hai ran for 44 episodes with an objective of bringing together probable matches. Hence, (thankfully) no grand shaadi happened on camera for TRP.
In 2009, Star Plus also launched a match-fixing, oops match-making show, Perfect Bride. And this time Amrita Rao, still fresh from the success of Vivah, was chosen as the face. She was joined by Malaika Arora and Shekhar Suman as the experts – ‘rishton ke parkhi’. The setup of the show was more like Bigg Boss than a wedding and hence was not devoid of drama. Joining the set of boys were also their mothers, who kept giving tasks to the gullible girls to test their ‘bahu qualities’. Having tasted fame, a lot of these contestants ended up struggling as actors on television. As for the winners, Hitesh Chauhan and Rumpa Roy became the first couple to get married on national television. Chauhan’s mother was happy having Rao and Arora dance at her son’s wedding rather than finding the perfect bride. Not much is known about the couple and whether they survived the marriage.
Not exactly the boys’ family-meets-girls’ family kind of show but Imagine TV launched Swayamvar as a platform for popular single celebrities to find their match. The first season (2009) had Rakhi Sawant on the lookout for her Mr Perfect. While one may giggle at the thought now, there were actually many suitors on the show. Sawant finally chose Canada boy Elesh Parujanwala, and the two exchanged rings during the finale. However, they soon announced their breakup. The second season (2010) featured Rahul Mahajan and after being wooed by many pretty girls, he tied the know with Dimpy Ganguly. However, this match too ended on an ugly note as Ganguly filed for divorce accusing her husband of domestic violence. TV bahu Ratan Rajput tried to find a groom for herself in the third season (2011). The actor picked Abhinav Sharma as her match but refused to tie the knot in the finale. It was a logical decision, as the couple soon parted ways after dating briefly.
The Bachelorette India
In 2013, Life OK also attempted the same format and roped in Mallika Sherawat for The Bachelorette India – Mere Khayalon Ki Mallika. She picked Dharamsala-based model Vijay Sharma as her groom. However, during the finale, the Bollywood star said that since she has only spent time with Sharma on camera, she wants to take the relationship now off-screen, and then decide on the future.
Mujhse Shaadi Karoge
More recently, Colors hosted Shehnaaz Gill, Paras Chhabra and several male and female suitors on a reality show with the hope that the Bigg Boss 13 contestants find suitable matches. Gill was also accompanied by her brother Shehbaaz, who took a keen interest in finding the right boy for his sister. However, with her heart still pining for Sidharth Shukla, the Punjab ki Katrina Kaif walked out of the show in the finale without a match. As for Chhabra, he chose Aanchal Khurana, though the two maintain that they are just friends.
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