"They say love hides behind every corner, I must be walking in circles."-Unknown
I have to be honest, I was a bit skeptical about if I would like the new documentary, Meet The Patels. After seeing the funny trailer, I wanted it to be enjoyable in support of the young, Indian-Americans who created it and in hopes there was truth to all the positive buzz surrounding the film. But the cynical and critical side of me curbed my enthusiasm. (Spoiler alert: I did like it and like most reviews you will read, highly recommend it). So, why the hesitation?
Well, for most first generation Indian-Americans, the subject matter of the modern, Indian matchmaking process is familiar, typical and frequently discussed, usually ad nauseam. If you are the child of Indian immigrants and have reached “marriageable age”, probabilities are high that in some form or another, you have been exposed to the process that the documentary explores. You have undoubtedly felt the pressure from your parents to wed (preferably to someone from your regional background). You know what a biodata is, have deflected relatives' questions regarding marriage prospects, have been asked to attend matrimonial matchmaking conventions, and have definitely been gently reminded about the world's most popular dating/matrimonial website, shaadi.com. And, if you are part of this special group, you have also commiserated and joked with friends about the complexities and discomfort of the entire process. So having heard countless funny anecdotes on the subject, I had low expectations, anticipating the film to be a documentary-style dive into the matchmaking process sprinkled with the same tired jokes. (I also had no doubt that it would be far more interesting and eye-opening to those not familiar with the process, hence the great reviews). However, after seeing the documentary this weekend, the cynic in me was pleasantly surprised. I absolutely enjoyed Meet The Patels.