Matchmaking on Netflix
MARWAR India|November - December 2020
Meet Sima Taparia, the Indian matchmaker who has married traditional sensibilities with modern-day choices.
Benaifer J Mirza

They say marriages are made in heaven. We would say Sima Taparia makes them possible on earth. Taparia, or ‘Sima from Mumbai’, as she is more popularly known as, has become a household name today, thanks to the success of Indian Matchmaking, a docuseries that was aired on Netflix India in July 2020. In many ways, she has redefined the way arranged marriages were looked at and perceived in India.

Early years

Hailing from Gulbarga (renamed as Kalaburagi in 2014), Karnataka, Taparia has fond memories of her childhood. Her family, the Lahotis, were rich and affluent industrialists and the fourth richest family in India at the time. Her father, Shri Ramesh Chandra Lahoti, was a highly respected and well-known figure in Gulbarga and South India. Speaking about her father’s qualities that she has imbibed, Taparia says, “I have always followed in my father’s footsteps. People say that I look like him, speak like him and also have the gift of connecting with people, just the way he did.”

After she completed her HSC, her family started looking for a match for her, and that is when she met Anup Taparia, her partner for life in the truest sense of the term. Today, she owes every bit of her success and happiness to him. Her aunt, Usha Somany (of Somany Ceramics Ltd), was instrumental in this union. Sima and Anup tied the knot in May 1983 and were blessed with two beautiful daughters—Ritu in 1986 and Mridu in 1993. Ritu and her husband, Aditya Bagree, were blessed with a beautiful daughter, Anaishaa, last year.

The Taparia clan hails from Jaswantgarh, Rajasthan. While the extended family owns Taparia Tools Limited, Supreme Industries Limited, Famycare Ltd and Supreme Petrochem Limited, Sima and Anup together are promoters of Pregna International Ltd and Permanent Magnets Ltd.

From floral designs to matchmaking

After getting married, Sima Taparia moved to Nashik with Anup for their factory Taparia Tools Ltd. The urge to be on her toes constantly kept her busy with a number of activities, including painting, the aim being to do something special in her life. She would also visit Mumbai once a month to buy a few things, but most importantly, to import artificial flowers. A trip to Spain, where she had seen some beautiful artificial flower decorations, had inspired her to start Natural Look, her own business of artificial floral designs and décor.

In 1991, she and Anup moved to Mumbai. Even though her business of artificial flowers was doing well, she still had an inner desire of doing something bigger and better—something that would use her gift of being a gregarious person to the fullest.

Even though she had played cupid for her sister, Preeti Sodani (who is now happily married in Boston), 25 years ago, she had never thought of taking up matchmaking professionally. Coincidentally, in 2005, one of her friends suggested that she should try her hand at matchmaking, and that is when she thought of giving it a try. She adds, “My friend told me that very often matchmakers don’t take the responsibility of doing the required amount of background checks. Thanks to my goodwill, people trusted me and my skills and knew that I would suggest or recommend a prospective bride or groom to someone only after I would be assured of things.”

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