Indian Matchmaking season 2: Nadia Jagessar on Netflix edits, inequality, and Shekar ‘cheating’ claims
Indian Matchmaking star Nadia Jagessar has hit back at comments that suggested she had ‘cheated’ on fellow participant Shekar Jayaraman
Fan-favourite Nadia Jagessar was a hit with audiences in the Netflix TV series, when it first launched in 2019, but the second season showed her in a very different and troubled light.
Indian Matchmaking delves into the lives of contestants who are attempting to find love through the aid of a matchmaker, in this case, Sima Taparia. During this series, which also saw the return of contestant Aparna Shewakramani amongst others, Nadia continued the storyline of her relationship with Shekar Jayaraman not having progressed much, despite him meeting her family early on.
Speaking to NationalWorld, 34-year-old Nadia said there had been inconsistencies with the editing, which suggested that she had begun seeing another man while being courted by Shekar, who also appeared in the first season. According to Nadia, what we see is a jilted date pining over lost love, was in actual fact a ‘frankenedit’, as several months had passed between scenes.
The Indo-Guyanese-American event planner said that there were two years between the seasons, adding: “In between me meeting Shekar and during that time, we had a pandemic. I had a boyfriend at the time, and it was not made clear that Shekar and I were never dating or together or anything like that, or anything more than friends. We did talk frequently during lockdown, we would FaceTime often, even with my boyfriend.”
Nadia has first contact with the ‘other man’ Vishal at a mixer event, where Shekar was seen to be looking forlorn at their flirtation. Nadia, however, did not see it this way. She said: “And so for me, I didn't think that there was anything wrong with meeting a cute boy at the mixer. And Vishal came in and he was cute and charismatic and funny. I thought we really hit it off that day. And so, for me, there was no indication that there were any more feelings past friendship [with Shekar].”
What unfolded was a series of dates with Vishal, who was seven-years-younger than Nadia. It was at this moment, that Taparia, popularly known as "Sima aunty", made a comment about their age difference, comparing it to the ten-year age gap between singer Nick Jonas and actress Priyanka Chopra.
Nadia said it was almost like a “taboo” to be dating a younger man. She said “That was pretty frustrating. And it's hard because even when a guy gets a woman who is 20 years younger than him, no one really says anything, right? So for me, age is just a number. And if the connection is there, the connection is there.” Even though the relationship did not pan out, at the end of the day, she said it was her decision.
And despite the controversy, Nadia felt that there were “strong, successful, independent women” portrayed on the show, but she criticised how women were treated in comparison to the male contestants, as they “we're only given one [date] option at a time”.
She said: “We have to be the ones to make things work or to have these conversations where Sima told me, well, you should call Shekar and ask him this and this. Meanwhile, did she ever tell Shekar to call me and talk to me about anything? No.” The dancer and businesswoman also said that the portrayal of women on the show “could have maybe been a little bit better”, but acknowledged there was a general problem with the wider community.
Nadia, who is the owner of Euphoria Events, said: “Women are still treated as second class citizens like, if we have too many options, it's going to be confusing for us. And so I think that just puts a mirror to a conversation that needs to be had about equality.”
On the subject of the Netflix edit, the currently single participant added: “Shows are created for entertainment, and this was a very entertaining storyline, because I think everyone was really invested in mine and Shekar’s story. And I think to see a “plot twist”, was something that was very interesting, that my attention was now going to a different guy. And I think the entertainment factor was probably the biggest thing in how you get people talking”.
Nadia revealed she won’t be returning for the third series of the show, which was teased at the end of the final episode with Sima beginning to visit clients in London. She has also not spoken to Shekar for several months, and adds “I am going to say no” to being in any sort of relationship with him.
NationalWorld has reached out to Netflix for comment.