“My journey was 100 per cent accurate."
Arti Lalwani opened up about the process of joining Indian Matchmaking, what Sima Taparia is really like and if she still has faith in the matchmaking process.
Arti, who was on season three, revealed that she did not apply to be on the show.
She said: “I was one of the people that didn’t apply to be on the show.
“I was selected by a producer after I was recommended by my childhood friend Jay Wadhwani, who appeared on season one.
“At the time, it was the pandemic and I was very single. Then somehow, I was made a lead role by producers which was super exciting.”
Due to Covid-19 restrictions, it took a long time for filming to get started.
Four months before her appearance on Indian Matchmaking, Arti’s father passed away.
She explained: “We went through a bunch of pauses in production due to Covid-19 restrictions, which makes sense due to lockdowns, so I’d been filming since 2021.
“But it was a long journey and something people don’t see is that my father actually did an interview for the show before he passed away.
“I was going through a lot with my grief, I had moved to Miami seven days before my father passed away, the moving company I used turned out to be a scam, so I had all my stuff stolen and was sleeping on an air mattress.
“Plus, with filming, it was a long process, but I think that’s what they want.
“They wanted to follow our lives and journeys, and that’s what they did.”
After being approached at the start of 2021, Arti filmed her first on-camera date in October.
She was matched with Avinash Shingwani and they went to a bar in Miami. They seemed to hit it off well but the pair were not really compatible.
On the date, Arti forgot the cameras were there.
She recalled: “My journey was 100 per cent accurate. I never had interference, or anybody telling me to ‘say this’ or ‘do that’.
“The most they’d do is ask me to repeat myself… everything was a genuine reaction, no reshoots. I never felt like I was on a reality show.”
On what Sima is like in real life, Arti told Cosmopolitan UK:
“She is an aunty.
“Sometimes she reminds me of my mum, and not always the best parts of her!
“There’s a traditional sense to her and when it comes to dating, we had very clear differences which they showed.
“But, she’s a great person. She came to my house, we shared makeup times, drank chai, talked, she brought gifts, we laughed… and she was so sweet to my dog!”
Despite going on a few dates with Sima’s matches, Arti ended up meeting partner Jamal on a dating app.
The pair bonded over fitness and had their first date at Costco. They got engaged in a beautiful ceremony a few months later.
Some viewers believed it was scripted for the show but Arti said:
“Despite what people are saying online, I never saw the set-up for the engagement, I never saw the ring.”
“I’m not an actress, I’m f**king terrible at acting!”
While Arti believes in Sima’s matchmaking skills, the traditional route is not for her.
Despite this, her favourite part of Indian Matchmaking was the friends she made.
“We’re all going through the same thing so I’m super grateful to have such closeness with the cast and call them my friends.”
Arti and Jamal are still together and are living in Miami.
She added: “We’re enjoying each other’s company, travelling, having fun, meeting each other’s families and he is so wonderful. It makes me gooey.
“We haven’t started wedding planning yet as it’s hard to imagine a wedding without my dad but we’re doing well and are on the right track.”