Vilified — and Celebrated — ‘Indian Matchmaking’ Star Takes Narrative Into Her Own Hands in New Memoir

IF YOU'VE WATCHED Indian Matchmaking on Netflix, it's clear that Aparna Shewakramani is the unlikeable one, an archetype necessary for good television. And while many took to social media to express their disdain for the Aparna they saw on TV when the show debuted last summer, tens of thousands were sending her private messages of admiration and appreciation for being herself, speaking her thoughts — and never adjusting her standards.


Now, eight months after the show's release, regard for her is much more outspoken, inspiring such comments on her Instagram as, "Aparna, you are the best thing to ever happen to Indian Americans." She even has a plethora of GIFs, showing moving images of her on the show spouting delicious one-liners like, "I don't need that," "You know how I hate comedy," "You do you, boo," and, "No."

Although Aparna is still frustrated by how she was portrayed on the show, she is relieved to have the opportunity to shed some light and right some mistruths in an upcoming book. She's Unlikeable: And Other Lies That Bring Women Down will come out in early 2022 next year, and will be available for pre-sale six months before its release. The book will be 50 percent aboutIndian Matchmaking—from casting, to taping, to how her life changed after its airing — and 50 percent about her life: immigrating from India at age seven with her sister and single mother, growing up in uber-diverse Bellaire, and attending Rice University and Vanderbilt Law.

"My mom always expects us to be who we are, and it's very special, and I didn't know it was special, until I spoke to so many women who didn't have that kind of support," says Shewakramani. "I was lucky enough to grow up going to a diverse public school in a diverse neighborhood with a strong group of diverse friends, mostly women — so my 'norm' was always strong, diverse women."

Aparna says while her portrayal on the show isn't 100 percent accurate — every show needs a villain, and she was easily martyred for the role — she is happy that her TV version has nonetheless inspired and empowered so many, specifically South Asian women, who exist with the constant crushing oppressions of colorism, casteism, heightism, et al. "I always differentiate my portrayal on the show versus my real self," says Aparna, "Because I don't know if [fans] know my real self."

Luckily, everyone will get to know Shewakramani's real self a little more in her book, which will be her first. While she does most of her writing at home, she does like to grab lunch with her friends on long writing days; spot her at some of her favorite spots around town, like Sixty Vines, North Italia, Giacomo's and Pondicheri.

Art + Entertainment

SOUTH FLORIDA-BASED Italian shoe line Concetto Limone will make its Texas debut at a cocktail reception at Valobra Master Jewelers (2150 Westheimer Rd.) on Thursday, April 29 from 5-7pm. The evening of "All Things Italian" will transport guests immediately to the coast of southern Italian as they sip on Italian wines, Aperol Spritzes, Negronis and Limoncellos while feasting on an assortment of Italian hors d'oeuvres from Houston's beloved Tony's. Invited guests will have the first glance in Texas on the Concetto Limone line and the opportunity to purchase unisex styles on Thursday evening and all day Friday at a trunk show at Valobra.

Keep Reading Show less
Style

IN EARLY MARCH of last year, Blair Truesdell, 26, was just settling into her exciting new life in Austin. She had just moved there from Houston to serve as the assistant manager for Manready Mercantile's ATX outpost when the universe, known for its increasing level of fickleness, decided it had other plans for her.

Keep Reading Show less
People + Places

A market honoring Pet Awareness Month is happening at The Parkway at Regent Square this Sunday

IN THE MOOD to hit up a film fest, or just go for a joy ride? There's plenty to do in H-Town this weekend — including a massive craft-beer event in Kemah. Cheers to that!

Keep Reading Show less
People + Places