SURPRISE sleeper hit Indian Matchmaking has become a cultural phenomenon since it had a Netflix premiere in 2020 and led to a Jewish-inspired spin-off.
After largely focusing its efforts on America and India, the reality TV show touched down in UK earlier this year and introduced audiences to a new batch of singletons looking for that special someone. A stand-out participant from that third season was Priya Ashra.
The London-based business entrepreneur won admiration for her straighttalking, sense of humour and clarity in knowing the qualities she wants in a potential match. She also became a strong role model for divorcees and, unlike many on the show, found a potential match.
Beyond the globally popular show, Ashra is also the founder of food inspired business Tiku Tiku, which organises regular supper club events. Eastern Eye caught up with her to speak about that unforgettable Indian Matchmaking journey with Sima aunty and what life has been like since then.
How has life been since you appeared on Indian Matchmaking?
It’s been a fun ride so far. I’m still getting used to being recognised when I go out. Having our typically private conversations with family and friends for the world to see feels surreal, but I am so glad to have been able to share a part of my world.
What made you decide to apply to get help from Sima aunty?
(Smiles) I honestly applied because I have nothing to lose. I saw using a tailored service and opportunities to date guys I may have not ordinarily come across on dating apps, as a plus. I’m glad to have been part of the series.
What is Sima aunty like in real life and are you still in touch?
What I love about Sima aunty is what you see is what you get with her. I do appreciate some parts of the wisdom and experience she has gained over the years. Yes, we do keep in touch. In fact, she recently sent me the link to her new song.
We can see from social media that you and Vim are super loved up and one of the success stories from the show, what do you like (or love) most about him?
His openness and perspective on life. He doesn’t take life or himself too seriously, which I appreciate.
What did your family think about you being on the show?
They were excited, shocked, and proud.
What else did you like the most about the show?
(Laughs) Sima aunty’s suitcase, with all her snacks and goodies.
If you did Indian Matchmaking again, would you do anything differently?
I have zero regrets and am glad I followed my intuition. In addition to finding a partner, this process has brought about a lot of personal growth and learning to be vulnerable.
What advice would you give to anyone thinking about applying for Sima aunty’s services?
Go in with an open mind, while understanding what your non-negotiables are in a prospective partner. Above all, have fun with it.
Deepika Padukone is a fan of the show. How does it feel to be watched by an A-list Bollywood celebrity?
It feels very surreal. She has good taste.
You flew the flag for divorced women who found love again – how does it feel to be a role model?
I have been inundated with messages from divorced women reaching out sharing their stories of divorce and their current journey, which is such a privilege. To be a source of inspiration and positivity is an honour.
Do you have any dating tips to offer for women?
Don’t take rejection so personally. It’s often a reflection of their current situation rather than anything you’ve said or done. You never know what is around the corner so keep going.
What’s next for Priya? And what’s next for you and Vim?
For Vim and I, we are still growing and learning more about each day by day. Hopefully a trip to Mexico soon. For me, I’m excited to be hosting my next Modern Indian Supper Club.
Tell us about your supper club events?
I’ve always loved hosting dinner parties and started to host supper clubs when my own dinner table became too small. You can expect modern Indian cuisine with a twist inspired by world cuisines, like Tandoori oyster mushroom tostada. I’ve always believed the best social network is a table full of friends and good food, and this principle remains the core of why I host supper clubs.