While there are a dime a dozen dating shows, thronging the labyrinth of the digital world, ‘Love on the Spectrum’ gives viewers a taste of authentic content, the kind of content that isn’t motivated by rating points and cascading hits. It’s currently streaming on Netflix and stars a bunch of participants on the spectrum who are out there to explore the enigma, the joys and the disappointments - the whole shebang of dating.
Doing the rounds in the virtual world are memes and jokes galore about ‘Indian Matchmaking’, but I wonder why is there hardly any mention of this wonderful docu-series that portrays such a different perspective, that’s inclusive in nature, that’s innovative, that does not distinguish between ‘them’ and ‘us’ just because our brains and ways of expression are diametrically different. If at all, countries should be taking a cue from this show on how to provide support to people on the spectrum – be it in the form of conducting speed dating gatherings or being sensitive to their needs, helping them have easy access to counselors/therapists to improve their social skills, helping them become the best independent version of themselves by actualizing their dreams and potential to the max.
There’s a wonderful ideology by Swami Vivekananda; let’s focus on principles rather than personalities. Sounds extremely simple, but mainstream society has still not been able to wrap their heads around this concept yet. We still continue to celebrate politicians and celebrities and give them undue importance because of all sorts of superficial reasons. Maybe because someone looks like a Greek God or someone specializes in oozing that charismatic appeal, and that’s how we cook a gigantic cauldron of disastrous fanaticism. We don’t focus on principles and good qualities and inspiring actions, a lot of times we simply get swayed by solely the person (the physical form) without focusing on the principles they adopt - and that my friends, causes a moral death, an absolute decline of consciousness, and perhaps someday we will retract to our primitive states if we continue with this wretched pattern.
I only understand work that helps human-beings become a better lot. This is why ‘Love on the spectrum’ is instrumental. One must watch it to get inspired by the wonderful vibe that the participants exude, and their strong and effectual principles of living with dignity. There’s the paleontology loving Mark who treats all his dates with the utmost respect, there’s the affable and the effervescent Maddi who shares a lovely camaraderie with her parents and is yet not afraid to draw boundaries when they get a little too OTT excited and start romanticizing the whole companionship process, there’s Olivia who’s an actor and is uninhibited and unapologetic about the way she eats, gets overtly jumpy because of her anxiety and laughs endearingly at the drop of a hat. They all are independent, open about their vulnerabilities, exploratory, working hard to become self-sufficient, and aren’t stuck to the idea of dating someone solely from their own culture/country/ race and so on.
A stark contrast that is Indian Matchmaking, you see fully grown men still being mollycoddled by their mothers, Sima Taparia talks about ‘being independent’ as if it’s a horrific bane and the constant focus on ‘good looks and attraction’ as if the millennial world is incapable of exploring any other aspect of someone’s character is simply ridiculous and disappointing. It’s all about clothes and style and fashion and an unwarranted show of flamboyance. Perfect teeth, perfect hair, perfect suit, fake scripts – where is the simplicity of getting so nervous on a date that you end up choking on your own snack…
Watch ‘Love on the spectrum’ for the cast who may have their own set of turmoil and conflicts to deal with, but they are definitely doing a great job at showing the world on how to just be your true authentic selves, at being exploratory, celebrating vulnerabilities rather than putting up a façade, meeting all kinds of people as opposed to constantly ticking one box – the big fat shit-filled box of ‘good looks’. Ciao!