Vishal Kalyanasundaram in “Indian Matchmaking”

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Photo used with permission from Vishal Kalyanasundaram

Kalyanasundaram performs stand-up comedy.

Vidushi Upadhyay

Fans are enamored by the drama that unfolds on Netflix’s “Indian Matchmaking” as Vishal Kalyanasundaram rises from his seat and leaves the restaurant table, much to the shock of reality TV star Nadia Jagessar. Despite being a rising star, he shares his background with Lynbrook students as an alumni and cherishes his high school years, carrying Lynbrook’s spirit with him. 

Kalyanasundaram currently resides in New York State, far from his alma mater. He fondly recalls his time at Lynbrook and his senior year, during which he served as a Class of 2012 officer and dedicated much of his time to making the year memorable for his class. He appreciates the ability given to students to pursue multiple passions.

“When you go to college, you end up having one major, and in the workforce, you do one thing,” Kalyanasundaram said. “But what I now appreciate about high school was getting exposed to such a plethora of courses and getting the opportunity to explore myself.” 

Since high school, Kalyanasundaram’s perception of his culture and ancestry has shifted dramatically. He feels that internalized and externalized racism at Lynbrook influenced students’ perceptions of their cultures, and an extreme focus on academics prevented them from partaking in cultural traditions. However, Kalyanasundaram’s recent debut on Indian Matchmaking has helped him reconnect with his culture and join communities where he’s able to experience more of it, through attending events for festivals like Diwali.

“It’s been so great to be able to hang out in those circles and groups and keep learning about things I wasn’t exposed to before, and my knowledge and interest have only been growing,” Kalyanasundaram said. 

Kalyanasundaram recalls the process of interviews and filming the show as extremely slow. After filling out a form indicating his interest in a show about Indian matchmaking, he and his parents went through multiple rounds of interviews, until he was accepted onto the show and set up to date a co-star for three to four weeks.

Even within the haphazardness of the filming process, Kalyanasundaram has stayed friends with people he met through the show and values the friendships he gained through “Indian Matchmaking.” 

“The actual process of it was pretty fun,” Kalyanasundaram said. “Except for doing a breakup on camera, everything was good.”

The show’s most immediate impact on Kalyanasundaram was teaching him to have thicker skin and laugh off others’ unsolicited opinions.

“I don’t think I necessarily did anything that awful,” Kalyanasundaram said. “Things on TV are different from real life. But people just love talking smack about things, and now I’m learning to not really care and to be able to make fun of myself when other people say horrible things about me.” 

To Kalyanasundaram, one of the biggest benefits of being in the second season of “Indian Matchmaking” has been the numerous experiences he now recounts in his acts as a part-time stand-up comedian. Kalyanasundaram has continued to work full time at Google and is grateful for the flexibility his job provides. He uses comedy to share his experiences and often talks about his family and dating life. His passion for comedy began in middle school, but he made the decision to truly commit himself when he was between his first and second job. 

“I was looking for something to do with my time,” Kalyanasundaram said. “I didn’t want to just spend my time outside of work partying, watching TV or doing things that I didn’t think were good for the world. I wanted to create stuff and not just consume.”