The social stratification of our society is a complicated enough ladder to climb or descend, as husband and wife Prem and Sween Saini discovered when they decided to tie the knot. The lovebirds met in Khalsa College, Ludhiana, they recall: “I used to visit college frequently, as all his colleagues were my friends and I used to be an integral part of every get-together,” smiles Sween. While Prem is a self-employed IT professional, Sween is a career counselor and a business woman.
According to Prem, it was actually a combination of a love/arranged marriage, says he. “Both families were looking for right matches and I always believed that we both were just perfect for each other. So, I suggested the proposal to Sween’s father through a common friend and convinced my family.”
His wife, though, tells us that it was never love at first sight for sure. “Discussing on new IT technologies, solving career and job challenges together helped us be friends and gradually friendship grew with mutual care, concern and respect.
And then, parents and families were involved and the final decision was at their consent,” says she. Prem tells us that he’s from an uneducated rural landlord background and his parents always wanted a homely daughter-in-law, whereas Sween’s from an educated business-class family and her parents always wanted an educated son-in-law, preferably settled abroad.
One would think that sounds like the plot of a masala Bollywood film, with both families going to war over the children’s choices, but turns out that wasn’t the case at all. “While our parents were hesitant initially, they eventually accepted our choice,” says the couple who got married in 1991.
But of course, the journey after marriage wouldn’t be so easy with such varied backgrounds. With a loan, the couple launched the first computer institute of Hoshiarpur with an aim to provide computer education to the residents.
“Becoming a first-generation entrepreneur for an educated modern bahu in a landlord family and in a small town like Hoshiarpur was never an easy task. We had to prove at every step that it was not a misadventure and I was not the wrong choice for this family,” says Sween bravely and adds, “This has certainly enhanced our will to be the change-makers though.”
“She is a very lively person, who has brought out the very best in me and others. She possesses unusual qualities, as she is very creative, straightforward, pushing, a brilliant administrator and motivator.
She has always been an achiever by maintaining a perfect balance between professional and personal commitments,” says Prem, showering praise on his wife, and adds, “But she worries a lot about certain things that may not happen, and it affects her sleep and health.”
The couple has two grown up daughters as well.